FRESNO, CA--Last Thursday, the African-American Leadership Round-Table met with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's executive team at the Bitwise Hive in Downtown Fresno to discuss pertinent issues in the Black community. Hosted by community liaison Eric Payne, Cameron Onumah, who is the political director at Dianne Feinstein for Senate 2018 from the Greater Los Angeles moderated the candid, closed discussion among the representing Black organizations and groups present.
Leaders, community members, church pastors and school board candidates spoke frankly about the diminishing scores among the black male youth in all grade levels. In fact, ONME News article, A coalition of Black women leaders and mothers to host superintendent for public instruction candidates forum Saturday stated, "Black students perform below any other student population. The achievement gaps evidenced by California’s Common Core-aligned assessment make these disparities more apparent and create concern and urgency around the need to support Black children."
Wendy McCulley, executive director, of the African-American Academic Acceleration at Fresno Unified School District, (not present at the meeting,) was hired by FUSD to help bridge the education gap for Black students, and uniquely include parents and legal guardians as a part of the process. People from the meeting expressed their hope that the word will spread more about such a program.
Others felt that there was no more time for wasted discussions; it was noted that a more proactive stance should be considered by locally elected officials and U.S. senators overall, who can help assist in the change through adopting public policy that will ensure Black student success.
Finally, some people spoke about the need to have more discussions that are followed by action-oriented activities and processes, that are inclusive as a community-joint effort.