Education Summit Focuses on African-American Students

The educational challenges and opportunities facing African-American students are the subject of an all-day summit Feb. 14 at the Merket Alumni Center on the Texas Tech University campus

The educational challenges and opportunities facing African-American students are the subject of an all-day summit Feb. 14 at the Merket Alumni Center on the Texas Tech University campus.

The African-American Education Summit is part of an effort to empower the African-American community throughout West Texas by addressing issues ranging from student underachievement to strengthening the pipeline of African-American students through college and into graduate school. The African-American Leadership Forum, Lubbock Independent School District and the Texas Tech Office of Institutional Diversity will host the summit.

The African-American Education Summit is an outgrowth of discussions begun during meetings of the Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance’s African-American Enrollment Task Force, coordinated by the Special Assistant for Institutional Diversity Juan S. Munoz.

"This program illustrates Texas Tech’s unprecedented commitment to educational equity and the meaningful preparation of African-American students throughout the K-16 pipeline," said Munoz

The program is divided into two sections that will run concurrently.

The first: "Meeting of the Minds," will bring together educators, lawmakers, parents and other interested individuals to look at obstacles that are preventing African-American students from achieving academic success as well as examining strategies that have resulted in their success. The sessions will allow for an exchange of ideas and a forum to analyze students readiness for school and their desires to go to college. Speakers include Jawanza Kunjufu, author of "State of Emergency: We Must Save our African-American Males," and nationally known motivational speaker; Gregory Vincent, vice president of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas.

The second section is entitled "Saving Our Selves/Saving Our Students." This program is geared to students and will include a survey of the attendees to determine their education views and goals. This program features a presentation by Clara Spriggs Adams, author of "College or Not? It’s Your Choice," a Hip Hop motivational presentation, an educational and career fair. The event concludes with a presentation by nationally known author and activist Nikki Giovanni.

On Feb. 15, a second education seminar, "If it is to be, It is up to me," will be held at the Lubbock Independent School District Central Office. Jawanza Kunjufu, author of "State of Emergency: We Must Save our African American Males," and nationally known motivational speaker will conduct a two-part workshop on "Educating Black and Hispanic Males." State Sen. Royce West of Dallas will deliver a speech focusing on the state of education in Texas.

For more information on either conference, visit www.westtexasasaaes.org for complete agendas and information on speakers.

CONTACT: Richard Baker, assistant managing director, Texas Tech Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, at (806) 742-3627 or via e-mail at rich.baker@ttu.edu.