April 13 - 15, we hosted several activities and more than 100 students, from second grade through graduate school, as part of our "Language arts and Leadership" conference.
On Monday, we hosted arts activities for students from Venice Elementary School. On Tuesday, we hosted workshops for approximately 40 high school black men from Edwardsville, East St. Louis, and St. Louis. On Wednesday, we hosted workshops for about 50 collegiate black men from SIUE. We concluded those activities with a conversation between 30 or so of our guys and Brian Johnson, the president of Tuskegee University.
The conference was a great success. Students enjoyed themselves and told us how much they were learning each day of the conference.
The idea for this kind of conference emerged several months ago when Mike Jones, my colleague from SIUE's Student Opportunities for Academic Results (SOAR) advising program, made the case that we should organize a conference for young black men. We then gained support from SOAR director Earleen Patterson, and from there, the three of us began reaching out to multiple people for additional assistance across the university.
What follows are entries concerning aspects of the conference.
• A photo-review the Language Arts & Leadership Conference (Day 1)
• A photo-review the Language Arts & Leadership Conference (Day 2)
• A photo-review the Language Arts & Leadership Conference (Day 3)
• Attendees Visit the Underground Reading Room
• Choices, Black Boys, and Print Culture
• A free book fair
• A free book dilemma for high school students
• A wonderful book moment image that got away
• A gathering of young scholars
• Tuskegee President Brian Johnson and the post-presentation photos
• Mike Jones extends a larger vision