State of Black Connecticut Alliance Hosts Ceremony

Building Blocks of Educational Excellence Campaign is an event meant to highlight a mission to narrow Connecticut’s and America’s knowledge, skill and opportunity gaps, and to build a parent, family, community engagement, and empowerment/mobilization effort within vulnerable communities.  It is our target goal to be instrumental in implementing and sustaining best practice education, social justice and economic reforms. It is being hosted by State of Black Connecticut Alliance, a non-profit started by Connecticut mother Gwen Samuel. We have interviewed her previously here.
The event will be held at the Hilton Stamford Hotel, One First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on December 16. Tickets are $125.00.  There will be a VIP Public Policy Strategy Building Session 5:00pm – 6:30pm (invite only)
Keynote Addresses: Congressman Chaka Fattah of the Second District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, member of the House Appropriations Committee and sponsor of the “Students Bill of Rights”
Byron Garrett, of Chicago, the first-ever male African-American Chief Executive Officer of National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), he was appointed by The White House as co-convener of the Helping America’s Youth initiative, an inter-agency effort to address challenges facing youth and to promote successful solutions and author of “The ABC’s of Life”
NBC Universal’s, Mr. Brad Drazen, a Connecticut News Anchor, will serve as the Master of Ceremony for the reading events.
Inspiring Hank & Resolution: (Elizabeth NJ)
Catalyst” – a documentary drama by Brooke Haycock, Artist-in –Residence, The Education Trust (Virginia)
Maytae Harge: Kennedy High School, National Honor Society (Waterbury CT)

Event Featured Speakers:
State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield (New Haven 94th District)
Gary represents the 94thDistrict in new haven Connecticut. His work led to his becoming the chair of the Connecticut Federation of Black Democratic Clubs at the end of 2006. Gary serves on the board of Family Reentry an organization dedicated to developing reentry issues for Connecticut’s citizens returning home from prison. Gary is also a board member of CTRIBAT and Empower New Haven due to his role as Newhallvilleneighborhood representative. He believes in activism and has worked with many local groups including People against Injustice, The Brotherhood Leadership Summit and others. Gary works for a professor’s union (SCSU-AAUP) where he is tasked with creating legislative strategy.

Stewart Hudson – Emily Tremaine Foundation
Stewart J. Hudson has served as President of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) since 2001.  EHTF, based in New Haven, Connecticut, focuses its philanthropy in support of educational reform and those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities; it has for the last decade promoted the growth of a clean energy economy in Connecticut and other key states in America; and it continues to support the work of contemporary visual artists through its Marketplace Empowerment for Artists (MEA) program.

RiShawn Bidddle
Co-Author of A Byte at the Apple: Rethinking Education Data in the Post-NCLB Era. Editor of Dropout Nation. Longtime reporter and editorialist on education, economic affairs, business and urban affairs. Author of the award-winning Left Behind: A Star Editorial Board Series on Indiana’s (and America’s) high school dropout crisis. Marketing and communications consultant to the nonprofit and cooperative agency sectors. Appeared in such publications as Forbes, Reason, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, National Review and Politico.
Sonia Maňjon
Wesleyan’s new Vice-President for Diversity and Strategic Partnerships. Although Sonia just began her tenure here in Middletown, we know one another well from our work at CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life. Sonia was largely responsible for building up a wide array of community partnerships that linked California College of the Arts with community organizations, schools and artists’ groups around the Bay Area. She helped the faculty create many service learning courses and developed new undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Community Arts. At the same time, she has been an active participant nationally in the emerging field of community arts.

Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement
The Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement is a volunteer, bipartisan and privately funded commission composed primarily of business leaders and includes several other professionals. The Commission was established by Governor Rell through Executive Order No. 40. The group has researched why Connecticut has one of the largest achievement gaps between low-income students and their more affluent peers, and will make recommendations to the Governor, lawmakers, relevant state and local institutions, and the public on how to close it.

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What is the date of the event? Thanks!

Gwen Samuel

December 16, 2010 is date of event :) Hope to see you there!
We must eliminate this fact: "One in four students in America drops out of high school—and in the minority community; it’s closer to one in two. We’re sending 1.2 million kids into the streets each year without an education. It’s economically unsustainable and it’s morally unacceptable.” - US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

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