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Initiative Webcasts

The State of Boys in America: A Briefing on the Latest Research Findings and What They Mean for America in an Increasingly Competitive World

Washington, DC, May 17, 2011


Richard Whitmire is a veteran newspaper reporter and former editorial writer at USA Today. He is the author of Why Boys Fail, which explores why boys are falling behind in K-12 schools. The book also addresses why men are enrolling and graduating from colleges at lower rates than females. He writes the Why Boys Fail blog  for Education Week.

Whitmire's commentaries appear frequently in publications including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.  He is a former president of the National Education Writers Association. In 2009 he was the Project Journalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education. In February, 2011, his new book, The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes on the Nation's Worst School District, was published.


Thomas Mortenson is a Senior Scholar at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, DC, and an independent higher education policy analyst. He is a nationally respected policy researcher on postsecondary education and training and the ways public policy fosters or impedes access to that education.  Mr. Mortenson's research is used to benchmark the economic status of men and boys in America.  At the briefing, Mr. Mortenson will discuss his latest findings.

Dr. Warren Farrell is Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys to Men. He will give the first public presentation of the Commission's findings. A Commission of more than thirty of the nation's leading scholars and practitioners of boys and men's issues, organized by Dr. Farrell after an informal discussion with the White House in 2009, undertook an 18-month study that examined five components of the status of boys and men: emotional health; physical health; education; economics, and fatherlessness. In each area they uncovered problems of crisis proportion. Dr. Farrell will explain how these crises challenge multiple areas of government, our leadership in the world, our social attitudes, our education system, and the underlying definition of what it takes to raise a boy successfully. Dr. Farrell will also reveal a few of the many concrete solutions presented in the Commission's report.

Tanya Belz Rauzi is a Marin County, CA mother of three sons and a daughter ranging in age from 5 to 15.  Ms. Belz Rauzi is a local pioneer in championing boys who have faced academic challenges.  Together with other local parents, Ms. Belz Rauzi has successfully organized a local coalition to enlist school administrators and teachers in efforts to more fully engage boys in the educational setting.  She has been the co-chair of Every Kind of Mind (a parent education support group for parents of kids with learning differences) for the past 7 years.  She also serves on the local school Site Council, Coordinating Council, Stanford's Challenge Success Team, Marin Parent Education Group (PEG), EKOM Advisory Committee, and is the school representative to the Marin County Office of Education Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).  In the past she has also served on her school's Strategic Planning Committee and in her free time, she blogs on the website www.fighterpilotmoms.com as an advocate for non-helicopter moms and raising kids in the world today.

Willie Iles is National Director Government & Community Relations, Boy Scouts of America. He manages the functions and gives leadership as the liaison to the Chief Scout Executive of the BSA in working with the executive branch of the federal government and national community organization in the area of child advocacy, environment awareness, work force preparedness, childhood healthy living, education outreach and volunteerism. He helps coordinate community organization initiatives. He began his Scouting career in 1971.

For more information and media coverage of the event click here.