USC & UCLA Align 4 Black Excellence In Higher Education

Dakar was invited by Jay Tucker to cover the Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education Summit. Saturday February 7th.  This Black History Month event featured Stakeholder Perspectives, Trends Impacting Competitive College Readiness and Completion, and Dynamics in Highly Selective Institutions.  Click below to see the full program, almost 4 hours of spirited exchange.

The speakers included David J. Johns from the White House’s Initiative on AA Excellence in Education and George McKenna from LA School Board, and was hosted by USC and UCLA Alumni, Ebony Magazine, And the White House!

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans was represented by David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative Staff, US Department of Education.  Johns hosted a forum to increase awareness and develop recommendations directed towards improving higher education access for African Americans.

The primary objective of President Obama’s initiative is  to increase college access and success for African American students, especially at the research institutional level, and to provide regional support to help ensure a greater percentage of African Americans complete college and contribute to the goal of having America lead the world in the proportion of adults who are college graduates by 2020.

While the 2012 Executive Order for Educational Excellence for African Americans is in large part focused upon strategies to strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of African American students, including community colleges andHistorically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),

Although the panels were energy charged, the projected outcome of the events was  to provide feedback regarding how highly selective Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and research universities factor into this initiative regarding Black students.  The USC and UCLA Black Alumni Association collaboration made great strides in filling this gap through spirited conversation yesterday.

Mr. David Johns was very pointed in his analysis of next steps, one quote in particular struck me ‘What does it mean to acknowledge that the University of Phoenix enrolls more Black students than the Cal State and UC systems combined?

We want to thank our friend Jay Tucker, and recognize everyone who had a hand in putting this event together.  I truly enjoyed watching the Livestream feed over and over again.  I just wish there were more people reached for this important conversation.  Mr. David Johns shut it down with his statement “”I have never in my life met a child who was not a genius.”



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