This talk unveils the historical and theoretical background of powerful African-American school communities, illustrates how social and educational policies weakened these relationships, and provides strategies that rebuild the relationships that contemporary Black students have with their schools and communities.
Dr. Jerome E. Morris is the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education and the Founder and Director of the Center for Communally Bonded Research at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Morris’ interdisciplinary and empirically-based scholarship examines the institutional structure and culture in schools, provides innovative conceptual frameworks to study marginalized communities, and cultivates meaningful partnerships with communities and schools. The nexus of race, social class, and the geography of educational opportunity represents a major theme of his scholarship. Morris has been in the forefront of highlighting the centrality of the U.S. South in African-Americans’ experiences, examining achievement-gap issues, and rebuilding viable urban communities and schools. He was recently awarded the prestigious Lyle M. Spencer Research Award from the Spencer Foundation to investigate the development of his theory of Communally-bonded Schooling. Dr. Morris is the author of Troubling the Waters: Fulfilling the Promise of Quality Public Schooling for Black Children (Teachers College Press), and The Joys and Pains of Central City: Black Community and School-life in a Birmingham Housing Project (forthcoming, University of Georgia Press). An award-winning researcher, Morris has published extensively in leading research journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, Review of Research in Education, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Educational Policy, and Urban Education.