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•

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