Recently, the Sweetwater District hosted the RISE Celebrating Black Excellence “African American Scholars Conference” with more than 150 parents and students in attendance.
The mission of the RISE Conference is to empower all African American students in the Sweetwater District to know their rich cultural history, create opportunities to pursue their dreams, and to produce leaders who inspire our community.
Assemblymember Shirley Weber was the events keynote and she shared an inspirational message with attendees. Other guest speakers included Dr. Joe Fulcher, Sweetwater District, Assistant Superintendent of Equity Culture and Support Services and several others. Lunch was also provided and attendees had the opportunity to engage with a room full of local black scholars, artists and business professionals.
“I have been a part of many student conferences, but I am particularly proud of this experience as were able to coalesce the talents of many educators and community members to create a special experience for our African American students,” said Rick Cooke, Eastlake Middle School Principal and event coordinator. “ It was an honor to hear the wisdom of Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber and to see our students dream about their tremendous futures by seeing people in various professions that look like them. We are excited to already start work on next year’s conference!”
“We believe every African American student is talented, and is able to express himself/herself in a positive manner,” said Cooke. We believe every African American student is smart and capable of producing at high academic levels, thoughtful and supports the African American community, respectful and takes great pride in their culture. And we believe every African American student is a leader who builds up others and is resilient in overcoming any obstacle.”