Up Where We Belong

Note: This page contains information from our 2008 Up Where We Belong Conference. Up Where We Belong is incorporated into the AVID National Conference.

Accelerating African American Male Student Achievement


2008 Conference Proceedings

Up Where We BelongRead in-depth coverage of the UWWB conference and breakout sessions:

UWWB 2008 Conference Proceedings

2008 Conference Highlights

AVID Center, the College Board and the National Association for Gifted Children’s 2nd Annual Up Where We Belong: Advancing African American Male Achievement conference in Atlanta, Georgia was a resounding success.

Nearly 500 participants from across the country attended the two-day conference in October. Presentations addressed issues facing the educational status of African American male students and solutions for closing the achievement gap. Group discussions examined how to accelerate educational access and equity by utilizing rigorous curriculum as a vehicle for change.

Featuring keynote speakers, Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu and Jonathan Grant Brown, the event also included a variety of breakout sessions that provided direct instruction about culturally relevant pedagogy and the use of effective classroom methodologies. These solutions focused on improving academic success for African American males and narrowing the achievement gap.

One of the highlights of the conference was a student panel discussion featuring eight African American male middle school, high school and college students, representing students who will be, are, and were AVID and AP students. Meet the Student Panelists.

Keynote Speakers Bios

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu is an educational consultant, mentor, author and lecturer. With over 30 different workshops, Dr. Kunjufu addresses a variety of audiences, including students, parents, teachers, and community residents. He has dedicated his life to uplifting communities. The author of more than two dozen books, Kunjufu’s works include:Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, Vol. 1 and Motivating Black Youth to Work; Children Are the Reward of Life; Lessons from History; A Celebration in Blackness; Elementary & High School; To Be Popular or Smart: The Black Peer Group; Adam Where Are You?; Satan, I’m Taking Back My Health; and State of Emergency.

Jonathan Grant Brown, now at the University of Texas (Permian Basin), is a highly sought after motivational speaker, and a positive role model and mentor. He is the West Texas AVID Consultant and Master Tutor for the Midland/Odessa area. This extraordinary young man began his journey in the foster care system, and has emerged as the embodiment and the hope of what is possible when any student is nurtured and guided by caring educators, high expectations, a loving family, and a committed community.


Related Resources

Access Research Journal, Issue 13.2, 2007 Fall