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High profile panel to discuss black male grad rate in Pinellas

27

September

Why does Pinellas County have, at least according to one national report, the worst graduation rate in the country for black males? 

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida state conference of the NAACP, are among 14 panelists who will be discussing the plight of black males in Pinellas in a two-hour forum Oct. 7.

Put together by the Clearwater and St. Petersburg branches of the NAACP, the "comprehensive community discussion" follows a Schott Foundation analysis that concluded Pinellas has a 21 percent graduation rate for black males - far below the national rate of 47 percent and the lowest of any large school district in the country.

The district strongly disputes the numbers. Other data shows black students in Pinellas do worse academically than black students in other big Florida districts.

The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 2901 54th Ave. S in St. Petersburg. Here's the list of panelists:

NAACP STATE PRESIDENT ADORA OBI NWEZE

ST. PETERSBURG MAYOR BILL FOSTER

TARPON SPRINGS MAYOR DAVID ARCHIE

FORMER ST PETERSBURG COLLEGE ASSOCIATE PROVOST MYRTLE WILLIAMS

LIVEFREE DRUG COALITION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JACKIE DOHERTY

CLEARWATER POLICE CHIEF ANTHONY HOLLOWAY

PINELLAS DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT JIM MADDEN

BETHEL COMMUNITY BAPTIST CHURCH PASTOR DR. MANUEL SYKES

ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE SOCIAL SCIENCE DEAN DR. JOSEPH SMILEY

GIBBS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL KEVIN GORDON

NATION OF ISLAM STUDENT MINISTER LOUIS MUHAMMAD

PARENT CHRISTINE GASTON

CHAIRMAN OF ST. PETE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SID MORGAN

AFRICAN PEOPLE’S SOCIALIST PARTY DIRECTOR CHIMERENGA WALLER

BAYNEWS 9 ANCHOR ERICA RIGGINS  MODERATOR

[Last modified: Monday, September 27, 2010 11:36am]

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