2017 Gathering: Austin, TX

Past Gatherings: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Boys and Young Men of Color: Innovators, Creators and Game Changers
University of Texas | Austin, Texas  |  April 26-28, 2017

COSEBOC Lifts Up the Country’s Boys and Young Men of Color…Texas Style!

The bar was set high after last year’s 10th anniversary celebration in NYC, but our gracious hosts in Austin, Texas were well prepared to show us a memorable time in 2017! #COSEBOC11, hosted by the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Texas, University of Texas at Austin (UT), Austin Chamber of Commerce, and Huston Tillotson University (HT), aimed to showcase the innovators, creators, and game changers that defy the odds year-round in their schools and communities. 

2017 COSEBOC 11th Annual Gathering of Leaders

After an opening day of leadership meetings and an engaging reception hosted by the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the young men’s Walk of Integrity on Thursday, April 27 helped set the tone (“We can read…and we can read better!”) for two full days of learning and sharing on the beautiful UT campus. From Austin Mayor Steve Adler, we heard firsthand how his progressive city and school district are working to undo the ills of the past and “walk the walk” for the success of young people of color. Attendees also received an undeniable dose of motivation from Keynote Speaker Dr. Gerald “G” Reyes of Stanford University, who challenged us to create paradigm shifts and focus on the “Opportunity Gap” rather than the “achievement gap” that is so prevalent in our schools and interventions.

View the inspiring 2017 Gathering of Leaders Recap Video here:

The workshops are always “the thing,” and the charge that Dr. Darnita Amante offered before COSEBOC opened its learning environment to attendees was powerful and thought provoking. Presenters from across the country are the lifeblood of the annual Gathering of Leaders, and in 2017, the topics and best practices were as captivating as ever, serving as proof positive that innovative and effective work is happening in our schools and communities! 

2017 COSEBOC 11th Annual Gathering of Leaders

On the evening of April 27, we gathered at HT with our dedicated partner, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement along with Firelight Films, for a special screening of “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities”. The HBCU love was in the air, and our expert panelists, including HT President Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette and COSEBOC founder Ron Walker, helped us to explore what makes the HBCU experience so special and vital to the affirmative development of our young men.

2017 COSEBOC 11th Annual Gathering of Leaders

COSEBOC also piloted the first COSEBOC Student Innovator Awards on April 28, recognizing outstanding Texas male students of color, and attendees at the awards breakfast were astonished by the level of greatness being achieved by young men of color in the Lone Star State. Hosted by Austin on-air personality Shelton Green and attended by our Young Men’s Passage participants, the meaningfulness of the Student Innovator Awards was elevated by activist/recording artist Jasiri X, who stirred us with his sincerity and boldness in the face of political adversity.

2017 COSEBOC 11th Annual Gathering of Leaders

Last but never least, our young men capped off another successful Gathering of Leaders with a moving oath and charge to our adult attendees. Led by COSEBOC Rites of Passage expert Kamau Ptah, the Closing Ceremony was the ultimate reminder of who we serve and why. COSEBOC is tremendously grateful for the acts of kindness and financial support that helped us to execute another successful Gathering of Leaders.

In the words of COSEBOC’s founder and Executive Director Ron Walker…ONWARD AND UPWARD!

2017 Gathering of Leaders, Austin TX

Host Partners: 2017 Annual Gathering of Leaders

AISDThe University of Texas at AustinHuston-Tillotson UniversityCity of Austin Executives Alliance for Boys and Young Men of Color

Sponsors: Thank you for generously supporting this Gathering

Campaign for Black Male AcheivementAmerican Reading CompanyA Glimmer of Home AustinForward PromiseVerizon Innovative LearningTNTP SRI