Summit of African-American male students planned in Pinellas next week
Pinellas County educators are planning a day-long summit for up to 200 black male students in the district's middle and high schools next week.
Valerie Brimm, director of strategic partnerships for the school district, told members of the Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students this morning that the event, planned for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 16 at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter, will feature a keynote address by Jawanza Kunjufu, speaker and author of several books about the educational needs of black males.
Principals at the area's high schools and some middle schools were asked to identify students who could benefit from the program. Brimm said the day's events will include time for the young men to talk in smaller sessions about their classroom experiences and challenges. She said she hopes to use the discussion to collect information the district can use to better address the needs specific to this group of students, who Pinellas-specific educational data show are performing at lower levels than their peers.
The Times has written numerous stories about the issue of black male performance in our local school sover the years, but in light of this summit, we believe it's worth revisiting one from 2010 in which we heard from a rare source in the discussion: young black men themselves. Check out the story, " by Times staff writer Kameel Stanley, here.