Ten years ago, fewer than 20 young men of color showed up for Highline College’s first Black and Brown Male Summit in 2009.
Now, organizers estimate approximately 700 students, adults and volunteers will be in attendance for the 10th annual summit, set to take place Nov. 15-17.
To ensure the Black and Brown Male Summit will continue to grow for years to come, a fundraising banquet will be offered for the first time this year. The banquet is open to all community members and donors and will raise funds for future summits in addition to funding a year’s worth of tuition to Highline College through a scholarship.
Director of Community Engagement Rashad Norris, who co-founded the summit with other Highline employees, said a guiding force has been one consistent message.
“We started our first with the theme ‘Reach One, Teach One,’ and we’re at the moment now that we see when you reach one, you can reach many, and it’s a beautiful sight to see,” Norris said. “It’s something that I truly hold near and dear to my heart.”
With the theme “The Takeover,” this year’s summit will send the message to young men of color it’s time to take back their voices, their bodies, their mindsets, their actions and their behavior.
“We are responsible for our own selves, our own identities, our own personal triumphs and our own personal failures,” Norris said, adding that it’s up to young men of color to write their own stories and voice their own truths.
As part of the many workshops planned throughout the main event on Saturday, Nov. 16, a keynote speaker, whose identity has remained secret, will present to students. Norris said the speaker is known at a national and international level for their social justice advocacy. But because this person is likely recognizable by adults today, his identity is being kept under wraps so that young men who attend will be able experience his presence in a more authentic manner.
Highline College would like to thank the many sponsors and donors who have contributed. Some top sponsors include BNY Mellon Wealth Management of Seattle, Inspirus Credit Union of Tukwila, Port of Seattle and the Faculty & Staff of Color Conference of Washington state.
For more information on the Black and Brown Male Summit, including details on registration and fundraising banquet tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit bandbsummit.highline.edu.
Schedule of events:
• Friday, Nov. 15: A special reception will be held in the evening for past presenters and keynote speakers. Event is by invitation only.
• Saturday, Nov. 16: All day summit with keynote, workshops and food provided for up to 500 students and 150 adults.
• Sunday, Nov. 17: A fundraising banquet will take place and is open to all community members and donors. The banquet aims to raise funds for future summits, but also for a scholarship that would fund a local student’s Highline College tuition for up to one year.