Schol of Social Service Administration

969 E. 60th St

United States

The African American Alumni Committee of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Alumni Association will be presenting a symposium on:
Black Young Men in America:
Rising above Social and Racial Prejudice, Trauma, and Educational Disparities
Saturday, February 15, 2014
8:00 am – 3:00 pm
School of Social Service Administration
969 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

$25 (A portion of the proceeds will benefit the African American Alumni Committee Student Award) Please register online.

On July 14, 2013 Black America woke up to yet another reminder of the racial and social disparities impacting African American male adolescents and the lack of empathy America has toward their position in society. The frequency of these kinds of experiences has left the African American community frustrated and angry leading to more questions with limited or no answers. The community continues to search for additional ways to support and protect African American male adolescents, with the hopes of helping them navigate the systemic and social structures and the highly charged racial environment that weakens their ability to develop into productive men.

Presented in honor of African American History Month, the African American Alumni Committee of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Alumni Association will bring together a panel of leading practitioners, leaders and researchers in their respective fields to facilitate a solution driven dialogue, highlight effective interventions, evidence-based strategies and ways of influencing public policies. Although there a multitude of areas that need to be addressed, this year’s symposium will focus on the use of education as a key intervention, how untreated trauma impacts African American male adolescent’s ability to thrive in America, and how to effectively communicate and build relationships with young Black men.

Youth Keynote Address:   Rodney Walker

Rodney Walker is an alumnus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He is also the founder and CEO of Forever Life Productions; a company that creates custom videos and songs for special events. After being accepted to Morehouse College on academic probation in the fall of 2008, Rodney has had many academic accomplishments. He has studied abroad in Spain, served as a keynote speaker in Monaco, France for Ernst and Young, and has delivered a keynote at the White House on the importance of financial literacy for urban youth. Periodically he speaks to middle and high school students about the importance of education and the benefits of going to college.  He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in ethics from Yale University.

Panelists and Workshop Presenters

Nia Abdullah, Principal, Bowen High School, Chicago Public Schools
Marshaun Bacon, AM’09, B.A.M (Becoming A Man) Counselor, Youth Guidance
Tyree Booker, Executive Director, Camelot Schools
Kweku Embil, Principal, Woodlawn Elementary Community School, Chicago Public Schools
Greg Gaither, AM’84, Founder and Executive Director, Illinois African American Juvenile Justice Institute
Troy Harden, Ed.D., LCSW, Assistant Professor at Chicago State University, Director, Institute for Youth and Community Engagement
Waldo Johnson, PhD’93, Associate Professor, The University of Chicago, SSA
Elizabeth Kirby, AM’00 (SSD), Network Chief, Area 11, Chicago Public Schools
Kweli Kwaza, AM’11, Executive Director, Talented Tenth University Tours & Career Mentoring Program
Sequane Lawrence, Director, Fathers, Families, and Healthy Communities; President, Center for Strategic Investment in Youth and Families
Dovetta McKee, JD, Director, Special Programs and College Preparation, Office of Civic Engagement, The University of Chicago
Patrick W. Milton, AM’06, Senior Manager, GEAR UP and Postsecondary Advising, Office of College and Career Success, Chicago Public Schools
Laura Patrick, AM’98, LCSW, Social Worker, Learn Charter School Network
Jourdan Sorrell, AM’ 16 Candidate, President & CEO, 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc.
Michael Sorrell, JD, President, Paul Quinn College
Truth n’ Trauma Project, Chicago State University
Catherine Whitfield, AM’05, LCSW, Assistant Principal, Social Worker, Bowen High School, CPS
Monico Whittington-Eskridge, AB’92, AM’96, Statewide Program Administrator of Field Support, Illinois Department of Children and Family/ Chicago State University, Supervisory Training to Enhance Practice Program
Eric Williams, College and Career Specialist, Chicago Public Schools
Jason Story, B.A.M (Becoming A Man) Counselor, Youth Guidance

Symposium Schedule:

8:00 a.m.          Registration and Continential Breakfast
9:00 a.m.          Welcome
9:15 a.m.           Panel Discussion on Symposium Theme
10:30 a.m.        Break
10:45 a.m.        Educational Workshop Series
12:00 p.m.        Lunch and Break
12:30 p.m.        Trauma and Relationship Workshop Series
1:45 p.m.           Break
2:00 p.m.          Youth Keynote Address
2:45 p.m.          Closing Remarks

Questions or for more information: please contact Yelene Modley at 773-702-1431 or

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