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News Oct. 27: The Opportunity Gap

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Morehouse researcher to speak in campus climate series

Bryant T. Marks Sr. of Morehouse University will speak Oct. 27 at UD.

Article by UDaily staff October 17, 2016

Bryant T. Marks Sr., associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College and an authority on educational outcomes of underrepresented students, will speak at the University of Delaware from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, in 103 Gore Hall.

His talk, titled "If Opportunity Isn't Knocking, Then How Can I Achieve?" is free and open to the public and is part of the Center for the Study of Diversity fall lecture series on campus climate.

Marks, who also is director of the Morehouse Male Initiative at Morehouse College, will speak on opportunity gaps, achievement gaps and the educational outcomes of underrepresented and first generation college students. 

The term “achievement gap” is often used to describe the differences in grades and standardized test scores among groups of different races and socio-economic status.

Marks notes, however, that achievement is output—the observable result of a process of exposure, learning, effort and some level of mastery. Opportunity, on the other hand, is input—the exposure component of the process that precedes achievement. It involves access to resources, experiences and the full spectrum of what is possible, Marks says.

His presentation will include research-based descriptions of the differences between achievement gaps and opportunity gaps that exist throughout the academic pipelines of underrepresented and first generation college students. He also will provide recommendations for closing the opportunity gap at the individual and institutional levels. 

Although the lecture is open to all, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP at this website.      

The lecture is presented in collaboration with the vice provost for diversity, the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning, the Center for Black Culture and the colleges of Arts and Sciences and of Education and Human Development. 

More about the speaker

Marks serves on President Barack Obama’s board of advisers with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

He also recently served as a senior adviser with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and currently is the inaugural senior research fellow with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. In addition, he is a contributor to the White House My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) and serves on the MBK Task Force for Fulton County, Georgia.

As part of the President’s 21st Century Policing Initiative, Marks provided implicit bias training to more than 700 police chiefs via a series of White House gatherings. He serves on several national boards and is a highly sought after speaker and trainer.

Marks earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in economics from Morehouse College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in social psychology from the University of Michigan.

He conducts research and professional development in the areas of black male psychology and development, the academic achievement of minority college students, diversity and implicit bias, innovations in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and personal passion and productivity. 

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Morehouse researcher to speak in campus climate series

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Oct. 27: The Opportunity Gap
  • Center for the Study of Diversity
  • 77 East Main Street - Room 217
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19711, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3033
  • Delaware Will Shine
  • OEI
  • Vice Provost for Diversity