To improve opportunities for male students of color at California State University, Long Beach, the Associated Students Inc. Senate passed a bill supporting President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” community challenge, according to an ASI bill summary.
ASI Assembly Bill 80 would create the Interagency Task Force on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. The bill serves as a support mechanism for department agencies and people who work with schools outside their own.
“ASI decided to support the bill because it aligns with our campus’ mission to make sure that all CSULB students are equipped with the resources for the best outcome from their educational experience,” ASI Vice President Nayiri Baghdassarian said. “The taskforce also goes long with a program that we already have on our campus, the Men’s Success Initiative.”
ASI’s bill stated that the taskforce’s responsibilities would be to develop strategies to enhance positive outcomes and eliminate or reduce negative outcomes for boys and men of color in the state. The taskforce would consist of members of the legislature and representatives from specific agencies, departments and private entities.
The Men’s Success Initiative program aims to support male students of color to succeed academically.
“It is the mission of CSULB and ASI to create an accessible, affordable and quality system of education,” Elizabeth Zambrano, the ASI Secretary for Systemwide Affairs, said. “Any measure that helps makes higher education accessible, our student government will support. This bill reflects the efforts already being implemented on our campus on a statewide level that goes beyond higher education.”
The city of Long Beach hosted a local action summit in January to discuss ideas of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which discussed ideas for achieving positive life outcomes for the youth.
“Participating in the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Community Challenge would help Long Beach build upon many existing programs to create more opportunities for success for all our youth,” councilmember Rex Richardson said.
The summit reviewed approaches for ensuring that the city’s youth are physically and mentally prepared to graduate from high school and successfully enter the workforce while remaining safe from violent crimes.
“CSULB has a large population of people of color, but a small population of men of color,” Zambrano said.
The ASI bill states that the taskforce would address the challenges facing boys and men of color in California, and assist departments and agencies in improving life outcomes for this population.
“We need to make sure that every current and future student has the essential resources and support needed to succeed here at CSULB and beyond, Zambrano said.
She said that students can get involved by attending CSULB Lobby Corps every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. to become more informed about legislation that affects campuses state and nationwide.