Passing this opportunity from the National Organization of Minority Architects:
REGISTRATION IS OPEN! https://socalnoma.breezechms.com/form/91f2b64679. VIRTUAL – In consideration of the health and safety of our members, students and communities as we continue to face this international pandemic, we have developed this year’s program as an exciting virtual interactive experience. Be amoung the first to register for the 2021 SoCal NOMA Summer Camp. The spirit, excitement and format will be the same as our in-person camp but the camp challenge acitivites and workshops will all be brand new! We invite you to register today! Thank you in advance for sharing the camp information with other parents and potential campers. See attached information and visit our website www.socalnoma.org.
RECRUITING INTERESTED STUDENTS
The Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCal NOMA) is currently recruiting students for our annual Architecture Summer Camp. Students who are interested in creative and technical design will benefit from the knowledge and exposure to professional mentors.
The National Organization of Minority Architects created Project Pipeline Architectural Summer Camp to serve as NOMA’s solution to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, especially African-Americans, pursuing careers in architecture. Project Pipeline’s Summer Camp continues exposure through student and intern membership categories for students as early as 5th grade.
Let’s support Dr. Grace Carroll’s Akira’s Book Club by subscribing today. There is no cost to join.
Here’s a message from Dr. Carroll:
Akira’s Book Club and Wordsmith JR need your help. We are trying to get 600 more subscriptions to our Wordsmith J, LLC YouTube Channel. If we are successful we can get additional funding to continue our work in animating and digitizing our book and offering them free on our YouTube channel. To date, you can see the two books we have already animated: Akira’s Animal Alphabet Alliterations and Mischievous Akira (a book about antonyms).
If you can please go to the link below and subscribe (no cost or obligations) and please share with others. Thank you so much for your support.
Placing our children front and center, in the fight for equity and justice!
Greetings and welcome! Oh, all the places we can go, if only children are exposed to educators who care. Just look at Vice President Kamala Harris and Amanda Gorman, our youngest Inaugural Poet. As our goal is to ensure Black children are receiving fair and equitable outcomes, let us know if you have information to share or need our help. Together we can make a difference! Happy African American, African, Black History Month!
Thank you, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
As we honor Black History Month, join us in celebrating this year’s 2021 Theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. For more information and to participate in free online events, visit ASALH’s website.
As a Black educator, I have personally witnessed the mistreatment of Black children in relation to other children. From the moment they step into the classroom, our children are stamped guilty before they open their mouths. In spite of dwindling numbers in San Diego Unified and throughout the county, Black children face disproportionate amounts of disciplinary actions as early as preschool. For our Gifted and Talented students, they, too are often overlooked or in some cases, viewed as exceptions to the norm. Just the other day, my Black Professor reminded me of the High School Valedictorian in Mississippi who was asked by the Principal of the school to share her honor with a white classmate along with the impact of integration and, the overlooked reality of resegregation in urban and suburban schools.
Here is a little-known fact: One of the downsides of Brown vs. The Board of Education is the impact it had on the Black Teaching Force. Dr. James Anderson points this out in A Tale of Two Browns: Constitutional Equality and Unequal Education: “Moreover, the manner in which Brown was implemented [by closing Black schools and firing Black teachers], particularly in the South, devastated the careers of Black educators, placed many Black schoolchildren in hostile racial climates, dashed the hopes and dreams of those who expected full equality, and constructed painful memories of the African American experience.” (Chapter One, page 16).
With School Reopening Plans underway, parents are divided on whether or not districts should allow students to return back to campus. Pediatricians here in San Diego weighed in as well. Understandably, the uncertainty can cause anxiety for the fearful and frustration for those wanting their children to return right away. Yet for Black parents, the amount of mistrust many are experiencing on top of COVID is painfully concerning and needs attention. The NAACP San Diego Branch Education Committee will provide a series of recommendations and resources on sending children back to school in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we are aware there are phenomenal teachers, counselors and administrators who deeply care about our children. We praise teachers and administrators who sacrifice their own lives to help improve outcomes for all children. Just take a look at the Principal in South Carolina who rarely sleeps —leading his school by day and restocking shelves at Walmart by night to help his students and their families during the pandemic. Mr. Henry Darby’s selfless acts will bring tears to your eyes.
