Third Annual Black Youth Guidance Forum held at the USU

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Department Chair of Africana Studies Dr. Teresa White addresses the Black Youth Guidance Forum saying, "It's about elevating and uplifting the social person so that they can move forward and guide us in ways we never knew they could." Photo credit: Joshua Pacheco

The third annual Black Youth Guidance Forum took place Feb. 10 at the Student Union Center. The forum workshops targeted students from kindergarten to 12th grade and aimed to create an open space to learn ways to support the black youth and other communities of color on their pursuit towards post-secondary education. The BYGF’s goal is to get students to continue on to a state university.

This annual event provided students, teachers, administrators and community leaders with an opportunity to participate in educational activities and offered special workshops for teachers, administration, counselors and community leaders.

The theme for this year, The Healthy Habits & Literacy Imperative, promoted racial uplift, health and wellness, college preparation and leadership development for the people of color.

This event was created by Dr. Cedric Hackett, Africana studies professor and the director of The W.E.B. DU Bois Fannie Lou Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement.

“I’m excited about this event because there is college education involved and the development of new partnerships,” Hackett said.

Hackett was humorous and engaged throughout the event. He had participants stand up and introduce themselves and connect with one another. This event promoted positivity while bringing people together. Participants sang the Black National Anthem in a rendition that brought all those attending together.

The speakers at the event were Dean of Education Dr. William Watkins and Dr. Shari Behring, as well as Chair of Africana Studies Dr. Theresa White, Professor Dr. Dale Allender, and more.

Dr. Allender spoke about deconstructing an ethics studies approach for black youth. “The deconstruction will help identify specific ways of creating successful ethnic studies education experiences for black youth,” Allender said, in his speech which featured PowerPoints and professional knowledge on ethics studies.

This annual event had two workshops split into four categories. One of the workshops was hosted by Orange County Elementary School teacher Niki Mort, who had activities for participants to learn how to teach lessons for Educational Track K-5. These activities encouraged educating students about black history while they are young.

“All our history books are written by a euro-centric viewpoint, it’s not about what the people of color think of themselves,” Mort said. She believes that we need to keep black history alive and continue to educate youth.

BYGF also offered a student panel, this provided CSUN students information on how to navigate through college while maintaining strong leadership. The students on the panel were Xavier Lee, Jonathan Eady, Kenia Lopez, and Wendy Morales. They encouraged participants attending college not take their college experience for granted.

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Black Youth Guidance Forum student panel from left to right: Xavier Lee, Jonathan Eady, Wendy Rosales, Kenia Lopez. Photo credit: Joshua Pacheco

The event ended with spoken word performances, speeches, and dancing. The crowd cheered with excitement during the closing ceremony and left with new knowledge regarding black youth education.