We are less than twenty-four hours away from the 5th Annual Male Student Leadership Summit. The Summit will bring approximately 400 young male students of color, their mentors and teachers to UT Austin to participate in two days of workshops, professional exchange, and career development. Sessions will feature, discussions around social justice and the law enforcement system, male mentoring research and best practices, and health and wellness topics. We will also feature a student panel, and a poetry/spoken word session made up of student leaders attending. Participants will include African American and Latino business leaders, researchers and educators as well as student leaders from across the state.
2018 Texas Male Student Leadership Summit Featured Speakers
Dr. César Cruz
Homies Empowerment Program
Dr. César Cruz has dedicated his life to fighting for justice—from marching 76-straight miles to hunger striking for 26 days. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and migrated to the United States at a young age with a single mother and grandmother. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in history. He has been an educator for 22 years, serving in positions of leadership for the last 17 years, most recently as the Dean of Secondary Schools Program at Harvard University. For the last four years, he has overseen the Homies Empowerment Program serving gang- impacted/involved youth in Oakland, CA. He is the author of two books, “Revenge of the Illegal Alien,” and “Bang for Freedom.” He received his doctorate in educational leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, becoming the first Mexican immigrant male to do so. Of all his accomplishments, he is proudest to be a husband and father of three children: Olin, Amaru and Quetzali.
Dr. Ryan Sutton
Director of the African American Male Research Initiative (AAMRI)
The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Ryan Sutton’s expertise around the mental health issues of African American youth is fundamental to our work with Sigma Pi Phi Faternity on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin. Sutton earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Howard University in the field of Counseling Psychology. He received clinical experience at Tree of Life Public Charter School, D.C. Jail, Howard University Counseling Services and various community-based mental health centers. Sutton has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at numerous national conferences on the areas of academic achievement, juvenile justice and mental health among Black males. He completed his doctoral internship at the District of Columbia Superior Court, Child Guidance Clinic, where he was responsible for forensic psychological testing, therapy and research.
Speaker and Parental Engagement Expert, CoolSpeak
Ernesto Mejia, the proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barré Syndrome at the age of 16 that left him temporarily paralyzed, he was not supposed to be a successful student, much less a College Dean of Students. Through his hardships, Mr. Mejia learned to never give up on life. A founding member of the Student Leadership Inspired by Consuelo Kickbusch (SLiCK) program, Mr. Mejia now speaks to students, parents and teachers about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on the American dream: education. He holds a B.A. in Spanish language and literature from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lewis University.
Master of Ceremonies
Dr. Patrick Valdez
Chief Executive Officer
University of New Mexico-Taos Branch
Patrick Valdez is an accomplished higher education executive with 20 years of experience in developing and executing academic and student success programs. He is beginning his second year as CEO of the University of New Mexico-Taos Branch. He previously served as the dean of the Undergraduate College and associate professor of the College of Mount St. Vincent in New York City. Dr. Valdez is currently the chief executive officer of the University of New Mexico’s branch campus in Taos, New Mexico. Nationally, Dr. Valdez has conducted research on the challenges facing first-generation college students. In addition, he has given presentations on topics such as executive leadership, African American faculty at tier one universities, underrepresented students in STEM, and bridging the gap between higher education and the community. His current research focuses on the policy formation of Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) legislation and the role that HSIs will play in educating the nation’s fastest growing student population.
Invited Artist Third Root
We are excited that Third Root will be performing at our 5th Annual Texas Male Student Leadership Summit. Third Root is a Hip-Hop project that consists of Easy Lee (Charles Peters), Mexican StepGrandfather (Marco Cervantes), and DJ Chicken George (DJCG). Peters is a poet, emcee, and educator. Cervantes is a producer, emcee, and Ph.D. who teaches courses which incorporate Hip Hop at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and DJCG is a world renowned DJ, musicologist, designer & Jazztronica! Peddler.
Both Easy and MexStep are integral parts of the San Antonio music scene in their own right but joined forces to craft a socially and culturally conscious LP titled “Stand For Something” in 2012. Third Root and DJ Chicken George followed up their debut album with the “Mind Elevation Mixtape” in January of 2013. Third Root then released “Revolutionary Theme Music” – an album produced entirely by Greg G – in 2014. Their third full length album, “Libertad,” arrived in 2016. The project, produced entirely by Grammy Award winner Adrian Quesada, is a powerful body of work that reflects the times we’re living in.
Following an extensive and successful campaign in support of “Libertad”, Third Root returns with the first installment of a new series they’ve coined “Trill Pedagogy”. The series is designed to build upon their reputation as scholar emcees by releasing four EPs that mirror most college academic calendars. Trill Pedagogy: Summer Semester is the first release of the series. Digital EPs for Fall Semester, Winter Flex, and Spring Semester will follow and eventually all four will be combined into one full length LP for fans who wish to own the complete collection on vinyl. While produced by frequent collaborator Adrian Quesada, “Summer Semester” introduces a more intense and energetic sonic approach to complement the group’s evolving chemistry and increasingly urgent songwriting.
2018 Male Student Leadership Summit Sponsors
The 2018 Texas Male Student Leadership Summit is sponsored by the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, an initiative of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, with additional support from the following partners and sponsors:
For the 2018 Texas Male Student Leadership Summit Program Click here.