THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PROFESSOR.
FRANK LEON ROBERTS
Founder, Black Lives Matter Syllabus.
Recently referred to by Dr. Cornel West as one of the “powerhouse intellectuals” of his generation, Frank Roberts is an educator and political organizer on the frontlines of the contemporary movement for black lives. He is the Founder of Black Lives Matter Syllabus, the nationally acclaimed, public educational curriculum that provides resources for teaching BLM in classroom and community settings. Frank’s pioneering work as the “Black Lives Matter Professor” has been featured in Fader Magazine, NPR, CNN, and an extensive variety of other national media outlets.
He is currently on the faculty at New York University, where his course on the black lives matter movement has been widely acknowledged as the first college course of its kind. Committed to the idea of teaching as a radical form of community organizing, his courses continue to make headlines as national interventions. He has previously held teaching appointments at The New School for Public Engagement, The City University of New York (at both Hunter College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. Educated at New York University and Yale University, Frank has been the winner of NYU’s 2015 Michael Parkes Distinguished Alumni Award; the 2015 MLK Trailblazer Award (given in honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King), and a recipient of the Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the National Research Academies. His areas of scholarly expertise include 20th century African American literature, race and ethnicity studies, U.S. social movements, and the history of black art-as-protest. Frank sits on the Advisory Board for the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a collective of artists and Broadway performers committed to using the arts to support the movement for black lives.
Outside of academia, Frank’s career as a grassroots political organizer has spanned nearly two decades. He began his career as a teenager; mobilizing disenfranchised voters in the wake of the 2000 Bush/Gore Election. Later, in 2004 Frank co-founded the National Black Justice Coalition with Barack Obama’s Harvard Law School classmate Keith Boykin. He then went on to serve as the special assistant to legendary civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran, whom he worked with on the early legal movement for racial reparations. Frank then spent a decade on the frontlines of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in black communities—working as a prevention organizer in some of New York City’s most at-risk communities. In 2015, for his career long commitment to doing racial justice activist work in an intersectional paradigm, he received the 2015 Bayard Rustin Award at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
His expansive history as an organizer and thought-leader has landed Frank in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony, CBS, CNN, NPR, The Huffington Post and a wide range of publications. A dynamic public speaker, he has been the invited guest at literally hundreds of institutions and colleges around the globe.
Frank Roberts is represented by Keppler Speakers. Initial requests for booking panels, keynotes, and media quotes can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.