Jan 25, 2008

El Camino to host Black Caucus Conference

Hundreds of students of African Descent expected to attend

Hundreds of community college student leaders of African Descent are expected to attend the 10th Annual Black Caucus Leadership Conference (ABCLC) being held at El Camino College in Torrance Feb. 15-16, 2008.
This year’s conference theme is "Sankofa: Honoring our past, celebrating the present, building our future," commemorating the organization’s history and growing legacy. The Black Caucus is a statewide student run advocacy organization for community college students of African Descent, and other under served populations.
The first two conferences were held at El Camino College in 1999 and 2000 and nearly 1,500 students have experienced the conference since.
"When you look at all of the past conferences and the development of our organization, the historical significance of this conference is amazing," said Black Caucus President Marlene C. Hurd, who was elected at last year’s conference at Laney College in Oakland. "It is as if we are revisiting all our past struggles, accomplishments, and conference themes, and are in the future now–but we still have work to do."
The conference features a weekend filled with inspiring keynote speakers, enlightening entertainment and empowering presentations.
This year’s keynote speakers are Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Assembly Member Mervyn Dymally, and Board of Governors Member Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith.
Education sessions empower student leaders of African ancestry, feature successful models and practices that build community on campus and foster community outreach and involvement, address development issues of Afro-centric organizations at community colleges.
"The conference occurs each year during Black History Month and is scheduled during the Presidents Day weekend so students can have a substantive leadership and cultural experience without missing classes," said Black Caucus Advisor Don Dorsey, dean of students at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Previous conference locations include: College of Alameda and Merritt College (2001); Fresno City College (2002); Compton College (2003); Foothill College (2004); Santa Monica College (2005); Modesto Junior College (2006); Laney College (2007. Next year’s conference will be in Central California.
"It is an amazing opportunity for our students to gain knowledge about their history and culture," said Hurd, "and it’s so powerful they’ll go back to their campuses to get involved." •H•

Black Caucus to elect officers

New Executive Board to begin term in July


The Black Caucus will elect officers to its’ Executive Board Saturday, Feb. 16 at the afternoon General Assembly of the 10th Annual Black Caucus Leadership Conference (ABCLC) at El Camino College.
Elections will be held Saturday afternoon during the General Assembly. Positions include President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Northern Region Chair, Central Region Chair, Southern Region Chair, and Communications Officer.
"Being an officer of the Black Caucus has given me opportunities I would not have had otherwise," said Secretary Reginald James. "I’ve learned different leadership skills, built my self-confidence, and I have developed a network with other positive people throughout the country."
"The Black Caucus saved my life," he added.
Former Black Caucus VP and Southern Region Chair, Joel Francis said, "It is an honor to be able to represent students at the state level. There is a voice that needs to be heard and you can be that voice." Francis is now the student body president at California State University L.A. and California. State Student Association (CCSA) VP of External Affairs.
Eligible students must have a minimum five units at a community college, a 2.0 G.P.A. and must attend a Caucus member school.
"If I could do it," said Hurd, "you can too." •H•