Letter from Executive Director, Ron Walker

Dear COSEBOC Friends and Colleagues,

COSEBOC Executive Director, Ron WalkerImagine with me for a minute that every high school graduating class from this point forward has all young men of color exceptionally prepared to carry and shape society’s mantle. These graduates would exemplify what it means to be literate in the 21st century, taking their rightful place in local, national, and global communities. We would then say, "There goes our Young, Gifted and Literate.”   

The Young, Gifted and Literate graduate reads and writes well across a wide range of disciplines; speaks eloquently with passion and conviction; embraces the new digital literacies as tools to innovate; and serves as a model of social and emotional maturity. This young male reads from Shakespeare and Frederick Douglas with equanimity. He embraces multiple languages that reflect the diversity in society. And, he has a firm grasp on what it means to be young, gifted and Black/Latino in America. 

Developing the Young, Gifted and Literate requires Pre-K to 12 teachers and mentors who offer critical supports without apology to nurture academic as well as social and emotional growth. These critical supports would counter home, community, school and societal stresses that often take young men off of their pathway to success. The teacher and mentor recognize that the links between academic and social and emotional wellness are inseparable. The young males who are fortunate enough to have such teachers and mentors would offer, “My education has prepared me for my future. I am bound for great things. I am ready to give back to my community and to use my talents to help someone along the way. I realize now that education is more than a rehearsal for life. It is life.”

On April 25-27, 2013, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color will present the 7th Annual Gathering of Leaders. The College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago will serve as our host. COSEBOC thanks Professor Alfred Tatum and key university administrators for their willingness to host the event. We are equally pleased to announce that the Urban Prep Academies will host site visits of Gathering participants and host our 2nd Annual Male Students Gathering. The theme for the adult and student gatherings is the same, Young, Gifted and Literate: Prepared Boys and Young Men for the Future. It is our expectation to move from imagining the scenario above to understanding how to make it happen. The gathering will convene Award winning schools, passionate presenters, authentic and relevant speakers and committed educational leaders and advocates for the expressed purpose of making the dream of success for our boys and young men a reality. 

Plan to join us for this historic opportunity to learn from others who are creating innovative, proven, and replicable strategies that demonstrate that boys and young men of color are capable of world class accomplishments. Be prepared to engage in meaningful, engaging and hands on experiences. Registration will officially open January 7, 2013. Don’t delay. The Gathering will reach capacity quickly. 

In closing, please consider becoming a COSEBOC member and become eligible for a Gathering discounts. Join the movement!

See you in Chicago,

Ron