Approximately 30 Santa Monica College (SMC) Adelante and Black Collegians students took part in the Second Annual Men of Color Leadership Conference held Friday, October 11 at El Camino College. The inaugural conference — free of cost to attendees — was held last year at Santa Monica College.

A collaborative project between Santa Monica College, El Camino College, Long Beach City College, Compton College, and Pasadena City College, the event’s theme, “A Holistic Approach to Healing Men of Color,” was designed to promote wellness, while giving attendees strategies for empowerment, ideas for positive social change, and an opportunity to network with other men of color.

“This conference gave me the gift of learning about my inner strengths and qualities,” said SMC student Joshua Barsky. “The day was meaningful for the valuable time that so many educational leaders and professionals set aside just to spend with us . . . to help us develop and advance our own professionalism.”

This is the first such free-of-charge conference targeted to create a social network and provide role models for male students of color. In addition to about 100 colleges and community members, 150 students from SMC; El Camino College; East Los Angeles College; Long Beach City College; Compton College; LA Trade Tech College; Southwest College; Norco College; the University of Southern California; and USC attended.

For more information on SMC’s academic and student support programs Adelante and Black Collegians—both of which mark 30 years of existence this year—visit smc.edu/LatinoCenter and smc.edu/BlackCollegians.

Submitted by Grace Smith, Public Information Officer

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