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Lynch School of Education

Office of the Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair

Roundtable group photo

MARCH 22-23, 2017

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

The Office of the Nelson Professional Chair once again partnered with Boston Promise Initiative and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative for the Tenth Nelson Chair Roundtable on Networking Community-Based Programs. The event drew over 70 attendees, and featured mini-roundtable breakout groups where participants engaged in deep discussion on three unique models for "Shared Leadership, Shared Outcomes".

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MARCH 6-9, 2017

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin presented to a number of groups on the campus of NMMU, including talks on the role of engagement in teaching & learning with faculty and students, and a roundtable discussion on coalition building and university partnerships. Dr. Franklin presented along side Prof. Monde Makiwane at the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy on "Transformative Trends in the Social Status of South African and USA Males".

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FEBRUARY 23, 2017

New York City, NY

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin presented his talk, "Family & Fatherhood: Global challenges and need for intervention strategies," to the UN NGO Committee on the Family in New York City. The audience consisted of academics, NGO representatives, students and civil society members interested in family policies, programs, and research focusing on the family.   

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FEBRUARY 3, 2017

Boston, MA

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin presented at the School Mental Health Conference: Treating Students K-12 sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance Physicians Organization.  Dr. Franklin presented on "Understanding Stereotype Threats to Achievement and Mental Health of African American Students."

Warrior Award photo

OCTOBER 4-7, 2016

Bermuda College, Southampton, Bermuda

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin received the distinguished Warrior Award on Friday, Oct. 7th at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education hosted in partnership with Bermuda College.  The award is an international distinction given to individuals who have provided longstanding service, commitment, and leadership focused on the “most difficult” challenges impacting Black males in education globally.  Dr. Franklin presented as a keynote speaker on Thursday, Oct. 6th with his session titled, "Invisibility Syndrome in the Psychoeducational Development of African American Males."

Click here to read the eColloquia article on Dr. Franklin's Warrior Award

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin presented a keynote address at Kente Circle Training Institute's event titled, "Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma".  The two-day training at Saint Mary's University in Minneapolis drew over 200 attendees which included social workers, therapists, youth workers, teachers, and other helping professionals.



Our mission is to support the work of Community Based Programs all over the nation, work with community partners in the community and to provide consultations to programs in need.

Nelson Chair Office aims to support the work of the exceptional community leaders and programs providing services to underserved populations and to provide training to the future educators and academics.  We aim to create a supportive network of exceptional community-based programs, expert consultants, and academics who have a shared commitment to valuable work in the community. Our mission aims to define best practices in addressing the multiple needs of inner-city youth and their parents. 

Alternative content


The Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair was created in 1995 in the honor of Judge David S. Nelson for an African-American professor who “reflects the educational aspirations and human qualities” of Judge Nelson, who graduated from Boston College in 1957, from Boston College Law School in 1960, and served on the Board of Trustees for five terms.

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Dr. Anderson J. Franklin, Director

Dr. Anderson J. Franklin has been holding the position since 2007. Dr. Franklin's interests focus on afterschool educational activities, and studying resilience and psychological well-being in African Americans.  His research focuses on developing his theory of the invisibility syndrome in Black males.  Dr. Franklin has worked with numerous agencies and groups on intervention programs with Black males, families and community initiatives. He lectures and consults with a variety of domestic and international organizations on diversity issues. He is co-author with Dr. Nancy Boyd-Franklin of Boys Into Men: Raising our African American Teenage Sons published by Dutton/Plume. His last book is From Brotherhood to Manhood: How Black Men Rescue Their Relationships and Dreams From the Invisibility Syndrome by John Wiley & Sons which was placed on Essence magazine best sellers list.

Dr. Franklin's publications and C.V.


David S. Nelson photo
David S. Nelson, 1933-1998

David S. Nelson was born in 1933 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to parents who were Jamaican natives. He received his B.S. from Boston College in 1957 and graduated from Boston College School of Law in 1960. Judge Nelson began his professional career with the Boston law firm of Crane, Inker and Oteri, where he worked until 1973. From 1968 to 1969, Judge Nelson served as a United States Commissioner for the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. In 1971, Judge Nelson became the first African-American to serve as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Massachusetts, as Chief of the Consumer Protection Division.

In 1973, he was appointed Justice of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Judge Nelson received the “Judge of the Year Award” from the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys in 1977. On March 23, 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Nelson as a judge to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, making him the first African- American to serve in this role. Judge Nelson was active in the community and at Boston College, where he served on the Board of Trustees for five terms and was its chairman from 1984–1987. In 1979, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from BC and served as the commencement speaker. In 1995, the University established the Honorable David S. Nelson Professional Chair, to be held by an African-American professor who reflects the “educational aspirations and human qualities,” which were prominent in Judge Nelson’s career and his civic involvement. Judge Nelson retired from the federal bench in 1995 and died on October 21, 1998.