Black Student Success Week

By Adonia Burciaga

Black Student Success Week is to provide resources to provide enough resources to African American Students to fulfill their brilliance at community college.

Eric Handy, the Interim Dean of Student Engagement and Completion at American River College shared encouragement on how certain campuses should be to help African American students fulfill their brilliance at their campuses. “We are equity-minded, but the whole institution, all of the academic units, our resources allocations, our student services must be centered around the whole student experience,”  said Handy.

Handy also said that students should show they belong in these places of higher education by performing well academically. 

Senator Steven Bradford, who represents the 35th District wants to eradicate the number of African American encounters with law enforcement and increase the number of African American students in community colleges or universities.

“According to the National Center of Education statistics only 36% of black male students complete their bachelor’s degrees within 6 years compared to white students,” said Bradford.

Dr. Christopher Nellum the Executive Director of The Education Trust-West, created the Black Minds Matter in 2015 to honor black students, live up to their progressive values and reverse racial inequities.

The Black Minds Matter Movement had students in Sacramento advocating for better education. 

Since then the Black Minds Matter Movement has grown stronger and created an impact that San Diego State University‘s College of Education introduced a Black Minds Matter Course. 

Nellum shared that early education is limited, only 16% of Black Four-year-olds are enrolled in California Transitional (TK) classrooms and there are about 25, 670 black four-year-olds in California. 

“What we can do is force conversations about black students, racism and remedies. Use “black minds matter” to ignite conversations and change in our communities and advocate for policy change,” said Nellum.

David O’Brien the Vice-Chancellor and Government relations for California Community College shared what he’s been advocating for Black Students. 

“We have three main priorities for college affordability for Black Students. We are hoping that this year we can pass the Cal Grant Equity Framework (AB 1746), the Cal Grant discriminates against the type of students that we should be supporting the most. AB 1746 will add 10,000 new students to the Cal Grant roles who are eligible” said O’Brien

Dr. Nyree Berry, Professor of Sociology, closed off the meeting with a call for action, “they like our rhythm but not our blues” Berry said. People love to participate in the culture but they do not want to participate in the responsibility and suffering it is to be black. She wants the younger generation to “apply pressure” to demand they want student success.

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