‘Black Minds Matter’ lecture series hopes to spark change

Graduate assistant Darrian Evans, plans for an event with WKU Assistant Professor Dr. Lacretia Dye who will be hosting at Bowling Green Junior High similar to “Black Minds Matter” at WKU. “How’s your heart feeling about all that?” Dye asked Evans.

Kelley Holland

For Lacretia Dye and her graduate student Darrian Evans, educating the community on the issues faced by black males in the education system is a priority. Because of this, they decided to host a series of lectures titled “Black Minds Matter.” 

“Black Minds Matter” addresses the experiences of black boys and men in education and draws parallels to the Black Lives Matter movement. The concept was started by Luke Wood of San Diego State University, who brought together scholars across the country to address the issues facing black male students. Dye signed up as a participant, and now she and Evans have made WKU a host site of the event. 

Dye said the lecture series addresses the “high rate of African-American boys being placed in special education or being identified as higher levels of disciplinary referrals.”

Dye decided to host the “Black Minds Matter” series at WKU as a way to address the issue here in the community.

The series includes three sessions in the fall semester, one a month. Three lectures are planned for next semester and possibly more depending on the demand, Dye said.

The first session was held Oct. 19 and presented a historical overview of the educational experience of African-American students. It also covered a common theme seen among black males in the education system.

“Educators and their peers, or people in the community, are looking at them with one of three ‘D’s’: Disregard, disdain or distrust,” Dye said. 

Although they said the turnout for the first session was very small, both Dye and Evans said they still have the desire to inform the community about these issues in order to make a change.

“I think that, especially with the boys and men who are in education, if they know their history and they know what’s going on, it’s easier for them to recognize and try to adjust or fix some things,” Evans said. “And especially with the educators and the schools, if they know what’s going on, then it’s easier for them to focus on that and try to fix the situation.”

Marcus Stubbs, a graduate student at WKU, attended the first lecture. 

“This event answered why it is important to understand the black mind, what it goes through on a daily basis and how can we as a society tear down the racial barriers that are stopping our progress,” Stubbs said in an email. 

Stubbs said he felt an intimate connection to the event, and he thinks those who attended left with vital knowledge that can be used to make change. 

“I believe when they left the lecture series, they left empowered,” he said. “They understood that they had work to do and they want to put what they learned into action.”

Anyone who attends the lectures will leave with recommendations or solutions to the issue so they may help create change on their own.

“I just really want people to see it as a way to address an issue,” Dye said. “It doesn’t mean that all minds don’t matter, it’s just, right here, there is an issue. We’re focusing on this because, if we look at the numbers, there is a problem.” 

The next “Black Minds Matter” lecture will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, in Gary Ransdell Hall 2064 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

 

Features reporter Kelley Holland can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]