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WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) will host a Milwaukee-based education symposium focusing on student-led thoughts to improve the education system from 6:00-8:30 Breaking Barriers 3p.m., November 19 at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center 790 N. Van Buren Street. Teachers, school administrators, parents, students, community leaders, elected officials and concerned citizens are welcome to attend this free event. Rep. Gwen Moore will serve as a special guest during the event.

Young black male students will share their perspectives on school leadership, teachers, community programs and their insights into what changes should be made to the education system. The discussion will be based on CBCF’s Breaking Barriers 3: (BB3) Challenge the Status Quo for Academic Success among Black Males. BB3 is a part of a series of publications created by CBCF to educate the public on the various factors affecting academic success among African-American males.  Launched in 2008, the BB3 series focuses on three strategic areas that shape life outcomes of black males – education, family and work.

The Milwaukee symposium is designed to generate greater awareness within the community about African-American males in schools and to help develop strategies to improve life outcomes for black men and boys. “This is an opportunity for community leaders to set aside philosophical and partisan differences, and focus on the fundamental need for black males to receive a quality education from educators who treat them with dignity and respect,” said Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., senior research analyst for CBCF and BB3 author.

Milwaukee has a majority minority public school population, with African-American students making up 56.2 percent of the student population, followed by Hispanics at 23.5 percent.  The district’s overall graduation rate is 67 percent.  In the 2007-2008 academic year 50 percent of the black males graduated with their cohort, up from 36 percent the previous year.  However, during the same period, 92 percent of white males graduated in 2007-2008, and 87 percent the previous school year.

The event  is made possible by funding from the Open Society Foundation Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Local partners include Milwaukee Partnership Academy, The Milwaukee Planning Group, LLC – Office of Minority Male Achievement, The Young Enterprising Society, Urban Underground, and ScholarCentric. RSVP at