Okay I apologize for the lag on the posts but you do not understand how much time I DON’T HAVE to update every day.
If I could graph this weekend, it would be y=x^2.
Every day this conference gets better and better.
To start my early day off, I was placed in a panel addressing the School to Prison Pipeline. We learned from D.A. Kenneth Thompson, Dr. Alex Johnson, and Dr. Baz Dreisinger that have done everything they could and more to address and fix the School to Prison Pipeline and formulate and foster programs to create a Prison to School Pipeline. I have some questions to ask them that I will ask here:
1) What are the top fields those that were incarcerated that pursue an education want to go into during and after their prison sentence?
2) Is there a decrease in childhood crimes when their parents come out of prison pursuing education?
3) How are those that were incarcerated received in their communities after coming home and getting an education?
And I wanted to bring this to Dr. Baz’s attention that I have noticed in some children of parents that were locked up and/or undocumented tend to go into government or study criminology, criminal justice, or forensics. I wanted to hear her opinion of that.
The next panel I went to talked about Politics. I did not take much from this, but I know that the panelist, Jeff Johnson, touched on points that many people agreed with.
Next is something that I could NOT SKIP ever. The keynote address by Sheila Johnson, one of the founders of BET, was outstanding. The amount of work that she has done not only for her community, but for the foundation is amazing. I was holding back tears when she was talking about how she built her empire. And to top it all off, she is a Black Woman and so down to Earth. None of the success seems to have gone to her hand. She only wants to do the best for her community and us scholars. She has built jobs and turned many projects that were failing into successes. She told us the story of the “salamander”, the only animal that can walk through fire and come out unscathed. She still has visions and she entrusted some of us to help her reach that vision, whether it is during her lifetime or not. I can now say that I aspire to be like Sheila Johnson, but also be a better version of myself. I aspire to be a salamander among a group of other salamanders.
The next panel was and “Off the Record Talk Among Men”. Again I did not take much from this, but to others it may have been insightful.
Right after the “Men” talk, we went to a family gathering: a meeting among the scholars from their respective regions from all grades. UCLA students made up most of the Western region so when we had an issue we wanted to tackle, it inherently became about UCLA. We needed our moderator, a UCLA alum, to allow some of the other scholars from schools like Spelman, MIT, ASU, and Harvard speak without having UCLA students going after each other. It was insightful and hilarious at the same time.
To begin the end of our long day, the foundation distributed tickets for our cultural experiences. The Class of 2019 was assigned to go to the opera, Madama Butterfly, at the Metropolitan Opera. According to many, this was a once in a lifetime experience regarding the location and cast. This was something that some of us did not look forward to, but for some of us, we stayed all the way through and had a good time. Oh, and we ALL had to take a subway.
Now you all can see why I did not have time to update you all about my day. There is so much to talk about, but I would rather spend my time experiencing it than taking a break to write about it all. (I mean… now that I legitimately have a break, I can update you all.)
SO THAT SUMS UP DAY 3 BUT I AM NOT DONE. DAY 4 COMING UP RIGHT AFTER THIS!