Paying It Forward

Dr. Howard Fuller

Paying It Forward: Lessons for a new generation from Dr. Howard Fuller’s life on activism’s front lines

A series of discussions that captures the full extent of Dr. Fuller’s legacy, experiences and impact as an advocate and activist working for educational opportunities in the Milwaukee community. The series is designed to foster conversations and serve as inspiration for high school students and future generations of activists in our community.

Dr. Fuller is a distinguished professor of education at Marquette and founder/director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning. Dr. Fuller retired in 2020, more about his contributions are detailed in Marquette Today.

Discussion 1: Big picture lessons from efforts to improve education outcomes for students, particularly low-income Black students, in Milwaukee and nationwide. From the debate over the future of North Division High School in the 1970s until now, Dr. Fuller will offer perspective on trying to improve both big city public school systems and schools outside those systems. What makes it so hard to get better results?

Watch Discussion 1

Discussion 2: Lessons from the death of Ernest Lacy. Lessons from the death of Ernest Lacy. What happened when Lacy died in Milwaukee police custody in 1981, and what has and has not changed since then. Fuller, who led protests in the aftermath of Lacy’s death, will put the case in the context of today.

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Discussion 3: Milwaukee’s experience with school vouchers, charter schools and school choice more broadly. The history, the impact of school choice, the successes and failures, and what the future could hold in Milwaukee and beyond.

Watch Discussion 3

Discussion 4: Paths for pursuing change. What are the pluses and minuses of working within the system or outside the system? What has Dr. Fuller seen and learned from his time both as an activist outsider and as a leading insider in several government bureaucracies?

Watch Discussion 4