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Posted January 19, 2015

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Students, Community Leaders Discuss Issues Facing Young Men of Color

More than APS 150 students took part in the city's first My Brother's Keeper Action Forum.

Mayor Berry joins several students for lunch and conversation.

APS high school students joined community leaders including APS Interim Superintendent Brad Winter and Albuquerque Mayor R. J. Berry for the city's first My Brother's Keeper Action Forum on Friday, Jan. 16. My Brother's Keeper is a President Obama initiative to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color.

"We planned the MBK Action Forum as a means to bring together our youth, community leaders, policy makers and community members in a community conversation aimed at improving life outcomes for young men of color," said Joseph Escobedo, APS Chief Equity and Engagement Officer.

Students representing every APS high school were asked to gather feedback from classmates on two issues facing young people:

  • What have been your experiences with schools discipline policies and practices?
  • How can school be more engaging?

They discussed their findings and shared insights with community members in small and large groups during the forum.

"The participation today has been impressive," Dr. Don Duran, vice president of the APS Board of Education, said during Friday's event. "The need for a conversation like this has been a long-time coming and we are fully in support of this initiative."

In 2014, APS signed a resolution to focus attention and data on President Obama's Males of Color initiative. The feedback, comments and information gathered from last week's forum will guide the work of the district's newly-formed Office of Equity and Engagement as it moves forward with its objectives including creating a student discipline and engagement task force.

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