Nearly 400 attend SAAB at CSUSB
Nearly 400 college and high school students and administrators from throughout the inland region attended the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) Western Regional Conference at Cal State San Bernardino.
The conference, “One Brotherhood, Many Voices: Creating Systems for Success,” was designed to engage, develop and train disadvantaged, underrepresented and under-served young males of color into becoming productive and contributing citizens in society. The two-day event featured guest speakers, panel sessions for educators and students.
The first day’s sessions were attended by about 130 college students and administrators from throughout the inland region and was moved to the Doubletree Inn in San Bernardino, due to concerns of a potential Southern California Edison-ordered Public Safety Power Shutoff.
The conference then moved to the CSUSB campus at the Santos Manuel Student Union on Saturday, Oct. 12, where about 260 high school and college students attended, said Aaron Burgess, the executive director of the student union. The event also had students from the Sacramento and San Diego area, Burgess said.
The conference was geared toward young males (especially of color) along with educators, corporate professionals, civic/community leaders, researchers and philanthropists interested in advancing and supporting successful educational pathways to help leverage the talents and to create change for students at the middle school, high school and college levels.
CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, who serves as a member of the organization’s national board, said the university was honored to host the conference. “With chapters at more than 200 middle schools, high schools and college campuses nationwide, SAAB offers tremendous benefit, especially to underrepresented young men of color.”
The conference guest speakers were author, speaker and consultant Richard Taylor; author, speaker and educator Brian Heat; and Jordan Harrison, president of the SAAB Alumni Association and inspirational speaker.
The session topics included: Cultivating a Passion for Success; Creating Systems for Success: Celebrating SAAB’s Success; Telling Our Success Stories; and How to Establish a SAAB Initiative.
Morales praised the organization’s chapters for their work in helping young men, especially of color.
“SAAB provides social, cultural and spiritual enrichment as well as college degrees and achieving lives of purpose and success. It helps individuals fight against economic and cultural barriers to develop self-confidence,” Morales said. “It is sensitive to existing environments and does not discriminate or limit membership based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other primary diversity dimensions.”
Morales said the university’s SAAB chapter is extremely active, hosting regular study sessions and seminars for students of all ages, and works with a number of nonprofit groups. “Our students also serve as mentors, helping newcomers avoid the traps and hurdles they have experienced.”
Burgess said as a result of the conference, the university is looking forward to meeting with area K-12 school districts to start SAAB chapters at area high schools.