Monday, September 26, 2011

Leading Minds Forum Inspires Over 450 People

Last Thursday over 450 teachers, community members, and nonprofit and business leaders attended BCP's fifth Leading Minds forum on The Impact of Poverty on Education. Co-hosted by Loyola University Maryland's School of Education and Urbanite Magazine, the forum explored why poverty has such a detrimental impact on academic achievement and what we, as a community, can do about it.

This was the fifth forum in BCP's Leading Minds series, which engages national experts and local stakeholders in discussions about cutting-edge educational issues that relate directly to improving public education.

An Organization Showcase before the forum featured local nonprofits and public agencies working to address the barriers to learning associated with poverty through community school initiatives, policy advocacy, parent engagement, after-school programming, and other strategies.

Panelists included Peter C. Murrell, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Urban Education at Loyola’s School of Education; Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of the National Center for Community Schools at the Children’s Aid Society; and Heather B. Weiss, Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Harvard Family Research Project and Senior Research Associate and Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Marc Steiner, host of “The Marc Steiner Show” on Baltimore’s WEAA 88.9 FM, moderated the discussion.

Presentations were followed by an in-depth Q&A and breakout discussion groups lead by the panelists and nonprofit leaders. The forum wrapped up with report backs from each of the eight breakout groups. Attendees were provided with a list of specific action items on how they can address this issue (below).

Next steps include circulating the notes from the discussion groups to all attendees and generating feedback on how we, as a community, can work together to ameliorate the impact of poverty on education.


We would like to thank Peter Murrell, Jane Quinn, Heather Weiss, and Marc Steiner for enriching our exploration of the topic with their expertise.

Thank you to Dr. Mickey Fenzel, (Interim Dean, School of Education and Affiliate Professor, Psychology Department, Loyola University Maryland) for hosting the forum and welcoming the attendees.

Thank you to Candra Healy (Executive Assistant to the Dean, Loyola University Maryland Schools of Education) for making miracles happen in the planning and execution of the event.

Thank you to Patrick Durkin (Assistant Director, Loyola Event Services), John Kline (Event Production Technician, Loyola Event Services) and the rest of their outstanding event services team.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Thank you to the following breakout discussion group facilitators:
Thank you to the following volunteers:
  • Ava Anderson
  • Tara Anderson
  • Virginia Cobler
  • Kim Goldsmith
  • Marvelyn Johnson
  • Tilda Johnson
  • Brenda Kahn
  • Jeff Krick
  • Wayne Lawson
  • Jon McGill
  • Michele Sabean
  • Angela Scott
Thank you to the following organizations that participated in the Organization Showcase:

Below are some actions items that were distributed to forum attendees:

  1. Join the Baltimore Education Coalition:
  2. Visit a Community School: email
  3. Write a letter to the Mayor urging her to support full funding for Community Schools.
  4. Register as a volunteer with Baltimore City Public Schools:
  5. Volunteer with after-school or mentoring programs such as Higher Achievement Program ( and BigBrothers Big Sisters (
  6. Volunteer or partner with a Baltimore Curriculum Project school by e-mailing or calling 410-675-7000.
  7. Visit the Coalition for Community Schools Policy and Advocacy webpage:
  8. Join the Transform Baltimore Campaign to modernize Baltimore City public school buildings:
  9. Support Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign at:
  10. Support BUILD’s Raise Our Youth/Raise Our City Campaign:
  11. Join over 30 organizations to march for youth opportunities, not jails on October 4th:

To learn more about the
Leading Minds series and to view videos of past forums visit: