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Walters Empowers Black Youth Through Education Conference

Dr. Nicole WaltersEmpowering disadvantaged black youth is the goal of the annual 2014 National Council on Educating Black Children Convention, which was held on April 16-18 in New Orleans, La.

Dr. Nicole McZeal Walters, associate dean of the School of Education at University of St. Thomas, was a featured speaker at this national convention, which brings together organizations to discuss how to support and empower youth who are sometimes disenfranchised in urban schools. In addition, it provides a toolkit for parents, teachers, leaders and students to engage in discourse and chart a course of action for student’s success.

Walters said NCEBC’s mission is to reinstate academic rigor and relevant teaching and prepare the African-American learner for effective participation in a competitive global society.

Walters performed different roles during this convention; she facilitated an all youth summit that was comprised of approximately 35 young women ages 13-18 from local New Orleans parish schools. She also interviewed Dr. Ivory Toldson, the deputy director for the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges, about how to attract more minority and underserved students to higher education. Finally, she worked with Dr. Warren Simmons of the Annenburg Institute to engage the local community in discussing school reform and answering questions about improving educational experiences for students, especially those who are considered low performing and economically disadvantaged. 

Walters said the youth summit was a success as three students have arranged a college visit to University of St. Thomas with their parents in the fall.  

“I am excited to welcome bright minds to our campus in an effort to explicate the meaning of educating leaders of faith in character,” Walters said. “Students today are very interested in a faith-based education. I am pleased that I am here at UST to share our mission and fine programs.”

The annual 2014 NCEBC Convention was organized by the board of directors of NCEBC and sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and Pearson. It discussed many diverse topics like social justice and policy advocacy, parenting as a civil right, the future of public education and empowering youth through positive self-identity.

In support of the convention’s goal, Walters serves as the co-host of the live online talk radio show with Dr. Eric Cooper every Monday at 10 a.m. EST on NCEBCTalkRadio to answer the related questions on a weekly basis.  

“There is much ground to cover when it comes to addressing the mindset and educational opportunities for our youth,” Walters said. “The convention set in motion gifts of language, discussion and solution that we can provide for next generation.”

As a result of her continued efforts, she has been asked to join NCEBC’s national board of directors. 

By Marwa Abdou

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