Men of color unite at HUBU conference

“Young men of African-American and Latino background face the greatest challenges of everyone in America,” Chancellor Constance Carroll told attendees at the second annual Hermanos Unidos/Brothers United conference on March 11.

“We feel in the San Diego Community College District that we need to make an extra effort to help,” Carroll said. “This country has not provided what it should.”

To support young men of color and help them discuss strategies to overcome challenges in higher education, the City College event had keynote speakers from the African American and the Hispanic communities. Eight workshops were provided for the students to inspire them regarding their culture and ethnicity and to help them address and overcome the real-life issues these groups face.

Themes included social marginality, lack of opportunities, immigration, hostile school environments and discrimination based on stereotypes that often portray men of color as criminals and racial intolerance. The workshops allowed for discussion and opened networks for communication serving the students’ interests.

“A lot of those stereotypes come from the prison system, because is built to separate people,” math professor Misael Camarena said. “We need to change what is being done currently.”

Building understanding between African-Americans and Latinos, and unifying and increasing their academic achievement and giving them their right to hear their viewpoints was part of the challenge at the event. African American and Latino males have the lowest rates of graduation compared to other student groups.

“The majority of the jobs that are coming on board are going to require a College degree,” said Marylyn Harvey of the City College Foundation. “We need to make sure that our students, our young men, woman African-American and Latinos are getting those degrees, so they get to participate too in the great game of life.

“The conference is sort of the door opening, a motivation,” Harvey said.
Keynote speaker Jerome Hunter, a former president of City College and former Chancellor of the North Orange Community College District, encouraged students to think about what prohibits them from working together.

“Because the enemy is not aliens from space, but ignorance and intolerance, and because, the fun of playing a game is playing together,” Hunter said.

Nesha Savage, coordinator and founder of Hermanos Unidos/Brothers United, described the group’s activities.

“The program also has a student organization on campus, a mentoring program, and in the near future we are hoping to establish a HUBU learning community,” Savage said.

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Men of color unite at HUBU conference