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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Georgia-based mentoring group looks to impact A&M community through Educate to Elevate seminar

Photo by Provided

Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee is hosting a seminar on How to Rebuild the Black Community on Oct. 19.

Professionals in psychology, business, entertainment, entrepreneurship and law from Georgia will share their expertise at Texas A&M this weekend, discussing issues facing the black community.
The Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee, with marketing assistance from the Black Graduate Student’s Association, will be hosting a seminar titled Educate to Elevate: A Seminar on How to Rebuild the Black Community on Saturday. The seminar will be held in the MSC Gates Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., including free admission and food, with the purpose of exposing and exploring issues that affect the African diaspora around campus. The seminar will feature five presenters from Let Us Make Man, a mentoring organization from Atlanta. The event is open to the Bryan-College Station community, and registration is available through the QR code provided in flyers, email, social media and at the event as well.
Psychology senior and Chair of WBAC Kayla Hood said the organization was created in 1969 through the MSC and creates programs that pertain to the awareness of issues for the black community, such as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast and Afro-Latinx Festival. She said one of their biggest challenges has been promoting the Educate to Elevate event and motivating people to participate.
“Everyone is welcome, but not everybody necessarily feels that way,” Hood said. “We stress the fact that everyone is welcome to come and share their perspectives, but it is a little tricky sometimes.”
Hood said the event will allow people to interact with each other and with the speakers to discuss ways of rebuilding the black community. She said that the idea of featuring Let Us Make Man at the Educate to Elevate seminar came from a director at WBAC last year. The mentoring organization informed WBAC of the workshops that they’d be offering, of which students and the community members will have the opportunity to attend two, depending on which of the sessions that they’ve registered for. These sessions deal with a different aspect of community building. She said the seminars put on by Let Us Make Man have received good reviews and have been put on successfully at other campuses, such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“We really look forward to everybody coming and we look forward to everybody experiencing this seminar,” Hood said. “We really think that it can help with our community building skills and help make a more inclusive conversation for everybody to be a part of.”
Gerry L. White is one of the presenters at the seminar and has been with Let Us Make Man for the past 10 years. Gerry is a professor at Clark Atlanta University in the Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, and his research centers around American family units. Let Us Make Man aims at helping the community and tries to increase the number of young people that go to college and succeed, he said.
“It’s gonna create an opportunity for the students and guests who are in attendance to learn about some very interesting dynamics that particularly concern communities of color,” Gerry said. “We’re excited by the conference and the experts that we’re bringing there too.”
According to Gerry, the professionals from the mentoring organization are excited about hosting sessions at A&M because of the opportunities that they will be providing to the students and community, though Texas is unknown territory for them. The mentoring organization is strategic and intentional about expanding to D.C. and Chicago. He said that they want students to be aware of how to interact with law enforcement in a healthy and productive way, know the art and science of community organizing, understand the impact of mental health, the psychology of success and to understand the family.
“We tell the students to get ready, we tell the community to get ready,” Gerry said. “Put your tennis shoes on. Get ready to interact, get ready to discuss, get ready to laugh, get ready to pose questions.”
Community health senior Nia White, a member WBAC, is the daughter of presenter Gerry. According to her, no one has removed the veil to have open and honest conversations about issues facing the black community. The Educate to Elevate event is very relevant to the A&M campus, especially to give minorities a space to discuss problems in their communities, she said. Nia said the event is for the community at large even though they are targeted at the black community.
“It is open to the Bryan-College Station community, so it’s not just for the A&M students,” Nia said. “We have a lot of faculty signed up. We want to be able to involve the entire community and not just A&M. We do feel like A&M can be improved by the entire community getting in on this.”
Nia said Let Us Make Man holds annual conferences and various projects in Georgia with attendance ranging from 800 to 1,000 individuals. Originally from Atlanta, Nia has been attending these conferences for about 10 years and said they have impacted the person that she is today. Nia said anyone can take something away from the workshops because the topics discussed are broad and aren’t common knowledge.
“These are professionals basically providing their services for free,” Nia said. “Every conference I’ve gone to, I just walked away with something that I didn’t come in with and I know for other people like people are always impacted whenever they go so I think it would be a very great experience.”

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