The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color hosted the fifth annual Texas Male Student Leadership Summit at the University of Texas at Austin on August 9-10, 2018, where we introduced our fifth theme: “Identity”. Over 400 young men of color and professionals attended, representing school districts, community colleges, and universities from across the state of Texas.
Our featured keynote speakers were Dr. Cesar Cruz, Director of Homies Empowerment Network, and Dr. Ryan M. Sutton, director of the African American Male Research Initiative. We also held a variety of workshops organized under the five themes—Leadership, Brotherhood, Health Wellness, College/Career Readiness, and Identity. Session topics included: understanding the lived experiences of minority students and the school-to-prison pipeline, framing identity to reclaiming one’s self, restorative practices in schools, succeeding as a first-generation college student, and leadership, brotherhood, and family and others.
On Friday, our program highlighted a “Student Leadership Panel” with several young male student representatives from Consortium partner institutions who shared their powerful testimonial stories on the obstacles and successes they had as men of color on their campuses. Additionally, we had a successful professional networking opportunity for our students through our Career and Education Fair that brought together professional and educational institutions from across the state of Texas. In our Thursday night Reception and Open Mic session, Third Root, a local hip-hop project based in Austin and San Antonio, performed our closing ceremony for the first day as several students shared their experiences in creative pieces afterward. We also presented our inaugural outstanding program awards to Prairie View A&M University, La Joya ISD, and San Antonio College in recognition of their Minority Male Programs and their participation as Consortium founding members. More details are forthcoming about our first-ever awardees.