Note to Editors: Students from your town participated in this event and are listed below.
Students from across Colorado participated in the sixth annual Black Issues Forum June 18-20 at Colorado State University to facilitate student discussion of issues facing the African-American community.
Fifty-six high-school students from Colorado, California, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming attended the forum.
The students spent Friday researching topics in the library based on their role in the town meeting. Topics included attacks on race-based scholarships, economic empowerment, apologies and reparations for slavery and the image of the African-American family in the media.
A series of town meeting forums were held on Saturday in which each student played an assigned role, ranging from a community member to a concerned parent.
The program is designed to expose high-school students to college and the Colorado State campus. "We wanted a program that allowed students to experience campus and discuss issues relevant to the African-American community," said Tracy Raiford, coordinator of the forum and assistant director of admissions at the university.
Encouraging students to attend college is a major goal of the program, Raiford said.
"If they choose Colorado State, we would love to have them," she said. "Colorado State is the best kept secret in the state. Students of all backgrounds can receive a quality education here."
Participants in the forum from Colorado included the following.
Sophia Burns, senior at Hinkley High School.
Dawn Calbart, senior at Aurora Central High School, is involved in student council and French Club.
E’leeshea Holston, senior at Hinkley High School, is involved in Speech and Higher Ground.
Morris Jackson, senior at Gateway High School, is a member of Chemistry Club, the Expanding Visions and Mentoring programs and plays on the Varsity Basketball team.
Nephateana Jankins, senior at Hinkley High School, is involved in the Youth at Work program and was a candidate in the Miss Colorado Teen Pageant.
Monique Lewis, junior at Hinkley High School, is involved with National Honor Society, International Baccalaureate, the Pre-Collegiate Development Program, Drill Team, the track team and Church Choir. She made Who’s Who Among American High School Students and lettered in track in 1998.
Kristen Matthews, senior at Smokey Hill/Gateway High School.
Thaxson Patterson, senior at Rangeview High School, is a member of Future Business Leaders of America. He also received a Most Improved Student award.
Chris Evans, senior at Broomfield High School, has played varsity soccer for three years.
Genesis Anderson, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, is a member of the track team.
Iphigenia Grahm, senior at Widefield High School.
Tracie Johnson, senior at Palmer High School.
Vanessa Johnson, senior at Widefield High School.
Kelly Jones, senior at Palmer High School, is a member of National Honor Society and the track and basketball teams.
Monique Loggins, senior at Coronado High School, received the Urban League "Do the Right Thing" Award. She also is a member of National Honor Society and served as the captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. She also has served as the secretary of hospitality and assistant treasurer at the Christ Temple Apostolic Church.
Laura Martin, senior at Palmer High School.
Cherise Munn, senior at Mesa Ridge High School, is the senior class president and previously served as the junior class president. She also is assistant Teen Director for the Southwest Leadership Conference, director of a Gospel Choir, a peer tutor, an Assets for Youth council member, a Renaissance council member and member of the Colorado Youth Mass Choir.
James Parks, senior at Sierra High School, is a class representative.
Natilia Peters, senior at Wasson High School.
Monica Reeler, senior at Mitchell High School.
LaShanna Richardson, senior at Widefield High School, is a member of National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and Forensics.
Jason Smith, senior at Palmer High School, is a member of National Honor Society, the president of a youth class at his church and plays on the varsity football team at his high school.
Ruth Arthur-Asmah, senior at George Washington High School.
Chelsea Burrell, senior at George Washington High School.
Terrance France, senior at Gateway High School, is a member of Chemistry Club, German Club and Young Black Engineers.
Keisha Gibson, senior at Montbello High School.
Yodil Gidey, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, is on the soccer team.
Genene Johnson, senior at Montbello High School, is involved with student council, the Denver Educational Excellence Program, National Honor Society and Upward Bound. During the 1998-99 school year, she will be a senior mentor for the freshmen at her high school.
Devaki Jordan, senior at George Washington High School, is the Vice Head Girl, a member of Future Business Leaders of America, the African American Culture Club and the tennis team.
Kamau Martinez, senior at East High School, is a peer mentor for elementary children.
Verene Victoria Massey, senior at Montbello High School, is a member of National Honor Society and is a Link Leader.
Sheikina Miller, senior at Montbello High School, is a member of National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and Sisters for Change.
LaQuisha Murray, senior at Montbello High School.
Khaile Piper, senior at Rangeview High School, is a member of the track and football teams.
Michael Reed, senior at Denver South High School, is a member of National Honor Society and is on the Student Senate.
Tamara Roach, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School.
Keniah Robinson, senior at George Washington High School, is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, International Baccalaureate and Seerteen Club.
Melissa Williams, senior at Centennial High School
Dawn Tsikewa, senior at Greeley West High School, is involved in Upward Bound and the Big Brother/Big Sister Program.
Nikia Bailey, senior at Centaurs High School.
For more information on the Black Issues Forum, call Raiford at (303) 573-6315.