Casino and Game Night Fundraiser

25 Nov

BFSA Casino and Game Night FlyerJoin the LACCD Black Faculty & Staff Association for its first annual Casino & Game Night!  This event is for the entire LA Community Colleges.  Please come on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. under the South Tent.  There will be Casino games, Black Jack, Poker, Craps, and Roulette.  If you don’t gamble, don’t worry!  There will be lots of other games too–Dominoes, Connect Four, Taboo, and more!

$40.00 for BFSA Members / $45.00 for Non-Members/ $85.00 for Couples
Tickets include Food, Dancing and a Stack of Gambling Chips
A No-Host Bar will be available
Guests must be 21 years or older
For tickets contact:
Marcia Wilson at (626) 807-2691 or Email: or
purchase tickets from any BFSA member

Please come out and support!

President Barak Obama Visits LA Trade Tech

24 Jul

LA Trade TechFrom 89.3 KPCC…

The White House statement is rather bland. It says President Obama will speak at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Thursday to address “the importance of job-driven skills training.” The stop comes amid two fundraisers with ticket prices as high as $32,400.

With so many options for a Southern California appearance, why Trade Tech, a public two-year college located south of downtown, just a few blocks from Staples Center?

“They have been called a game changer in higher education,” says Estela Mara Bensimon, co-director of the Center for Urban Education at the USC Rossier School of Education.

Trade Tech is integrating academic departments and “embedding” counselors to help students more easily navigate the curriculum, says Bensimon. “These students at Trade Tech need a lot of support in basic skills development.”

“Too often, schools blame students for being underprepared,” Bensimon says.

For a Democratic president who has talked a lot about how community colleges can help minority and low-income students, it’s a perfect venue. Obama wants community colleges to produce an additional five million graduates in the next five years, though efforts to pump billions more federal dollars into the effort have been stymied by deficit-conscious Republicans.

The stop at Trade Tech takes the president out of the ritzy neighborhoods of his fundraisers and places him in front of many people who are struggling to complete their education and find a way to make a living. This is Los Angeles, where the gap between the rich and the poor is wide. By going to Trade Tech, the president traverses that gap.

More than 15,000 students attend Trade Tech, one of the nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District.  Fifty-five percent are Latino and 27-percent are African American. One quarter of the students are over the age of 35, says Bensimon, who is conducting research on the school as part of a Ford Foundation grant.

Trade Tech has a wide variety of programs for jobs in healthcare, the building trades, fashion, automotive mechanics and culinary science. The school also recently instituted a new program for military veterans. It’s a seven-week “Apprenticeship Preparation Boot Camp” for a career in construction.

“I’m not surprised President Obama chose Trade Tech,” says Bensimon.

“Having the president come to Los Angeles to a place like Trade Tech is really important,” says June Bayha of WestEd, a national advocacy organization that focuses on equity. “The president going to a community college shows that there are a lot of different options available – not just four-year colleges.”

“In the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience,” President Obama said earlier this year. “We will not fill those jobs – or keep those jobs on our shores – without the training offered by community colleges.”

President Obama is scheduled to speak at Trade Tech around 1:15 pm on Thursday.

Of course touting the benefits of community colleges is not the only reason for Obama’s visit to Los Angeles. Earlier Thursday, he attends a roundtable discussion at the home of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. Just 30 people are attending, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tickets are $32,400 per person, the maximum allowable under federal law.

The president is due to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Grey’s Anatomy television producer Shonda Rhimes. Tickets range from $1,000 to $32,400.


Dr. Bobbi McDaniel of Valley Leaves for Doha, Qatar

16 Jul

Bobbi McDanielDr. Bobbi McDaniel, Director of the Upward Bound Program at Los Angeles Valley College, is leaving for a new position in the Middle East.  She will be embarking upon her lifelong dream to work and live abroad.  McDaniel will be training new teachers in Doha, Qatar, home to Education City, an area devoted to research and education.

McDaniel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications at University of Nevada-Reno, a Master of Arts degree in education from Fordham University, and a Doctorate of Education degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.  She presented “The Politics of Knowledge and Schooling in the Global Era” at New York University’s International Education Conference in 2011.  A member of the LACCD Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), McDaniel has always demonstrated strong leadership in uplifting and empowering African Americans as well as other disenfranchised ethnic groups.  She was the president of the black student union organization at University of Nevada-Reno and had begun creating a BFSA chapter at LA Valley College.

