Campus News

GSE hosts ‘Black Women Lead’ event with Ericka Huggins

Promotional flyer for the "Black Women Lead" event hosted by the Graduate School of Education featuring photos of the speakers, Angela LeBlanc-Ernest, Ericka Huggins and Dr. Gwen Baxley.


Published January 25, 2022


Educator and former Black Panther Party member Ericka Huggins will speak during a virtual event hosted Thursday by the Graduate School of Education.

The forum, titled “Black Women Lead: Ericka Huggins, Black Radical Educational Leadership & The Black Panther Party’s Oakland Community School,” will take place at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Guests must register online to receive login information.

Huggins joined the Black Panther Party in 1968 and spent 14 years with the organization. From 1973-81, she was director of the party’s Oakland Community School, which was a community-run child development center and elementary school.

Staffed by teachers and mentors engaged in social and political transformation in every area of society, OCS became an internationally recognized grassroots model for elementary education. The school evolved organically, based on the needs of the larger community.

Huggins, who also has served on the faculty of San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay and Peralta Community College District, is a poet, human rights activist and lecturer.

Also speaking during the event will be Angela LeBlanc-Ernest, an independent scholar, author and filmmaker who is directing and producing a documentary about the Oakland Community School.

The event’s host will be Gwendolyn Baxley, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy in GSE.

With Terri Watson, Baxley co-authored a conceptual article centered on the Oakland Community School that focuses on “motherwork,” a form of culturally responsive school leadership practiced by Black women educational leaders that identifies, protects and celebrates the cultural practices of students. Watson, associate professor of leadership and human development at The City College of New York, CUNY, was a 2020-21 UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar.

The forum’s moderator will be Tanika Shedrick, a graduate student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.

The event is presented by the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and The Willower Fund.