The Vanguard Conference for African-American boys and young men

18 Feb


To register:

For more info:

And please read on for more information from the conference organizers:

A Gathering for African-American Young Men and Boys in Independent, Private, Charter, and Public Schools

The purpose of the Vanguard Conference is to unite, connect and encourage college bound African-American males in grades 6-12, in public, charter, independent, and private schools throughout the Bay Area. The conference was founded in 2007, and this year we will focus on breaking the stereotypical box society has placed on African-American males, while helping the attendees continue to create their own identity.

The Vanguard Conference developed from a social gathering of African-American men who serve as educators in San Francisco Bay Area Independent Schools.  These men gathered because of the need to spend time with each other.  They needed to discuss their experiences, reflect on their roles as educators, while processing in an emotionally safe space. They knew firsthand that independent schools were not founded to be beacons of diversity, but they are now committed to establishing more inclusive school communities.  The dozen African American male educators who had been meeting informally soon decided that the best way to get to know each other was by working on a meaningful project.  Thus, the Vanguard Conference came to pass.

There were several key goals to the conference including networking, normalizing the scholarly pursuits of African-American boys, and laying the foundation for a mentoring program.  The purpose of a conference geared exclusively to the needs of African-American boys in the Bay Area Independent Schools may be obvious to some people and unclear to others.  Listening to the stories of the boys as they explained the comfort and strength they felt being part of the majority at the conference instead of their everyday life as a minority in many of their schools should make the purpose of the conference clear to anyone.

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