The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color is hosting its 5th Annual Leadership Summit on August 9-10, 2018 at the University of Texas at Austin. The consortium is a state-wide collaboration with a mission to implement and sustain effective policies, programs and practices focused on increasing individual success and post-secondary completion for male students of color. It seeks to align and coordinate existing programs and services that target underrepresented male students from middle school through college. The core values of the consortium are: student empowerment, collective knowledge, culture of evidence, educational achievement, and scale and sustainability.
The Leadership 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 Keynote Speakers
Dr. César Cruz
From marching 76-straight miles, to hunger striking for 26 days, César has dedicated his life to fighting for justice. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and migrated to the U.S. at a young age with a single mother, and grandmother. César graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in History. He has been an educator for 22 years, in positions of leadership for the last 17 years, most recently serving 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. Amidst all, he is proudest to be a husband, and father of three children: Olin, Amaru and Quetzali.
Dr. Ryan Sutton
His 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. Ryan 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.
The proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barreì 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 bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University.
Dr. Patrick Valdez
Is an accomplished higher education executive with 20 years of experience in developing and executing academic and student success programs. He has served as the Dean of the Undergraduate College and Associate Professor of the College of Mount St. Vincent in New York City since 2014. Dr. Valdez is currently Chief Executive Officer of the University of New Mexico’s branch campus in Taos, New Mexico. Dr. Valdez is a graduate of St. Edward’s University with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, a master’s degree in student personnel administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Texas Male Student Leadership Summit Themes
This semester our mentors came together and collaborated on defining our themes that are part of our critical mentoring curriculum. We have a total of five themes including “Identity” which we will be introducing at this year’s summit.
Brotherhood is defined as a network and/or group bounded by shared values, principles, attitudes, and beliefs. These networks and/groups aim to challenge and empower their members in positive ways, and to hold each other accountable to these values and beliefs so they can collectively impact their local communities in positive and empowering ways.
We define leadership in an individual and collective sense, as a person or groups who have the necessary qualities to be an example in multiple spaces: at home, in school, and in their communities. Leaders develop the ability to persevere and accept the support and input of others to work cohesively towards a common goal.
College & Career Readiness:
We define college and career readiness as being academically and socially prepared to succeed in college and career. College and career readiness ensures that students have the tools, skills, and abilities to succeed and excel academically in school. Students should be able to translate these skills and abilities to succeed and excel in the workplace.
Health & Wellness:
We define health and wellness as promoting healthy relationships amongst our students. Achieving health and wellness requires taking the initiative to improve our health holistically, and includes but it is not limited to students’ physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health and well-being.
We define identity as the unique aspects that make individuals, in all their complexity, who they are rather than necessarily how they are defined by society and the media. We promote positive self-identity development by creating safe spaces for students to examine their own experiences and identities and to allow them to freely express it. Understanding identity development in its multiple expressions allows for students to understand themselves, their experiences, and how they relate to other diverse individuals and communities around them.
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