The Modesto Junior College African American Education Conference is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Avenue, Modesto. The free conference is for students ages 13 – 21 and geared toward encouraging them to stay in school, plan for college and develop skills that will ensure student success. Parents are encouraged to attend as well. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and conference admission and parking are free, and a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch are included.
The keynote speakers are Christopher P. Chatmon,executive director of the Office of African American Male Achievement for the Oakland Unified School District, and Jeri Marshall, coordinator of American River College’s UMOJA-Sakhuprogram for student success.
The conference includes the following workshops:
Advocates for Justice - Jacq and Jacque Wilson share their journey growing up and overcoming challenges with the help of advocates
Black Men and Black Women - A look at what it means to be Black in the 21st Century, and how various media images translate into Black masculinity and femininity
Hip Hop Culture: Past, Present, and Future – a discussion of Hip Hop’s influence on popular culture
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships - guidance on developing healthy relationships and recognizing signs of unhealthy ones
Still I Rise - examining the ideas of hope and resilience and their implications for being a leader within your school.
Voices Against the Majority - literary voices that have challenged conversations about race and identity formation
MJC Orientation - Information on MJC resources; financial aid and tips for being successful at MJC and beyond
Parents of College Students - How to help your child prepare for the challenges of college life
In response to declining graduation rates of minority students while the suspension and expulsion rates increased among Black students, the Oakland Unified School District appointed Christopher Chatmon to work directly with school principals on these issues. Chatmon went from vision to action, and today the Office of African American Male Achievement is leveraging community partnerships, researching and implementing best instructional practices and paving the way for reforms that will affect school systems for generations.
UMOJA (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community and critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. Jeri Marshall, working with the state-wide UMOJA Community and the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, conducts Learning Community cohorts for youth-of-color as part of the Student Success and Equity Initiative. Marshall is a human career development professor at American River College. He also works as a faculty member in the Counseling Department. Marshall studies and teaches Reggae, Black History, Hip Hop and politics. Later this year, he will officially kick-off the new Modesto Junior College UMOJA program of the new RISE UPMulticultural Center and Student Lounge.
For additional information call the Office of Campus Life and Student Learning at (209) 575-6700.