The BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Teach-In Tour.


The BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Tour is a national community organizing project that seeks to mobilize students and local communities through teach-ins, public dialogues, and sustained conversations about the past, present, and future of the movement for black lives.

Grounded in the Mississippi Freedom School tradition of the American Civil Rights Movement, The BlackLivesMatterSyllabusTour is grounded in the premise that mobilizing people in the classroom is just as vital as mobilizing them in the streets. Thus, the BlackLivesMatterSyllabusTour provides educators and everyday people with tools for thinking about the classroom as a site of protest.

Conceived by Frank Leon Roberts, one of the founding architects of the #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus movement, the teach-in tour draws on the curriculum used in his nationally recognized course at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Moving the “classroom” beyond the halls of institutionalized academia, The BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Tour calls for a return to teaching as a radical form of community organizing.   Designed to energize, mobilize, and inspire progressive communities–the Black Lives Matter Syllabus Tour reminds us that it is our duty to fight for our freedom and it is our duty to win.


“Frank Roberts brought everyone to their feet at the 13th Annual Black Policy Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School. The theme of our conference was “Why We Can’t Wait.” This year’s Black Policy Conference sought to give attendees the tools to fight injustice in the 21st century. Frank Robert’s body of work inspired our conference attendees to stand up and fight oppression. He electrified our audience and gave them the necessary words of encouragement to make a difference in their communities.”— Michael Huggins, Co-Chair, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government 13th Annual Black Policy Conference

“The Humanities Institute at the University of South Florida hosted Frank Leon Roberts in January 2017 and he was electric. His insight into the history and complexity of race relations in the U.S. is outstanding and his unique combination of scholarly work and community activism gives him insight into contemporary issues unlike any speaker I’ve seen. His energy is contagious and we received nothing but glowing praise after his visit to USF. Both organizations and individuals can find it difficult to talk about race, but Roberts facilitates conversation with enthusiasm and honesty, encouraging the kind of open dialogue that is sorely needed in this country. The Black Lives Matter Syllabus is an extraordinary intersectional work rooted in scholarship and addressing contemporary social issues. Frank brought our audience to their feet and I’m confident that whether your organization is on the leading edge of racial justice or just beginning to have conversations, Frank Leon Roberts is someone you need to work with.”Elizabeth Kicak, Director, University of Southern Florida Humanities Institute


“Frank Roberts, through a powerful combination of voice, passion, expertise—and what I can only describe as love—captivates large crowds the way most of us wish we could but few are able to.”Thomas Chatterton Williams, New York Times Magazine

“Frank Roberts brings a clear, yet nuanced understanding of the call for human rights inherent in the Black Lives Matter movement. His is able to effectively unpack this multifaceted demand for justice so that it is relevant, contextualized, and affirming for all who are committed to doing and supporting the work.”— Mia Henry, Executive Director, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

“The University of California, Berkeley was thrilled by the presence of Frank Leon Roberts as one of its 2017 Black History Month Keynote speakers. Students and faculty alike were floored by Frank’s deep insights, intellectual erudition, and overall poise. His ability to contextualize the history of race relations in America—-particularly as it relates to the vibrant black lives matter movement—is simply unmatched among his peers. As one of the architects of the #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus movement, Frank is one of the country’s most knowledgeable experts. He is a brilliant teacher and organizer, and one of the best public speakers we’ve seen in a long time.”Marques Redd, Assistant Director, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

2017-2018 Engagements:

1/12 Oakland, California
Keynote: The Head Royce School 
Sponsored by: Office for Diversity and Equity 
Click here for details.

1/24 Tampa, Florida
Keynote: University of Southern Florida 
Sponsored by: University of Southern Florida Humanities Center 
Click here for details.

2/22 Bellevue, Washington
Keynote: Bellevue College, Black History Month 
Sponsored: Bellevue College Office of Multicultural Student Affairs; 
Provost’s Office 
Click here for details.

2/3 Earlham, Indiana
Keynote: Earlham College 
Sponsored by: Earlham College Diversity Council 
Click here for details.

2/27 Berkeley, Californi
Keynote: UC Berkeley, Black History 
Sponsored by: Dean’s Office; School of Public Health 
Click here for details.

2/28 New York, New Yor
Moonlight: New York Premiere 
Sponsored by: A24 Studios (Distributor, Moonlight, Dir. By Barry Jenkins) 
Click here for details.

3/10-3/20 Paris, France & Amsterdam, Netherlands
Keynote: Ferguson in Paris 
Sponsored by: Access Africa Inc. 
Click here for details.

3/29 Kalamazoo, Michigan
Keynote: Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo College 
Sponsored by: Black Lives Matter Kalamazoo; Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership 
Click here for details.

4/6 Yakima, Washington
Keynote: Washington Students of Color Association Conference 
Sponsored by: Washington Students of Color Association

Event links.

4/8 Cambridge, Massachusetts
Keynote: Harvard Kennedy School 
Sponsored by: Black Policy Conference Committee, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government 
Click here for details.

4/19 Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California 
Sponsored by: University of California School of Law; USC Student Government Association

Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University 
Sponsored by: Office of the Dean

Spring 2018

1/15  Concord, New Hampshire
Keynote: The St. Paul’s School
Sponsored by: Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Click here for details.

1/19 Terre Haute, Indiana
Keynote: Indiana State University
Sponsored by: Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center
Click here for details.

1/30 Columbus, Ohio
Keynote: The Ohio State University
Sponsored by: Ohio State University Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
Click here for details.

4/5 Boston, Massachusetts
Keynote: Boston University Law School
Sponsored by: BU Law Black Students Organization
Click here for details.

4/25 Seattle, Washington
Keynote: Wenatchee Valley College
Sponsored by: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

4/19 Providence, Rhode Island
Keynote: Brown University
Sponsored by:  Center for Study of Race & Ethnicity and The Cogut Humanities Institute
Click here for details.

5/5  Washington, DC
Plenary: Conference of Ford Fellows
Sponsored by: The Ford Foundation/National Research Academies
Click here for details.

Spring 2019

(Check back soon for many more updates!)

1/21:  Moorehead, Minnesota
MLK Keynote: Concordia College
Sponsored by: Concordia College Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemorative Celebration
Click here for details.

1/22: Vincennes, Indiana
MLK Keynote: Vincennes University
Sponsored by: Office of Multicultural Affairs
Click here for details.

2/1: Toronto, Canada
Sponsored by: The Black Liberation Symposium

2/16/19- 2/22/19: Los Angeles, California 

Special engagement: Details to be announced.

2/26: Lexington, Kentucky
Keynote Lecture: University of Kentucky
Sponsored by: The Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives

To bring the BlackLivesMatterSyllabus

Teach-Tour to your institution,