Black Excellence in Higher Education Conference

*University of Southern California’s (USC) Black Alumni Association will once again host an academic forum on March 25, at the Marina del Rey Marriott from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm PT.

The Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education (ABEHE) Summit II: The Compass is a think tank symposium regarding student, alumni, and community success. The event, which you can also stream online, will highlight information and research to better inform social dialogues and advocacy regarding equitable success opportunities distinctly for African American students at the research institutional level.

Some of the topics, questions and themes that will be explored at the event:

  • What does current research indicate about the impacts of race in the institutional classroom and research setting, and how should findings impact diversity and inclusion programs?
  • What biases and practices remain unexamined and how should new solutions be engaged?
  • How should students and families best prepare for 21st century career pipelines?
  • What barriers remain for generational success—even with a college degree?
  • How do stress and aging disparities affect institutional diversity and inclusion success?

“We have so many diverse panelists. We have topics ranging from “Does Race Matter?” to collective outreach and involvement,” said Tensie Taylor, the Assistant Director of the USC Black Alumni Association.

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Black Alumni Association

Photo source: Facebook

EUR/Electronic Urban Report spoke to Tensie ahead of the event to learn more about the summit’s mission and overall takeaway message, and why campus events such as this are vital. She also explains how you can participate even if you live outside of California.

“The message overall is that we want to educate our students, student alumni and people in attendance on how to be more holistic,” Taylor said. “That’s why we have those different topics on health and wellness and education and building legacy and financial gain. And then to be in a room of black faculty and staff, educators, black doctors, black entrepreneurs — people who are successful and who traveled down the road. Many of the panelists are USC alumni and so they can give sagacious words to those in attendance on how to be a great student, how to transition from that student life to alumni, or those people who are alumni or adults that are attending, how to become better networkers. How to be more effective and how to build your network, because when you build your network that builds your net worth,” she explained.

“So it’s just an opportunity to takeaway all of this information to increase dialogue. It takes a village and the more information we know, the better that we can grow and continue ourselves educationally. We really want those people who attend to take away a plethora of information on how to better themselves and use this information to continue the conversation at their workplace, at their institutions…just keep the conversation going.”

Taylor herself will “co-lead a session on mentoring and leadership development.”

“Patrice Washington, who’s a bestselling author, is going to present the keynote during our lunch and her topic will be about Finding Success By Framing Your Own Cultural Value. We have other topics on financial legacy and wealth, and then health issues that we as people in the black community need to discuss.”

Curious individuals who wish to live stream the event today should hit up Facebook, where some of the panels and sessions will be shared.

“Now that Facebook has Facebook live it makes it that much easier. So for people who are not physically able to come, you can go to our Facebook page: uscbaa, and watch some of the sessions, the opening session, the lunch portion session and different breakout sessions online. That’s the great thing about technology, you don’t have to physically be there, you can do it virtually. We won’t broadcast the whole thing but we will have various snippets of the sessions because we have so many breakout sessions we’re not able to do all of it at once.”

Should you wish to follow up with questions after the live stream, “We provide our email addresses and people can email us about panelists… because after the summit, this is not the end of it. We want to keep the conversation going just to enlighten as many people as we can.”

Tickets are nearly sold out and Tensie says it’s best to purchase them online rather than risk trying to buy at the door. For more information visit: http://fightonline.usc.edu/baasummit.

“Events like this are important because education is a powerful tool. One of my favorite quotes is by Malcolm X, and he said: ‘Education is our passport to the future for the future belongs to those who prepare for it today.’ So the more educated we are, whether it’s in school or financial literacy or health, the better that we can become in ourselves and the better that we can effect change in our society,” she noted.

Continuing, “And a lot of issues that these panelists will be discussing are issues that black students at predominately white institutions have to deal with. So we have these renowned black faculty and staff talking about their research and ways to help reduce the achievement gap (and) different areas that are important. For example, our first opening session is “Does Race Matter?”. I think we need this more than ever to continue the dialogue, to have that academic component to it and to not just speak about it and share our opinions but have the research to back it up. That research component is so important and that’s why I believe it is pertinent to have different things like this, especially for our students.”

This event is open to anyone and free for students from any school. For everyone else, tickets are $40. There will be scholarship fundraiser in the evening on a yacht, where Grammy winning artist Anthony Hamilton will perform.

“All money raised will go toward black student scholarships that allows them to continue their education here at USC,” Taylor shared.

More details about USC’s 2017 Aligning for Black Excellence in Higher Education Summit II below:

WHO: Nearly 250 USC black alumni, students, faculty, business professionals, diversity officers, community leaders and supporters.

WHEN: March 25, 2017; 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Marina del Rey Marriott, 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

USC BAA WEBSITE: http://sait.usc.edu/baa/