by Desha Hill
Photos; Robert Tambuzi
On Wednesday June 26th 2019, Black Men & Women United hosted an open forum in which their primary focus was to address the concerns of the disproportionately low testing rates of the black and Latinx community at San Diego City College and discuss solutions to improve student achievement and success within the college community. The forum was attended by many community leaders, counselors, parents, professors, and several professional business men and women. The keynote speaker was Dr. Ricky Shabazz, President of San Diego City College, who was accompanied by his wonderful administrative team.
Dr. Shabazz started off by speaking anecdotally and sharing his personal experience as a black student who was a product of community college and achieved success with the help of college programs and mentors who helped him along the way. He then addressed the issues surrounding black and Latinx academic success and later spoke about his plan and goals to help improve the success rates of students within these groups.
Part of Shabazz’s addressed plan includes The College Promise program that would allow students to attend Community College for two years free of charge. Shabazz continued his discussion by mentioning the 200 plus certificates and degrees that City College currently offers.
After Dr. Shabazz’s initial presentation, he opened up the floor for attendees to ask questions pertaining to the topic. Several members engaged and asked questions that Dr. Ricky Shabazz did an excellent job answering.
The forum ended on a great note with an overall satisfaction of the event. Members of Black Men &Women United would like to thank Dr. Ricky Shabazz for bringing his administrative staff to the community of Southeast San Diego. His message was well delivered and accepted by the community. This effort brings us one step closer to bridging the gap between the community and the college institution. This forum was only the start of our journey towards equitable education for all and we look forward to creating more opportunities to bring community members and college administrators together to achieve our shared goal of increased success of black and latinx students at San Diego City College District.