Watson College of Education to Host Rosenwald Conference

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The UNCW Watson College of Education will host its biennial conference that focuses on education for African Americans in southeastern North Carolina on April 7.

This year’s theme, “The Rosenwald School Legacy, African Americans and Education: Past, Present and Future,” will examine the history of segregated schools, desegregation and the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the future education of African Americans.

“We host this event to maintain a collective dialogue about African American education in this region, to remember the history of segregated schools, and to use that history to create the best possible learning environments for African American students in the present and future,” said Donyell Roseboro, chair of the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education.

Conference participants will explore the effects of desegregation, current issues facing Africans Americans in schools and the HBCU experience. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about Rosenwald Schools in southeastern North Carolina and the building program, which started in 1912 as a partnership between Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald.

“These conversations are critical because they bring together former school educators, current educators, university faculty, staff and students as well as community members to engage in a cross-racial dialogue about academic achievement for African American students,” Roseboro added.

David Cecelski, historian and author of Along Freedom Road: Hyde County North Carolina and the Fate of Black Schools in the South, is the keynote speaker. His book chronicles the 1968-69 school boycott in Hyde County, N.C. For a year, the county’s black citizens refused to send their children to school in protest of a desegregation plan that required closing two historically black schools in their remote coastal community.

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. in the Education Building, Room 162 on the UNCW campus. The cost to attend is $15; registration is required.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Upperman African American Cultural Center, Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

-- Venita Jenkins