Week of Action

Celebrating Black Contributions to America – LIVE Virtual Symposium

Virtual Symposium Concurrent Sessions:

  • Select one session per device.

We have curated dynamic speakers and topics for you to engage in and learn more about the impact African Americans have made in America. At a designated time, during the virtual symposium, you will be asked to open this document and click on the link in the chat feature.

  • Session 1: Deep Roots: African-American History & Heritage
    Speaker: Mawuli Davis

    African Americans have contributed to the prosperity of DeKalb County and all over the world. You will learn about African American leaders who influenced and shaped our country and neighborhoods we live in today, and the advancements made throughout the years in government, education, business, and community organizations.

  • Session 2: Black People and STE(A)M
    Speaker: Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry

    Black people have made critical contributions to the STE(A)M field that shape our world, and we need more of them. The proportion of bachelor’s degrees in science awarded to Black graduates remained flat at about 9 percent from 2001 to 2016, according to the most recent available figures from the National Science Foundation; in engineering, it declined from 5 percent to 4 percent; and in math, it dropped from 7 percent to 4 percent. In this session, students will meet and learn about many inspiring black people who are makers, creators, and innovators in STE(A)M.

  • Session 3: It’s Ok to Ask for Help: Mental Wellness in Black Communities
    Speaker: Dr. Nicole Prad Jennings

    The US has 13.4% of its population identify as Black or African-American and of those, over 16% reported having mental illness, that’s about 7 million people. According to a recent survey from Mental Health of America, despite rates being less than the overall U.S. population, major depressive episodes increased from 9 percent-10.3 percent in Black and African American youth ages 12-17, 6.1 percent to 9.4 percent in young adults 18-25, and 5.7 percent to 6.3 percent in the 26-49 age range between 2015 and 2018.
  • Session 4: Black Children’s Story
    Speakers: Hootdini & Mr. Cobb

    African Americans have written many books that have been passed down through the years. Our very own Hootdini and Mr. Cobb will retell children’s books by famous African American authors.

  • Session 5: Wealth Equity in the Black Community
    Speaker: Royce Richardson

    Closing the racial wealth gap requires heavy lifting and progressive thinking. According to the Brookings Institute, The median white household has a net worth 10 times that of the median Black household. If Black households held a share of the national wealth in proportion to their share of the U.S. population, it would amount to $12.68 trillion in household wealth, rather than the actual sum of $2.54 trillion. The total racial wealth gap, therefore, is $10.14 trillion. In this session, you will hear from experts about how we can close the racial wealth gap.

  • Session 6: For the People, by the People: The Unbalanced Judicial and Legislative Systems
    Speaker: Kayla Kudratt

    There is racial disparity in the US Justice System. According to a recent report by The Sentencing Project, in 2016, black Americans comprised 27% of all individuals arrested in the United States—double their share of the total population. Black youth accounted for 15% of all U.S. children yet made up 35% of juvenile arrests in that year. In this session, you will learn about the unbalanced systems and how we can break the cycle.