Then there is Jacqueline Dungee, a Principal at Loving Elementary Charter School in Detroit. Growing concerns for her students’ safety and well-being during the pandemic led her to begin knocking on doors to physically check in. More on Principal Dungee can be found on: https://www.today.com/video/detroit-principal-knocks-on-doors-to-make-sure-students-at-home-aren-t-left-behind-85136453995
We salute these selfless educators for the compassion they display to Black children and quite honestly, to all children. An educator teaches and leads children regardless of race, ethnicity or ability because that is what culturally competent leadership is all about. These are just a few examples of Why Black Teachers Matter! If you know of a local Black Educator in San Diego or throughout the county that we should recognize let us know right away!
Update in the Search for Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent
By a 4:1 vote on Board Item L-5, the Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Trustees will conduct an Open Superintendent Search for the District. Dr. Paul Gothold has placed Dr. Yolanda Rogers in charge of the search process. We are looking forward to improved outcomes for our students and families in Sweetwater. The NAACP will continue to work with SDCOE as a voice for our community. On February 9. 2021, the district Board of Trustees held a special board meeting with Dr. Yolanda Rogers, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at SDCOE to discuss next steps on the process. Special appreciation and gratitude to Board of Trustee Frank Tarantino for ensuring that Black Minds Matter Advocacy Group and the Filipino Council were added to the Advisory Committee. Good news for the Community as we want to ensure improved outcomes for all children.
Community Calls for SDUSD to Hire Outside Search Firm
The NAACP San Diego Branch joined AAAE and other community organizations here in San Diego to call for an Open Superintendent Search. The coalition, led by the Association of African American Educators (AAAE) included Parent Quality Education (PQE), ACLU San Diego and Imperial Counties along with community members, including Deborah Maxie and Lallia Allali. Although the coalition preferred the District hire a reputable outside firm, Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, when asked what her vision encompassed for an Open Superintendent Search explained the process, which includes an Advisory committee that will have input in every step of the way. After listening to Dr. Whitehurst-Payne, it was evident that in order for our voices as Black Parents, Youth, Families, Educators and Community members to be fully included, that the NAACP San Diego Branch ensures it takes action to be on that list. There were 13 Public comments on this item, including a comment from the NAACP San Diego, Education Chair.
On February 2, 2021, thirteen public comments on Board Item E.1 were presented, including a comment from the NAACP San Diego Branch Education Chair who requested that our branch, along with our coalition partners be added onto the Advisory committee. After hearing comments, the SDUSD Board unanimously passed Item E.1, proposed from Dr. Whitehurst-Payne and Board President Richard Barrera. Dr. Whitehurst-Payne’s vote included an amendment to add community members and organizations, which was the primary reason for our support and was accepted.
The NAACP San Diego Branch’s request in large part seeks to ensure that representation of African American, Black, Somali, biracial, Indigenous, Latinx, Filipino, Arab, and quite frankly, all marginalized groups are represented on this committee. Furthermore, we ask the Board’s inclusion of organizations like San Diego State University, includes working with specific departments like SDSU’s, Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity (Dr. J. Luke Wood). We also suggest including input from Black faculty at UCSD’s Department of Education, like Dr. Thandeka Chapman as well. We will keep you posted on progress and welcome support.
Black Lives Matters Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!
Standing up for social justice and advocating for equality is a human right. Since 2012, after the death of Trayvon Martin, young activists formed the Black Lives Matter, which over the years has evolved into a movement that has not only impacted our nation, but quite obviously, our world. Perhaps then it’s no surprise that someone outside of the United States would nominate the BLM Movement for a Nobel Peace Prize! That someone is Mr. Peter Eide, a lawmaker and member of Norway’s parliament has nominated Black Lives Matter for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Eide, stated he had nominated Black Lives Matter “for their struggle against racism and racially motivated violence.” He also noted that it was “BLM’s call for systemic change” that has forced “other countries to grapple with racism within their own societies…” We congratulate the Black Lives Matter Movement for rallying and unifying people across the world in our fight for equity and justice.
The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) is a program providing scholarships and professional development opportunities directed at furthering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in students from underrepresented communities. If selected, the student will receive a $40,000 scholarship award. This award will be disbursed in the amount of $10,000 per year, for four (4) years, and will go directly to the institution in which the student is enrolled. Selected students will also receive internship preparation and placement, leadership training, mentoring and access to the AIChE student networking opportunities. This program is administered by HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. The mission of HBCU Week is to encourage high-school aged Youth to enroll in HBCUs, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America.
