Message – Conference Chair

 

Celia MeikleThe Excellence Conference is action oriented. It was borne out of a response to a research paper which indicated that only 25% of children of Caribbean heritage go on to tertiary education. That research indicated 2 of the contributing reasons were:

  1. Students don’t see persons who look like them in certain roles.
  2. The Black/Caribbean racial group does not utilize its cultural and social capital as effectively as other racial groups.

Action is again the order of the day for the 2017 Conference. There are 2 recent reports that deal specifically with the impact of the educational system on our black boys.

  1. We Rise Together, The Peel District School Board Action Plan to Support Black Male Students – Peel District School Board.
  2. Towards Race Equity in Education, The Schooling of Black Students in The Greater Toronto Area – Dr. Carl James.

Both reports have received significant media coverage, but how will we hold the guardians of the education system accountable for the implementation of the report findings? how will we as parents know what tools have been designed to combat the findings? and how will we measure the success of those tools?.

These are some of the meaty issues that the Panel Discussion will explore, and it is expected that parents will walk away with actionable items and specific answers to these questions.

As usual we are always on the lookout for various careers so that the children have a varied exposure. Here is a sampling of the careers on display – master electricians, master mechanics, architect, actuary, pilot, lawyers, corporate executives, accountants, IT professionals. We thank our role models, sponsors and advertisers, without whom, the Excellence Conference would not be possible.

On behalf of the Excellence Conference Patron – Bishop Barrington E. Smith, the Excellence Conference Committee: Patricia Longmore, Michelle Brown, Gail Reeves Reid, Nasiche Taylor and Celia Meikle, we do hope that parents will find that these four hours were a valuable investment in the educational success of our black/Caribbean children, and that our children will feel empowered to pursue and fulfil their dreams.

Remember, the world is their oyster!!!

Celia Meikle
Conference Chair