Ronald Ferguson to deliver Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

January 26, 2011  |  Media Contact: Courtney Coelho |  401-863-7287
Ronald Ferguson - Harvard University Graduate School of EducationJohn F. Kennedy School of Government.Credit: Martha Stewart
Ronald Ferguson Harvard University Graduate School of Education
John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Credit: Martha Stewart
Noted scholar Ronald Ferguson will deliver the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at Brown University on Feb. 8, 2011. His talk, titled “Pursuing Excellence with Racial Equity: A Social Movement for the 21st Century,” is free and open to the public. It begins at 4 p.m. in Sayles Hall on the College Green.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Noted scholar Ronald Ferguson will deliver the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at Brown University on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. His talk will begin 4 p.m. in Sayles Hall on the College Green. It is free and open to the public.

Ferguson’s talk, titled “Pursuing Excellence with Racial Equity: A Social Movement for the 21st Century,” will focus on the racial achievement gap, which has been the focus of much of his research and writing for the last two decades. Ferguson’s work has appeared in publications of the National Research Council, the Brookings Institution and the U.S. Department of Education, as well as various books and scholarly journals. As the faculty co-chair and director of Harvard’s Achievement Gap Initiative, Ferguson has led a universitywide effort to close the nation’s achievement gaps by supporting new research and connecting research to policy and practice.

Ferguson currently holds a joint appointment as a senior lecturer at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has taught at Harvard since 1983. Ferguson is also an economist and senior research associate for the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy. He received an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in economics.

During the last decade, Ferguson has worked to develop the Tripod Project for School Improvement surveys, which have been used by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project on Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) to measure student perceptions of engagement and teaching practices. Data from the Tripod Project was recently used by the MET project to show that student perceptions of teaching are strong predictors of learning gains for elementary and middle school students.

In 2010, Ferguson’s most recent book, Toward Excellence with Equity: An Emerging Vision for Closing the Achievement Gap, was published by Harvard Education Press.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture was established at Brown University in 1996, with former New York Mayor David Dinkins as the inaugural speaker. Past lecturers have included Hugh B. Price, president and CEO of the National Urban League; Lee Mun Wah, community therapist, poet and the maker of the film The Color of Fear; Elizabeth Martinez, Chicana activist and author of Des Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century; William Julias Wilson, sociologist and author of The Bridge over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics; Jane E. Smith, president and CEO of the National Council of Negro Women Inc.; Johnnetta B. Cole, professor emerita of Emory University and president emerita of Spelman College; Randall Kennedy, professor of law at Harvard Law School; Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund; social activist and educator Angela Davis; and noted PBS host and author Tavis Smiley.

For more information, call 401-863-2216.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.