Applicant must be a high school senior (graduating class of 2021)
Applicants must be completing or have completed high school successfully with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Applicants must be accepted as a full-time student at a college or university for the upcoming academic semester.
Applicants must plan to pursue studies at a historically black college or university (HBCU).
Applicants must plan to pursue studies in a field associated with STEM, MIQA, technical or operation manufacturing.
Applicants must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.
Applicants must complete and submit a scholarship application by February 15, 2021.
The HBCU Week Foundation will form a committee and award the scholarship based on a comprehensive evaluation process. Areas reviewed by the committee include but are not limited to the following:
STEM and future career aspirations
The multi-year scholarship will be reviewed annually and is contingent upon satisfactory academic performance in a full-time course of study at an HBCU.
NAACP CALIFORNIA-HAWAII STATE CONFERENCE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SDSU’S CORA DEPARTMENT TO HOST FREE WEBINAR ON SUSPENSIONS OF BLACK STUDENTS (FEBRUARY 17, 2021 AT 1:00 PM PST)
We cannot mention Black Lives Matter without nodding to the importance of how Black Minds Matter. The NAACP CA HI State Conference has partnered with SDSU’s Dr. J. Luke Wood, Dr. Frank Harris III and Dr. Joseph Johnson, Jr. to present on the impact of suspensions and expulsions statewide against Black children as early as preschool. You don’t want to miss this symposium that is calling for statewide policy changes in education as it relates to Black, Brown, Indigenous children, including our Foster and Homeless youth. Added presenters include California Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, UCLA’s Dr. Tyrone Howard and Cal State, Los Angeles, Dr. Melina Abdullah. For more information and to register visit: https://bit.ly/36rfZ3c
Students & staff of the Black Panther Party Oakland Community School share lessons on liberated teaching & learning!
February 17, 2021 from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PST
Registration and Organizer Information:
The Black Teacher Project (BTP), is a program that sustains and develops Black teachers to lead and reimagine schools as communities of liberated learning. BTP’s vision is that every student will benefit from the diversity, excellence, and leadership of an empowered Black teaching force.
This Black Teacher Project (BTP) event is a Black racial affinity space, if you do not identify as Black, please refrain from registering to honor the safe and sacred experience we are trying to create. Please register through this Eventbrite page to receive a link to the Zoom meeting the morning of the event. The event will also be recorded (breakout segments will not be recorded).
Join us for the 4th Annual San Diego Black College Expo in partnership with San Diego County of Education on Thursday, February 18th
37 Black History Videos for Students in Every Grade Level
We’re living through unprecedented times—a pandemic, civil unrest, and a contested election—and through it all, racial injustice has taken center stage. At times, we’ve all navigated uncomfortable conversations, but it’s more important than ever to dig deep and be the leader our communities deserve. Click here for a link to these videos.
Cindy Marten has been nominated as the US Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent of Schools. If confirmed, Marten would be second in command potentially serving under Biden’s nominee for US Department of Education Secretary, Dr. Miguel Cardona who already brings in K-12 experience.
At a time when Black children are suspended and expelled at higher rates than any other children on a national, state and local level, it is quite troubling to hear that San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) Superintendent will help lead the Nation’s Education Department given her district’s own history of educating both Black and Brown children in San Diego.
Ms. Marten in the past year has attempted to correct harm by conducting anti-Racist trainings that included Dr. Bettina Love–which were voluntary and not mandatory–along with changing policies on grading. While this is commendable, it does not erase the fact that SDUSD has a history of harming our children, families, staff, and educators.
A recent report released by researchers at San Diego States University (SDSU) Black Minds Project sheds light on historical disproportionate rates of suspensions and expulsions in SDUSD. For example, the report found that Black males in Kindergarten through Third grade (K-3) are suspended at a rate that is 280% higher than that of their peers. The report also found that in comparison to the district’s average, Black males were 3.1x more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension and 2.8x more likely to receive an in-school suspension. To help fix this issue, researchers offered to provide free on-going district-wide training on implicit bias and microaggressions in the district, an offer that never received a response.
