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MARCH 2016

Dr. Gregory VincentMessage from Dr. Vincent

On Tuesday, March 8, we held our second annual Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper (GAAMBK) SXSWedu Community Dialogue event. Much has happened since we launched GAAMBK last year and it was exciting to share progress with the public.

At the SXSWedu event, we had the honor to hear from Michael Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper, who reminded us that the President believes there is nothing more important to the future of America than whether or not young men of color can achieve their dreams. That anecdote helped to put the day’s gathering and our mission into perspective.

This month I also had the honor of presenting James E. Payne with the first-ever Vice President’s University Interscholastic League (UIL) Excellence Award during the UIL basketball tournament in San Antonio. James is a close friend and was responsible for jumpstarting the national My Brother’s Keeper Initiative when he was at the head of Sigma Pi Phi, one of our nation’s most prominent fraternal organizations.

March also marks the end of Ixchel Rosal’s 12-year tenure with the university. Ixchel has been the director of the Gender and Sexuality Center for its entirety and currently serves as the executive director of Student Diversity Initiatives. We are grateful for her impressive contributions to the GSC, MEC and the Campus Climate Response Team. We wish Ixchel the best of luck as she assumes her new role as associate dean of students at Columbia University.

It’s hard to believe the 2015-16 academic year is nearing its end. Please consider joining us at one of our hosted or sponsored events this spring, we’d love to have you!

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law


Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper SXSWedu Community Dialogue – One Year Later

On Tuesday March 8th, The Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper (GAAMBK) Initiative held its second-annual SXSWedu Community Dialogue, One Year Later.

Led by co-chairs Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president of diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin and Mark Madrid, president and CEO, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, GAAMBK is a collaboration among city, county, university and other public and private organizations to enhance the health, well-being and prosperity for boys and men of color.

Collage of SXSWedu pictures

During the event, the new GAAMBK website was unveiled to the public as well as details on each of the six local priority subcommittees:

  • Early Education and Third Grade Reading levels
  • Middle School Education Initiatives
  • High School, College and Career Readiness
  • Post Secondary Education and Workforce Placement
  • Health Equity
  • Violence Prevention and Second Chance Programs

Greetings were provided by event hosts, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Mayor Adler, who said the stars were aligned to direct resources to create long lasting change, challenged the group to continue to push forward. “I like the idea of one year ago because it’s important to look back, but I want this to really be one year before. One year before we gather and we no longer are talking about ideas, but about what we have done and accomplished.”

From left to right: Ken Harris, Teddy McDaniel III, Michael Smith, Mayor Steve Adler, Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Dr. Leonard Moore
From left to right: Ken Harris, Teddy McDaniel III, Michael Smith, Mayor Steve Adler, Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Dr. Leonard Moore

Michael Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper provided the morning’s keynote as well as national perspective on other local MBK initiatives, including those in Philadelphia and Los Angeles County.

Attendees also heard from students during a panel moderated by AISD Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz. For many, hearing from the boys and young men was the highlight of the day.

Stay tuned for a final report to be released in early May. You can find more information by visiting GAAMBK.org.

Penn GSE Alumni Association to Honor Dr. Vincent

Dr. Vincent at SXSWeduDr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, is one of four University of Pennsylvania alumni who will be honored by the Penn Greaduate School of Education (GSE) Alumni Association on May 13. Dr. Vincent, who received his doctorate from Penn in 2004, has been named Penn GSE Educator of the Year. This award recognizes an outstanding graduate who demonstrates unusual involvement in and commitment to identifying and helping to resolve school problems and current issues in education.

The recipient of the award must be a dedicated educator who is an inspiration, risk-taker, innovator, and role model and who demonstrates a commitment to the betterment of GSE. In addition to serving as vice president, Dr. Vincent is a faculty member at the Texas Law School and the College of Education, and he is the W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community College Leadership.

The Penn Graduate School of Education is ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Its Higher Education division is ranked fourth in the nation. Read more about the GSE Alumni Awards.

The Project Delivers Again in Third Visit to Rundberg

Thr Project 2016

On February 27, more than 1,400 students volunteered at the 17th annual The Project, UT’s largest day of service. Students and volunteers worked on an array of neighborhood beatification projects at 19 work sites and 64 different projects across the Rundberg area – from painting hopscotch and four-square games in school play yards to sprucing up bridges and parks.

