Teacher and activist Jesse Hagopian will deliver a talk titled “Black Education Matters” at 5 p.m. Friday, September 30, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University. The talk is free and open to the public.

There will also be an informal Q&A with Hagopian at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 1, at Milner Library.

Hagopian will discuss the role U.S. education plays in maintaining institutional racism and the school-to-prison-pipeline for young black people. Pushing back against reformer’s work to close the achievement gap, Hagopian looks to the beginning of a new social movement for racial justice in the United States.

Named the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of the Year” from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, Hagopian is active in the Black Lives Matter movement. He teaches history and is the co-adviser to the Black Student Union at Seattle’s Garfield High School—the site of the historic boycott of the MAP standardized test in 2013.

Hagopian is an associate editor for the social justice education publication, Rethinking Schools magazine, the Seattle Fellow for The Progressive magazine, and the editor of the book, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing.

After giving a speech at the Martin Luther King Day rally in 2015, Hagopian was pepper sprayed by a Seattle police officer. He won a $100,000 settlement against the police, and used the money to found the “Black Education Matters Student Activist Award,” which gives support and a cash award to students in the struggle against institutional racism.

The talk is sponsored by Illinois State’s School of Teaching and Learning, Department of History, Department of Special Education, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations, Department of English, College of Education, Multi-Ethnic Cultural and Co-Curricular Programming Advisory Committee (MECCPAC) – A Dean of Students’ Diversity Initiative, The Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline (CTEP), Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT), Milner Library, the Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation, and the Office of the President.

The talk is part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series. The series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. All talks are free and open to the public.