On a national level, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2018, Black children had the highest amount of disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates nationwide. Black boys, who otherwise are at the bottom of the achievement gap, lead the way in the percentage of suspensions and expulsions, more than any other subgroup. Black girls outpace every sub-group except for Native American boys and tie with Bi-Racial boys.
According to NAACP’s Education Chair, Katrina Hasan Hamilton, “Black children experience Racial Trauma and Racial Battle Fatigue as early as preschool and Kindergarten and districts like SDUSD that suspend and expel our children at higher rates are part of the systemic problem.”
Educators at all levels must have a track record of dismantling the harmful practices of Anti-Blackness and institutional Racism that occur in our schools. Cindy Marten’s district has a historical pattern of disproportionately high suspensions and expulsions of Black students in San Diego.
President-Elect Biden, with all of the qualified educators we have in our nation, including educators in Higher Education like Dr. Tyrone Howard and Dr. Pedro Noguera, who have worked with improving outcomes for Black children for years or Dr. Leslie Fenwick, Dean Emeritus of Howard University, who you considered for the top spot and for years has addressed the teacher crisis where “less than 20 percent of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers are educators of color” this is not a good choice for healing Black students, families and educators. Nor is it a step in the right direction for repairing ant-Blackness and harm in our schools.
Katrina Hasan Hamilton, Education Chair NAACP San Diego Branch
Join us at 7pm on January 26th for an introduction to mentoring high school kids in our ACT-SO Program.
In this orientation, we’ll explain briefly how the ACT-SO program works, cover the requirements, responsibilities, and rewards of mentoring African-American high school students, and answer your questions. This event is for folks who are already signed up and/or who are just interested.
The start of a new year always brings us hope. This year is no exception! A new president will be inaugurated in January, COVID vaccines are beginning to be distributed in phases and conversations around systemic changes in racial disparity are happening.
With all of these positive changes, one would hope that the San Diego Unified School Board would be pleased with the $390 million from the stimulus package Congress passed at the end of 2020. But NO! In recent communication from Board President Barrera stated, “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at the federal and state level to get schools the resources that we will need over the course of the next couple of years.” This statement is no different than any other that the board spews out each year. It is NEVER enough for this school board! Year after year they fail to balance a budget with whatever money they receive. Perhaps the problem is not the amount of money given to our schools, but the people who decide where the money goes.
During Superintendent Martens’ reign, there has been no decrease in teachers, teacher pay and/or benefit packages. There has been an increase in high-paying positions at the Education center where these educators never touch the lives of students. Money has been allotted every year to supposedly go to our most struggling students. There has been no accountability on where all the money is being spent. This school board MUST be held accountable for the new money coming from the government. Their past record proves that they do not know how to spend money on students first and not teacher raises, benefit packages, outside consultants, or legal fees to very expensive firms.
Teachers are currently teaching half of their caseload but are receiving a full salary. There would be substantial savings here by giving them a full caseload. There is no other job that has quite a deal like this! By creating a monopoly with six other superintendents in California, the state was bullied into giving them this enormous amount of money and yet schools are still not open. No other business would ever get away with this threatening behavior.
It is a new year. In the words of our newly elected President Biden; “Build Back Better”! We can do this. We can BUILD public education BACK to excellence and give our students a BETTER way of life.
Francine Maxwell, President NAACP San Diego Branch
Please welcome Vatrice George as Chair of our Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics program for high school youth!
Vatrice is a Native San Diegan who attended college in NYC receiving her B.A. in English. After living in the NY/NJ area for 22 years, she moved back to California in 2018.
Vatrice has worked in Administrative roles at several academic and research institutions. She currently works as a contractor for the Defense Health Agency and is a co-owner of a local clothing store.
Vatrice is a lover of the arts, particularly the literary word. While living on the east coast Vatrice volunteered at several non-profit organizations including the Covenant House, One Brick NY and LISC Newark. She also collaborated with Entrepreneurship and Arts organizations sponsored by Newark Mayor’s Office. Vatrice is excited to have the opportunity to assist in continuing ACT-SO’s mission of recognizing creative talent and academic achievement within the African American youth community.
Please visit our home page if you are a high school student interested in winning scholarships and competing on a local or even national level!