YCOE to host African-American student leadership conference – Daily Democrat


The Yolo County Office of Education invites Yolo County youth to attend the 7th Annual African American Student Leadership Conference.

The conference, to be held May 17 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Woodland Community College, will seek to immerse students in meaningful conversations about Black history and culture, according to a press release from the Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE).

“The African American Student Leadership Conference has become a signature event for young people in our county,” said County Superintendent Garth Lewis. “YCOE continues to sponsor the annual conference because we know the importance of providing space and opportunity for students to see and experience what black excellence looks like.”

This year marks the first time the African American Student Leadership Conference will be held in Woodland. In previous years, the conference was held in West Sacramento.

According to the California Department of Education, of the estimated 30,000 students in Yolo County, only about 3% of the student population identifies as African American.

The conference is open to youth in grades 7-12 who live or attend school in Yolo County and student attendance is free. The event is considered a field trip for most school districts in Yolo County, according to the news release.

The conference will feature a variety of speakers and community leaders, including Roshaun Davis, who will be the keynote speaker. Davis is the co-founder of the Sacramento-based marketing and management firm Unseen Heroes and was recently named one of the “Top 25 Black Change Makers” in the Sacramento area by The Sacramento Bee.

Marcus Smith, black communities reporter for the Sacramento Bee’s Equity Lab, will be the emcee for the conference. Sandy Holman, Director and Founder of Culture CO-OP, will lead and host a Libation Ceremony, a black ritual ceremony to honor and celebrate her heritage and ancestry.

During the conference, workshops will be led by representatives from Improve Your Tomorrow, Club Stride and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center. The conference will include separate programming for middle and high school students.

Led by the National College Resources Foundation, the conference will also feature a college panel comprised of current students and recent graduates from historically Black colleges and universities.

At each annual conference, event organizers also seek to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding leadership or service to the Black community. This year, the conference will honor and recognize Kandice Richardson-Fowler, Woodland Joint Unified School District Trustee, and Dr. Carl C. Mack Jr., former Del Paso Heights School District Superintendent and former Director of African American Studies at UC Davis .

To participate, young people are asked to register in advance at yolocoe.k12oms.org/216849. The first 100 young people who register for the conference will receive a gift box during the event.

For more information about the conference or to view the full conference program, visit the conference website at yoloslc.org.


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