In addition to her work at the community college level, McDaniel is the founder and director of Sister Circle, an intervention program designed for African American high school girls. The program addresses the academic, social and emotional development of young girls impacted by the social issues of attending high school in poor, urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles.   The program provides students with a safe space to meet and discuss their concerns, learn about African American traditions and heritage, and engage with motivational speakers and mentors.

The Sister Circle program was a response to a race riot that erupted on the campus at Santee High School in 2005 and provided support for Black female students at the school who wanted their voices and concerns to be heard.  McDaniel, at the time, was an integral part of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission as an Education Policy Advisor, and had been brought in to assist with resolution efforts at the school. She remembers arriving on the scene at Santee High School to find a group of African American girls confined by police to the library.

Those same girls would become the first members of the Sister Circle program.

The number of African-American students only made up less than 7 percent of the student body, forcing Santee to end the program.  However, in the fall of 2006, the principal of Thomas Jefferson High School at the time, Juan Flecha, invited McDaniel to restart the program at Jefferson High School, where it has been ever since.  For the past eight years, the Sister Circle program has continued to provide students with a safe space to discuss academic and personal issues and enable them to move closer to their life goals.

McDaniel has been a great asset to the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, and to the academic community at large.  We wish her the best.

Visit the Qatar Foundation at for more information about the burgeoning and innovative educational communities and developments of the country.  You can also view a PBS video about Education City here.

Tribute Thursday: Thomas Henry Peterson, First African American Voter

26 Jun
Born:  October 6, 1824 Metuchen, New Jersey Died:  February 4, 1904 (age 79) Perth Amboy, New Jersey Known for: The first African American to vote in the United States after the passage of the 15th Amendment

Born: October 6, 1824
Metuchen, New Jersey
Died: February 4, 1904 (age 79)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
Known for: The first African American to vote in the United States after the passage of the 15th Amendment

Today’s Tribute Thursday goes to Thomas Mundy Peterson (October 6, 1824 – February 4, 1904) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  He was the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. His vote was cast on March 31, 1870.

Thomas Mundy Peterson was born in Metuchen, New Jersey. His father, also named Thomas, worked for the Mundy family. It is unclear if he was a slave of the family or not. His mother, Lucy Green, was a slave of Hugh Newell (1744-1816) of Freehold Township, New Jersey. She was manumitted at age 21 by Newell’s will.

He was a school custodian and general handyman in Perth Amboy. Active in the Republican Party, he became the city’s first African-American to hold elected office, on the Middlesex County Commission.  He was also the city’s first “colored” person to serve on a jury.

Peterson voted in a local election held in Perth Amboy, NJ over the town’s charter. Some citizens wanted to revise the existing charter while others wished to abandon the charter altogether in favor of a township form of government. Peterson cast his ballot in favor of revising the existing charter. This side won 230 to 63.  Peterson was afterward appointed to be a member of the committee of seven that made the revisions.  Historical records as to his contribution to revisions in the form of minutes, writing, or other records are still wanting.

To honor Thomas Mundy Peterson as the first African-American voter after the passage of the 15th Amendment, the citizens of Perth Amboy raised $70

The medallion awarded to Thomas Mundy Peterson by the citizens of Perth Amboy in 1884.

The medallion awarded to Thomas Mundy Peterson by the citizens of Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1884.

(over $1,000 in 2010 dollars) to award him with a gold medallion. The full medallion consists of a gold bar from which a two inch diameter medallion was hung. The hanging medallion featured a profile bust of a clean-shaven Abraham Lincoln. It was presented to Thomas Mundy Peterson on Memorial Day, which was then called Decoration Day, May 30, 1884.  


He is said to have loved the medal and never considered himself properly dressed without it affixed to his left breast. Later in life financial instability forced Peterson to sometimes pawn the medallion. It is currently housed at the historically African-American Xavier University of Louisiana.

Thomas Peterson is buried at the St. Peters Episcopal Church cemetery in Perthy Amboy, New Jersey. When his grave was found years after his passing in 1904, it was given a historical marker. March 31st is considered Thomas Mundy Peterson Day in New Jersey.

While he is known today as “Thomas Mundy Peterson,” there are no contemporary records that include the three names together. The one exception is the cover for the program describing the ceremony when he was given the “voting medal,” and that calls him “Thomas Peterson-Mundy.” Contemporary documents refer to him as either Thomas Peterson or Thomas (or Tom) