In light of the pandemic and remote learning, Tulsa Community College is expanding outreach to include high school students for its annual African American Male Symposium. The virtual event is Monday, Jan. 18 from 1 – 2:30 p.m., to coincide with the federal holiday designated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The symposium is free and part of TCC’s ongoing equity work to help African American students succeed in college at the same rate as their fellow students.
“The achievement gaps that existed prior to the pandemic have only widened since March with students of color and those from lower socioeconomic families affected at greater rates than other students,” said Eunice Tarver, assistant vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Northeast Campus provost.
The African American Male Symposium is one initiative TCC does to help narrow the achievement gaps. Through a comprehensive approach, TCC has seen a nearly 50 percent increase in the three-year graduation rate for full-time underrepresented minority students and a little more than 30 percent increase in the three-year success rate (university transfer and/or graduation) for full-time underrepresented minority students in the past five years. While we celebrate this increase, we note that our African American males as a demographic group are proportionally lower than the other groups.
“Even with the tremendous progress we’ve made as an institution, we know more can be done. TCC believes everyone can succeed and our College has built a structure to support students,” said Dr. Dewayne Dickens, director culturally responsive practices.
The symposium connects students with community leaders and provides resources so they can reach their educational goals. The event features Greg Robinson, a community organizer; Kenya Williams, a TCC graduate and OSU-Tulsa engineering student; and Dwight Taylor, an educational consultant, certified transformational coach, and Amazon bestselling author as speakers. With this year marking the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the program will also address racial healing and help students learn more and understand their heritage.
The African American Male Symposium is open to any high school student or older, regardless of gender, who is interested in being a leader in the community and completing their education goals. Advance registration is required. Once you have registered, a link for the event will be emailed to you.