Photo of four individuals sitting on a stage

Leaders from across City Colleges of Chicago played a major role in a recent two-day White House event for Black Chicagoans.

Chancellor Juan Salgado, Malcolm X College President David Sanders, and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson kicked off the event the morning of day two, Thursday, June 13, with a welcome and a conversation with Pennsylvania Representative Malcolm Kenyatta about the state of educational and economic opportunities for Black Americans.

One of the key sessions at Power Up also took place on day two, titled: “Global Pathways: Shaping Postsecondary Education for Black Students.” This panel discussion featured Olive-Harvey College’s Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Brandon Nichols. Moderator and White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans Senior Advisor Monique Toussaint led the conversation with Dr. Nichols, students, and faculty and staff from higher education institutions across the country, including Marquette University, University of Chicago, and the University of South Florida.

Dr. Nichols shared that one key to Black male student retention is ensuring colleges hire Black males. He said it not only makes being a Black male in higher education tangible, but also provides them access with mentors who look like them. He also spoke about the ways higher education at Olive-Harvey College impacts positive change in Black communities from community policing in the One Year and Out program, critical math, which is math centered around social, economic, and justice issues, and urban science.

“Change starts in the classroom, and it’s important to have culturally relevant curriculum,” Dr. Nichols said.

Malcolm X College hosted the latest Power Up event. Power Up is a series of in-person and virtual events across the country to directly engage the Black community and connect them with local and federal resources. The event was organized by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans in collaboration with Discovery Education.

This Power Up event took place in Chicago from June 12 to June 13, 2024. The first day focused on community and included youth engagement and listening sessions, community roundtables, local business amplification and networking, and financial aid clinics with federal experts. The second day focused on education and included a black educator roundtable highlighting teacher preparation and workshops for educators.

Through events like this, Power Up serves as a venue to discuss best practices, share critical information, and celebrate achievements among the Black education community. The series provides a platform for showcasing Black innovation in education, technology, financial education, and economic opportunity. It underscores the crucial role of postsecondary programs in advancing education, equity, technology, and economic opportunities.