John S. Wilson, the president of Morehouse College, insists that African-American young men face such dire challenges that it is not just fitting, but imperative that the Obama administration is planning its first summit focused on the subject at the historic Atlanta campus.
President Obama recently unveiled its White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, with summits to be held in the coming months in a number of college campuses around the country.
Morehouse has partnered with the White House initiative on Educational Excellence and the first summit is scheduled to be conducted at Morehouse, the historically Black, all male college.
“The crisis affecting African-American males is quite acute and there is no other subgroup in the American educational pipeline that is as challenged as the African-American male,” said Wilson, speaking with BET.com.
“So, it makes sense to team up with Morehouse with that kind of focus,” Wilson said.
“We are the only institution of higher education that’s essentially devoted to the African-American male,” Wilson added. “And we’re on the way to becoming an epicenter – really the epicenter – for ideas to develop best practices on those educational conventions. It makes sense for us to be the place where the White House looks to partner.”
Precisely when that partnership takes place is far from clear. The first summit was scheduled for February 13 and 14. However, the harsh winter weather that has come to the South has caused Morehouse to cancel classes and close on Thursday.
Wilson said the ideas for much of the summit came from his days as the executive director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a position he held before taking the presidency of Morehouse last year.
The summits are scheduled to take place at Jackson State University and at Laney College in Oakland, California. They will highlight leaders in educational excellence for African Americans and also create opportunities for parents, grandparents and guardians to help increase the number of African-Americans who are prepared when they graduate from high school.
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(Photo: Moses Robinson/Getty Images)