Frank Leon Roberts is an educator and political organizer on the frontlines of the contemporary movement for black lives. He is currently on the faculty of New York University, where he taught the nation’s first Black Lives Matter college course. Frank is a founder of the #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus movement and is the creator of BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.com—a national community organizing project that provides resources for educators on how to teach BLM in university classroom settings.
His pioneering work as the “Black Lives Matter Professor” has been featured in Fader Magazine, The New York Times, NPR, CNN, The San Francisco Gate, CBS and a wide variety of other national media outlets. Outside of academia, Frank’s career as a grassroots political organizer has spanned nearly two decades. In 2004, he co-founded the National Black Justice Coalition with Barack Obama’s Harvard Law School classmate Keith Boykin.
He then went on to serve as the special assistant to legendary civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran, whom he worked with on the early legal movement for racial reparations. In 2015, for his career long commitment to doing racial justice activist work in an intersectional paradigm, he received the 2015 Bayard Rustin Award at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. A New York City native, he lives in Harlem.