This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center
In Punished for Dreaming Dr. Bettina Love argues forcefully that Reagan's presidency ushered in a War on Black Children, pathologizing and penalizing them in concert with the War on Drugs. New policies punished schools with policing, closure, and loss of funding in the name of reform, as white savior, egalitarian efforts increasingly allowed private interests to infiltrate the system. These changes implicated children of color, and Black children in particular, as low performing, making it all too easy to turn a blind eye to their disproportionate conviction and incarceration. Today, there is little national conversation about a structural overhaul of American schools; cosmetic changes, rooted in anti-Blackness, are now passed off as justice.
It is time to put a price tag on the miseducation of Black children. In this prequel to The New Jim Crow, Dr. Love serves up a blistering account of four decades of educational reform through the lens of the people who lived it. Punished for Dreaming lays bare the devastating effect on 25 Black Americans caught in the intersection of economic gain and racist ideology. Then, with input from leading U.S. economists , Dr. Love offers a road map for repair, arguing for reparations with transformation for all children at its core.
Dr. Bettina L. Love is the William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and the bestselling author of We Want To Do More Than Survive. In 2022, the Kennedy Center named Dr. Love one of the Next 50 Leaders making the world more inspired, inclusive, and compassionate. A co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN), whose mission is to develop and support teachers and parents fighting injustice within their schools and communities, they have granted over $250,000 to abolitionists around the country. She is also a founding member of the Task Force that launched the program In Her Hands, distributing more than $15 million to Black women living in Georgia. In Her Hands is one of the largest guaranteed income pilot programs in the U.S. Dr. Love is a sought-after public speaker on a range of topics, including abolitionist teaching, anti-racism, Hip Hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth, educational reparations, and art-based education to foster youth civic engagement. In 2018, she was granted a resolution by Georgia's House of Representatives for her impact on the field of education.
Dr. Love will be in conversation with Tony Keith Jr. Anthony (Tony) Keith Jr., PhD. is a Black American gay poet, spoken word artist, and Hip-Hop educational leader from Washington DC. Or, you can just call him an Ed Emcee. He is author of the young adult memoir in verse, How the Boogeyman Became a Poet (Winter 2024) and the young adult poetry collection Knucklehead (Winter 2025) from Katherine Tegen Books at HarpersCollins. Tony’s writings appear in the Journal of Negro Education, Equity & Excellence in Education and the Journal of Black Masculinity and many others. A multi-year fellow of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and HumanitiesDC, Tony is CEO of Ed Emcee Academy and lives with his husband, Harry Christian III in his DC hometown. website: www.tonykeithjr.com IG: @tonykeithjr TW: @tonykeithjr FB: @tonykeithjr