David Johns CC ’04 TC ’06 Plans White House Summits Focusing on Black Male Issues


David Johns is one of the leading advocates for the Obama administration on improving educational opportunities and achievements for Black youth.

By Jonathan P. Hicks


For David J. Johns, one of his most important missions is simply to let people know that the Obama administration has an initiative aimed at improving learning and development for African-American youth.

Johns is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. And that office is sponsoring a series of summits throughout the country where leaders in business and education, as well as young people and experts in other fields, will convene to discuss ideas and solutions to longstanding challenges regarding youth development in the Black community.

“I feel our first job is to raise awareness that this initiative exists,” Johns said, in an interview with BET.com. “There are people who don’t know that the president used his executive order to establish this initiative. And there are people who need to know that.”

“Second, our goal is to engage in meaningful conversations that communities can have on concepts for educational support for African-Americans,” Johns said. “Many people know about the problems. But very few people are focused on solutions and promising practices. We plan to spend time lifting up practices that can accelerate achievement.”

The first series of summits will focus specifically on issues related to young African-American men. These discussions will not just touch on concepts for enhancing classroom achievement, but on methods to enable young men to develop awareness of issues in their communities.

To read more visit BET.com