The Pulse

Jelani Cobb to headline Public School Form NC’s education summit

By: - October 18, 2022 6:13 pm
(Photo courtesy of Public School Forum NC)

Jelani Cobb, dean of Columbia University School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker, will headline this year’s Color of Education Summit, the Public School Forum of NC has announced.

The Oct. 22 “hybrid” event will be held virtually and in person at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center at N.C. State University from 9 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. The center is at 1101 Gorman Street in Raleigh.

To register and purchase tickets, please visit

The theme for the Public School Forum’s fifth summit is “A Walk Through History: How the Past Informs the Present.”

Cobb recently co-edited “The Matter of Black Lives,” a collection of The New Yorker’s most ground-breaking writing on Black history and culture in America. It features the work of legendary writers such as James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.

Cobb also edited and wrote a new introduction for “The Kerner Commission” — a historic study of American racism and police violence originally published in 1967—helping to contextualize it for a new generation. The condensed version of the report, called “The Essential Kerner Commission Report,” is described as an “essential resource for understanding what Cobb calls the ‘chronic national predicament’ of racial unrest” (Publishers Weekly).

In addition to Cobb’s keynote address, the summit will include additional sessions focused on racial equity. Those sessions will be led by leading experts in the field.

Last year’s program featured Nikole Hannah-Jones, the journalist who found herself at the center of the tenure debacle at her alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill. Hannah-Jones eventually turned down a tenured professorship at the university and accepted a job at Howard University where she is the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. She also leads the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which focuses on training and supporting aspiring investigative journalists.

Saturday’s event will be moderated by WTVD’s Joel Brown, who anchors the ABC affiliates’ 4 p.m. evening edition of Eyewitness News.

Color of Education is a partnership between the Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity & Opportunity, the Public School Forum of North Carolina, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.