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Hundreds of Students of Color to Convene at UT Leadership Summit

By Jessica Sinn

image of summit

image of summit More than 200 students from school districts, community colleges and universities across Texas will participate in the third annual UT Male Student Leadership Summit Aug. 11-12 at the University of Texas at Austin. The event is hosted by the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Austin.

In an effort to prepare male students of color for academic and career success, the two-day summit will feature an array of professional development workshops, seminars and speaker events. All activities revolve around three themes: college and career readiness, leadership development and brotherhood.

The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, a unit within Project MALES, aims to leverage its members’ collective expertise and advance research on best practices to improve educational outcomes for male students of color. The goal of the summit, in large part, is to build a robust social and professional network of male students of color across Texas high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions.

image of summit “The opportunity gap for young men of color is the crisis of our time,” said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president of diversity and community engagement at UT Austin.  “These young men are more likely to attend underserved and under-resourced schools and share a number of race-based and socioeconomic obstacles to higher education. Narrowing the gender gap for educational attainment among students of color is not just a statewide priority but also a national imperative, and we are honored that we can support this cause.”

The consortium’s efforts in bridging the achievement gap were recognized with by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating (THEC) Board. Last July, the program was presented with the THEC’s Recognition of Excellence Award at a state-wide board meeting.

Featured speakers and sessions include:

  • Ernesto Mejia, vice president and CSO for Coolspeak
  • Luis Ponjuan, associate professor of Higher Education Administration, Texas A&M University
  • A panel of student leaders from consortium-member school districts, community colleges and universities

“We are honored that UT Austin is hosting this event for a third year, an event which has gathered the attention of the White House’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative,” said Dr. Victor B. Sáenz, executive director of the consortium and an associate professor at UT Austin. This summit will continue to build a strong legacy of engaged male student leaders across the state of Texas.

On July 21, 2016 this consortium was honored with the Recognition of Excellence Award at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board meeting.

The summit is closed to the public. Reporters are welcome.