Marquette University Mitchem Fellow Lecture to discuss Black education spaces, Jan. 31

Jan. 26, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Blake O’Neal Turner, mathematics educator and Marquette University’s 2022-23 Arnold L. Mitchem Dissertation Fellow, will present “Black Education Spaces: Black Liberatory Mathematics in the Margins,” the 2023 Mitchem Fellow Lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 4:30 p.m. at Raynor Memorial Libraries.

This lecture, sponsored by the College of Education and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, explores how two groups of educational stakeholders rarely consulted for their expertise – Black women mathematics teachers and early career Black mathematics scholars – are leveraging Black educational spaces to advance mathematics education practice and research toward liberation for Black learners. The activism of these two groups grappling with the possibilities of liberation demonstrates the promises and pitfalls of racial affinity groups in transforming the education enterprise broadly, and mathematics education specifically.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Media interested in attending the lecture should contact Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication, at

Turner is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, where she was selected for the 2022 Outstanding Graduate Student Distinguished Service Award, studying urban education with a concentration in mathematics education. She aims to continue to leverage her service as an educator, researcher and social justice advocate to build the capacity of teachers, teacher educators, and scholars to enact anti-racist and equitable pedagogies in the classroom and use research to expose and dismantle anti-blackness in education broadly, mathematics education specifically. Broadly, Turner’s research attends to the ways that mathematics education is an instantiation of an anti-black and white institutional space and how critical research methodologies, and theoretical frameworks can be used as a tool towards liberation for minoritized and marginalized communities, but particularly Black doers, learners, and teachers of mathematics.

Turner graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s in teaching secondary mathematics and special education. She also holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in measurement, evaluation, statistics and assessment.

The Arnold L. Mitchem Dissertation Fellowship Program is intended to increase the presence of underrepresented ethnic groups by supporting doctoral candidates in completing their final academic requirement, the dissertation. The fellow will be in residence at Marquette for an academic year, during which the recipient will teach one course in his or her area of specialization while completing his or her dissertation. The recipient will also participate in a formal mentoring program. The Mitchem Fellowship is named in honor of Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem, who earned his doctorate from Marquette in 1981 and is an internationally recognized champion of educational opportunity. Mitchem founded Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program and served as its director from 1969 to 1986.

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or