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SDCOE Hosts First Black Student Summit for Middle Schoolers

SDCOE Hosts First Black Student Summit for Middle Schoolers
Black Student Summit planning comm members Dr. Felicia Singleton, Nelika-Fai Watson, Jenée Peevy, and Dr. Leilah Kirkendoll

Early on a Wednesday morning in mid-April, employees from across SDCOE greeted approximately 250 middle school students at the inaugural Black Student Summit.

The purpose of the summit was to increase student, parent, and community excellence through education, culture, empowerment, values, and purpose. The event theme was: Our Voice, Our Power, Our Future. This summit addressed the achievement of Black students in K-12 and beyond, in addition to educating students about the Black diaspora experience by engaging them in interactive sessions related to college preparation, leadership, social justice, and black empowerment.

“This event has been a true collaboration with teams from across the organization, as well as community organizations throughout San Diego County,” said SDCOE Community Engagement Specialist LaShae Sharp-Collins. “It’s gratifying to see so many parts of SDCOE come together to support and uplift our young Black students, most of whom are coming from underserved communities.”

The summit was sponsored by the Association of African American Educators, National College Resource Foundation, San Diego Community College District Continuing Education, and SDCOE.

After an inspiring keynote opening by SchoolYard Rap Founder and musical artist Griot B, students rotated through a variety of breakout sessions. They were able to learn about career technical education and college life from a student panel featuring students from San Diego State University, Black community issues and history, historically Black colleges and universities, mental health, and getting the most out of educational opportunities.

“In our quest for equity, it is important for us to bring meaningful opportunities to communities and students who have been historically marginalized,” said SDCOE Equity Executive Director Dr. Talisa Sullivan. “When we open up the world to students and show them their possibilities, we create a better future for them and our region.”

SDCOE is already planning next year's Black Student Summit with teams from across the organization to support the whole student. 

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