MSU to host state symposium on African-American male youth
The Michigan State University College of Education is co-hosting a statewide forum on the challenges facing African-American male youth May 10-11 in the Erickson Hall Kiva.
The two-day “State Symposium on African-American Male Youth” is the first Michigan event of its kind, and organizers hope the ideas and solutions discussed will lead to the creation of a state commission focused specifically the success of African-American boys.
MSU professor of educational administration Christopher Dunbar will be a facilitator. He is member of the Lansing Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Alpha Chi Boule, which is presenting the event.
“Some have described this as a crisis,” Dunbar said, referring to the disproportionately low high school graduation rates and high incarceration rates of African American males. “On the heels of Trayvon (Martin’s) untimely death and youth being targeted because of what they wear, we are at a critical point where those of us who are responsible adults have to come together to figure out what should be done to support these kids.”
The first day of the symposium will give high school males — up to 60 invited from across the state — an opportunity to discuss the issues themselves, with breakout sessions focused on education, health, juvenile justice and employment. The second day will bring together key leaders such as State Superintendent Michael Flanagan and Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee to continue exploring solutions in those areas.
Other MSU scholars are expected to participate or make presentations, including College of Education doctoral student Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker and author.
The symposium is co-sponsored by the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the Ingham County Health Department, the Uplift Our Youth Foundation, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Michigan Association of School Boards.
It starts at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 10 and ends at 5 p.m. Friday, May 11.