REPOST FROM NEWS10.NET:

DAVIS, CA – It was billed as the Boys and Men of Color Summit at UC Davis played host to over 100 young men, treating them to educational workshops on male identity, ethnic history and higher education.

The hope was to inspire the youth themselves to help come up with solutions to a growing problem in schools today.  Across the state, nearly one of every five African American students and one in 14 Latino students was suspended at least once in 2009-10.  That compares with one in 17 of white students.

A California Department of Education report showed that while minority students only made up 18 percent of a recent study, they accounted for 35 percent of the number of students suspended once and 39 percent of those expelled.

“[The idea of the summit] basically started with a lot of conversation,” Summit Coordinator, Fong Tran said. “The California Endowment which is a foundation that’s really supported this work saw an overall concern with  …  statistics in terms of dropouts, in terms of incarceration, HIV rates, health disparities.”

Those behind the event say it’s just the beginning.

“Today is the starting point,” Center for Fathers and Families, Rick Jennings said. “It’s a summit where we have 100 plus boys and men of color here so that they can begin the change we all want to see.  So we can hear their voices as to what needs to take place in education, what needs to take place in health reform, what needs to take place in the prison system.  We want to hear what they have to say.  We want for them to be the leaders.”

by Jonathan Mumm, jmumm@news10.net