Forum centers on educational gap

Forum centers on educational gap
October 22
00:00 2015

By Timothy Ramsey

For The Chronicle

The Initiative for African American Males (IAAM) held its first community forum titled “Closing The Gap In Black Male Achievement From Cradle To 5th Grade” on Monday, Oct. 19, at the Enterprise Banquet and Conference Center, 1922 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Winston Salem. It is the first part of a four-part series.

The forum – which was supported by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity and Forsyth Assistant Principals Association – was held to inform the community of the educational gap that the African-American males in the community are facing. The panelists for the event included local educators on the primary as well as collegiate level, a parent, a psychologist, along with a local police officer and other pertinent guests.

The evening started off with statistics showing the discrepancy between black children and other ethnicities along the same economic lines to show poverty is a cause but not the main reason for the low test scores for young black children.

Following the slideshow were several speakers who presented conclusive data to elaborate on the need for change in the statistics as well as possible reasons for the state of African-American children in the community

“I just felt the community really needed to know what was going on, and we need to put our resources together to help change the outcome for our African-American males,” said Lakeisha Hill, assistant principal of Main Street Academy and founder of IAAM. She said she was motivated to organize the event because she wanted to go beyond the socio-economic aspect of the achievement gap for black children versus children of other ethnicities and examine the issue of race as a factor as well as to not ignore the data supporting her concerns.

The Rev. Terrence Hawkins, associate pastor of Winston-Salem First church and community organizer through Love Out Loud said, “I am here today as a concerned citizen, a concerned Christian, a community organizer and a parent.”

He went on to say, “There’s much work to be done, unfortunately the next generation is inheriting the problem, but we have to push on and do as much as we can so they can flourish.”

Hawkins was also a panelist at the “Ties that Bind Protestants in Conversation” event the day before.

“Tonight, I was initially frustrated because it seems as though when we always come together and have these types of gatherings or workshops, they always bring out these statistics and numbers that are not always the reality,” said Nakida McDaniel, a concerned parent in the crowd. She wanted to hear what changes were going to be made instead of the same rhetoric said time after time at events such as this. McDaniel also said, “We have to think outside of the box with the things we are doing and address institutional racism in the schools, and we cannot continue to ignore that.”

Carrie Woods, member of Through Unity Reformation is Nevitable (T.U.R.N.), expressed her concerns to the audience as well as introduced her organization to those who are in need of tutoring assistance as well as enrichment services for parents and children in the community.

The evening was concluded with questions and comments from the audience. Many provided possible solutions for the black youth of the community in order to stem the decline of the black male in the educational system as well as immediate opportunities for youth to find educational assistance such as tutoring and subsidized S.A.T. prep courses.

One audience member summarized the feelings of many by simply stating “It does take a village to raise a child, but what happens when that village is designed to break a child.”





About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors