Newswise — The University of Illinois at Chicago will host the seventh annual Young Men of Color Summit, sponsored by the Chicago Public Schools, the CPS Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising, and UIC.

Keynote speakers will include state Rep. Aarón Ortíz and Alfred Tatum, dean of the UIC College of Education and professor of education.


March 13
9 a.m.–3 p.m.


Student Center East
Illinois Room
750 S. Halsted St.


Approximately 500 Chicago Public Schools junior and senior students who identify as men of color will attend the seventh annual Young Men of Color Summit. CPS has organized the event over the last seven years with the focus and intention of increasing minority male achievement.

The event has become a district strategy to address and come up with initiatives to eradicate the educational, opportunity and achievement gaps among young men of color.

“The Young Men of Color Summit empowers hundreds of CPS students with networking opportunities, postsecondary options and mentoring to advance their confidence and provide them with the support they need to succeed,” said Maurice Swinney, CPS chief equity officer. “At CPS we believe that no goal is out of reach for our driven young men of color when they are supported and celebrated, and we look forward to another successful summit.” 

It is important to encourage these students to gather with others to eliminate feelings of isolation in fields of study where their presence is needed and will act as a support network to encourage more students to pursue higher education, according to Tatum, who is responsible for bringing the Call Me MISTER initiative to UIC to encourage more male students of color to go into the education field.

“Too often young men of color are unable to forge powerful alliances that can lead to high levels of academic and professional success,” Tatum said. “This summit has the potential to introduce young men to opportunities that exist at UIC and other universities as they think about educational opportunities beyond high school.”

Selected students have been invited to the daylong event, which includes welcoming remarks by UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis. There also will be over 40 organizations and groups representing higher education, college planning and access, the military and workforce development, among others. UIC groups representing admissions, various colleges, cultural centers, ROTC, the Black Student Union, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Union of Puerto Rican Students will be present.

The day will consist of a series of workshops focusing on the five themes of the summit:

  • Students Success and Supports
  • Career and Professional Development
  • Masculinity and Identity
  • Community and Civic Engagement
  • Financial Literacy

Workshops will be led by respected education leaders from UIC and other institutions, including the City Colleges of Chicago, Iowa State University, community groups and financial aid/scholarship organizations. Lunch will be served.

The event is by invitation only but will be open to the media.

Register for reporter access to contact details