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NBC's Education Nation Forum to Mark Anniversary of Baltimore Death, Unrest

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NBC News Education Nation, which retreated from its annual splashy New York City confabs on school issues after 2013, has been quietly focusing on something called the Parent Toolkit. That's a collection of mostly soft education features such as "how to get kids moving" and "talking to kids about emotions."

But next week, Education Nation is teaming with NBC's Baltimore affiliate, WBAL-TV, for a slightly grittier project—a two-hour forum timed to the anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray. 

The 25-year-old African-American man died April 19, 2015, seven days after falling into a coma during a ride in a Baltimore Police van while in custody for allegedly carrying an illegal switchblade. Demonstrations following Gray's death turned destructive. Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in relation to the death.

"The death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed had a profound impact on the city as a whole, but especially on its students," says the description of panel titled "Education as Empowerment." 

"With the one-year anniversary of the event approaching, this panel will look at how schools and the community are helping Baltimore students not only move forward, but feel empowered," the Education Nation release says.

NBC News Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis will moderate the panels, joined by WBAL education reporter Tim Tooten. Other panels will address parent involvement, student health, emotional and social development, school equity, and higher education.

The forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art's Meyerhoff Auditorium. The forum will be live-streamed on ParentToolkit.com and NBCLearn.com, and will be broadcast live in Baltimore on WBAL.

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