Organized by the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement, this year’s The Project produced over 8,900 volunteer hours with an economic impact of nearly $90,000.

James E. PayneUT and UIL Honor James E. Payne

The University of Texas at Austin and the University Interscholastic League (UIL)  honored James E. Payne, a partner in the Beaumont law firm Provost Umphrey on March 11. Payne received the first-ever Vice President’s UIL Excellence Award during the UIL Boys State Basketball Tournament in San Antonio.

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at UT Austin said, “We are pleased to honor James E. Payne with the inaugural Vice President’s UIL Award of Excellence. He has been an outstanding leader in Southeast Texas and has made his mark nationally as an exceptional leader of Sigma Pi Phi. His character, leadership and achievement reflect the goals of the UIL as they help young people strive for excellence.”

Payne was a UIL participant at Port Arthur Lincoln High School, where he played on the championship basketball team in 1986 under Coach James Gamble. In 2012 Payne was elected to serve as the youngest leader ever of Sigma Pi Phi one of the most prominent fraternal organizations in the nation. He led that organization, with more than 5,000 members, to take an active role in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address gaps faced by boys and young men of color. He is also active in the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Read more.

Vincent Young and T-Association Members Raise Money for NLP at Bowling Challenge

DDCE Engagement Officer Vincent Young and other former Longhorn athletes who are members of the T-Association, helped raise more than $45,000  to serve nearly 6,000 Title 1 students in Austin Independent School District through the Neighborhood Longhorns Program. They participated in the 6th Annual Bowling Challenge held Feb. 20, at Highland Lanes in Austin.

Vincent Young and young Austinites have fun at the bowling tourney.
Longhorn great and DDCE staff member Vincent Young and young Austinites have fun at the bowling tourney.

Agents of Change: Meet Sociology Professor Marcelo J. P. Paixão

Dr. Marcelo PaixãoDr. Marcelo Paixão, associate professor at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, is a researcher on the racial inequality in Brazil and the Latin American region.

Before arriving at UT Austin in 2015, he spent the past 20 years teaching at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Between 2006 and 2015, he coordinated the Laboratory of Analysis of Economics, Historical, Social and Statistics of the Race Relation (LAESER), which proved invaluable in the decision-making process of adopting affirmative action in Brazil.

We caught up with Dr. Paixão to learn more about his research as well as his transition from Brazil to the U.S.

Leaving his home country of Brazil… In 2012, I came to the United States as a visiting scholar at Princeton, which included work on the Project Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) and the book Pigmentocracy. My studies also took me to UT Austin to present at LLILAS. After returning to Brazil, I applied for a professorship and the rest is history. U.S. universities are such vibrant and challenging environments. Moreover, this is the capital of the world for debate and research on ethnic and racial relations. Thus far, I am happy and haven’t any reason to regret the move.

Studying racial inequity in Brazil… I produced and coordinated several studies on racial inequality, including the pioneer study that disaggregated the Human Development Index (HDI) of the racial groups in my country and revealed profound differences in socioeconomic conditions of whites, blacks, brown, and indigenous peoples in Brazil. Other studies analyzed and shed light on some important issues about racial inequality like violence, inequality in health and schooling, and access to higher education. For an American researcher, this may seem of little importance, but Brazil is a land of racial democracy, meaning that the perception is that there is not racism or discrimination. So when these studies outline not only the presence of racism, but its consequences on the social structure, we achieve great impact. Read more.

Place and Race Matter graphicMar. 29: Community Health Dialogue

Community Health Dialogue, Place and Race Matter:
Community-led Solutions to Achieve Health Equity
March 29, 2016  6-8 p.m.
Huston-Tillotson University – Agard Lovinggood Auditorium

Join us as we follow-up on last year’s Community Health Dialogue “How Healthy Is Your Zip Code?” in this year's “talk show” dialogue on current efforts to promote health equity in Central Texas, including the City of Austin’s equity tool, and other community-led efforts. Participants include Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas, Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman, Go Austin/Vamos Austin and the Latino Health Care Forum.

There will be time for group discussion around health equity and next steps. Dinner and child care will be provided. RSVP online.  See flier for more info.

Editors: Leslie Blair, Jessica Sinn. Web: Jason Molin

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