Alan Blankstein will speak at Illinois State University at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in the Braden Auditorium in the Bone Student Center. He is the founder and president of the HOPE Foundation (Harnessing Optimism and Potential through Education), a not-for-profit organization that works to help leaders create school cultures where “failure is not an option” for any student.
The talk, titled “Failure is Not an Option," is free and open to the public. The evening is sponsored by the College of Education, and is part of the 2013 Illinois State University Speaker Series.
Blankstein is the author of Failure is Not an Option: Six Principles that Guide Student Achievement in High Performing Schools, which won the Learning Forward Book of the Year award. A former “high-risk” youth, Alan began his career in education as a music teacher. He has worked in youth-serving organizations since 1983, including the March of Dimes, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National Educational Service (now Solution Tree), which he founded in 1987 and directed for 12 years.
The HOPE Foundation implements learning community concepts – or groups of people with common goals learning together – in a concerted and sustained manner in schools throughout North America. The organization’s honorary chair is Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Blankstein served on the advisory board of the Harvard International Principals’ Center, as a board member for the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, as co-chair of Indiana University’s Neal Marshall Black Culture Center’s Community Network and as advisor to the Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence (FASE) mentoring program. He also served as advisory board member for the Forum on Race, Equity and Human Understanding with the Monroe County Schools in Indiana and on the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Child Care Agency (JCCA), where he was once a youth-in-residence.
The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.
If you need special accommodations to fully participate in these programs/events, please contact Julie Barnhill, Presidential and Trustee Events, at (309) 438-8790. Please allow sufficient time to arrange accommodations.