Over the past few weeks our Project MALES staff had the opportunity to share our work around issues affecting male students of color nationwide. Here are some of the highlights of the events and conversations we have been a part of.
On Friday March 6, 2015 Dr. Victor Sáenz participated in the 2015 Ohio Latino Education Summit as one of the keynote speakers. The annual event is sponsored by the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission and is hosted by the University of Akron. This year’s theme was “Milestones for Success”. The event brought together school administrators, teachers, parents, policymakers, and agencies with one goal in mind, to continue supporting Latino students in achieving their educational milestones for success. Dr. Sáenz spoke about the imperative of improving educational outcomes for Latino males and shared work about Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color.
Dr. Enrique Romo, Director for Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color participated in this year’s College Board Prepárate conference in New Orleans, held on March 9-10. Each year the event attracts educators, administrators, legislators and policy makers, and support staff representing all grade levels and institutions across the nation. Dr. Romo had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about how men of color prepare young men of color for college and career success.
On March 10th, 2015 Dr. Sáenz joined Austin educators, city government officials, philanthropists, community and non-profit leaders for a discussion on the lives of our city’s boys and young men of color. The conversation, “Austin Aligns for Boys and Young Men of Color: A City-wide Conversation about President Obama’s Initiative, My Brother’s Keeper,” was part of this years South by Southwest Education Expo. This event was co-sponsored by Austin Community College, Austin Independent School District, Huston-Tillotson University, KLRU-TV, the Mayor of the City of Austin, and The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Sáenz joined other local educational leaders in a panel discussion, the conversation dealt around issues affecting male students of color at the local, state, and national level. In addition, panelist had the opportunity to share what they see is the greatest challenge young men of color face in Austin, including sharing the programs and initiatives their institution has established with young men of color in mind.
Recently Dr. Victor Sáenz participated in the tenth annual national conference of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) held in Frisco, Texas on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 12-14, 2015. This years theme was “The Decade Ahead: Inquire, Innovate, Impact” “La próxima década: Investigar, Innovar, Impactar”
This year Dr. Sáenz participated in two sessions, the first was an AAHHE pre-conference session on Latino males titled “Re-Conceptualizing the Latino Male Educational Imperative: A Journey through the Dimensions of Data, Policy, Critical Inquiry, and Practice.” The discussion centered around four major topics around male students of color; exploring the complex dimensions of empirical research; proposing emerging theoretical frameworks; evaluating innovative new approaches and best practices; and engaging with local/state/federal policymakers.
The second session was titled “Forward Thinking, Forward Acting: Addressing the Men of Color Gender Achievement Gap through a Strategic Statewide Partnership.” The session offered an interactive discussion of the persistent Latino and African American male educational achievement gap as well as showcased promising strategies for addressing this growing state and national imperative. Panelist also shared their experiences as part of the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color Consortium, including the progress their institutions have made through their partnership in the Consortium, benefits they have seen in participating in a large statewide network, and future plans for addressing the male students of color attrition rates.
The team will be busy presenting until the end of the spring semester. Their next presentation is at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, taking place April 16-20, in Chicago, Illinois. We look forward to engaging with our local, state, and nation wide partners to continue the critical dialogue around issues impacting young men of color.