This past month, on August 8 and 9, Project MALES hosted its 6th annual Texas Male Student Leadership Summit at the Student Activities Center (SAC) and Patton Hall (RLP) on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Our Student Leadership Summit is focused on serving students who are participants in male student empowerment programs on their campus in middle or high school, community college, or four-year university. Participating educational institutions are members of the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color. The Consortium is one of three initiatives that make up Project MALES, along with our Project MALES Mentoring Program and our Research Institute.
Students and staff who attended the Summit heard from keynote speakers and workshop presenters on topics and themes that ranged from college readiness and preparation, brotherhood and accountability, academic and community leadership, identities and masculinities, and in general heard from a range of presenters who shared an array of strategies of how to successfully navigate the world as a man of color, especially with the support of allies and advocates and mentors within their schools and local communities.
On Thursday, the first day of the Summit we kicked off activities with an official “Welcome” from Dr. Leonard Moore, Vice President of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), and Paul Cruz, AISD Superintendent. Our featured keynote speakers on Thursday included
Maximo Anguiano, thought leader and motivational speaker, Ernesto Mejia with CoolSpeak, and SaulPaul, local musician who mixes musical performance with messages of academic and personal empowerment. Saul Paul led our spoken word, poetry, and cultural arts reception, one of the highlights of our Summit.
On Friday, our day started with a presentation by Dr. Charles Martinez, Dean of the College of Education at UT Austin, and followed with our Student Leadership Panel
where student leaders from around the state shared powerful testimonials about overcoming challenges on their campus and in their communities to succeed academically and in their personal lives. Many also shared stories about how they are impacted while here at the Summit. One student from Windham High School in Houston said he came to “gain tools and information to push myself forward. I want to become a better person so that I can also motivate my peers back home to do the same.” Many of the other students on the panel shared similar sentiments and spoke of how the Leadership Summit empowers and motivates them to return to their campuses and implement lessons learned here at the event.
This year for the very first time we live streamed the event on our Project MALES Facebook website where you can check out highlights of the Summit, including our keynote addresses, spoken work reception, and many of the workshop presentations.
For more information about Project MALES, please visit our website athttp://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/, our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ProjectM.A.L.E.S/?ref=br_rs, and Twitter/Instagram @projectmales.