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DARK MATTER: A Creative Exploration into Black Education | Completed

Dark Matter Shines the Light On Remedies Needed to Repair Minnesota’s K-12 Education System 

[MINNEAPOLIS—November 3, 2023] “Education is liberation!” Just three words, yet they rang loud and clear with a punch, to the packed house that attended Dark Matter, a booming education-themed event hosted by the African American Leadership Forum, last evening in downtown Minneapolis. The rousing keynote speech was delivered by multiple New York Times best-selling author and noted education scholar, Dr. Bettina Love. Dr. Love has long advocated for sweeping changes in the country’s K-12 and higher education systems—seeking equity in classrooms, and an inclusive quality of education centering and celebrating Black culture.

For decades, Minnesota’s public education system has ranked at the bottom nationally in achievement for Black, Latino and other BIPOC students. Dr. Love, calling it like she calls it, told the audience it’s a form of institutional “Racism,” for the statewide public education to persist the way it does. For years Minnesota’s educational achievement gaps have widened between BIack and White students with seemingly no end in sight. The crisis has now caught the eye of national scholars and a larger body of change makers–and has been a target of this nonprofit since its inception.

The Dark Matter event, billed as A Creative Exploration Into Black Education, was the inaugural night out in a series launched by The Forum. Dr. Love emboldened the organization to keep pushing even harder in its efforts–teaming with state legislators, educators, institutions and other allies to implement strategies that level the classroom, equipping Black learners with tools and curriculum that fully support their development, nurturing their creativity, while advocating for their dreams. The second in this series Dark Matter II, is slated for spring 2024.

Kareem Weaver, a nationally recognized education specialist as well, served as the opening speaker of the night. Weaver, an expert in literacy, shared solutions on breaking systemic and pedagogical barriers that block students from better test scores, allowing them to reach their full academic potential. He encouraged parents and students to be accountable to schools and teachers, who offer false promises claiming they will provide better education. “Let’s not let people offer us some thing—because they’re not giving us the main thing…Be careful, don’t get hustled. Don’t get bamboozled,” Weaver told the audience.

The Forum conducted this event, with the intention of DISCOURSE, one of its six strategic pillars. The nonprofit, which was founded in 2006, has long been recognized for its prominent convenings and leading the way in difficult conversations that need to take place. With the success of this event along with anticipation already brimming for Dark Matter II, it’s safe to say The Forum has cemented its reputation as one of the area’s top conveners.

“I can’t believe I just had this Wakandan experience in Minneapolis!” is how one attendee termed her experience as she exited the church. Need we say anymore?

Adair Mosley speaking at the Dark Matter event.
A photo of members at the Dark Matter event.
A family taking a photo together.
A man playing the violin.
People mingling at the Dark Matter event.
Crowd sitting and listening to talks at the Dark Matter event.
Person taking notes at the Dark Matter event.
Woman speaking at the Dark Matter event.
Two woman taking a photo together at the Dark Matter event.
A group taking a photo together at the Dark Matter event.
Dr. Bettina Love speaking at the Dark Matter event.
A speaker at the Dark Matter event.
Woman standing and being applauded in the crowd at the Dark Matter event.
A group taking a photo together at the Dark Matter event.
Crowd member smiling at the Dark Matter event.
Kareem Weaver speaking at the Dark Matter event.
Crowd members listening at the Dark Matter event.
Crowd shot at the Dark Matter event.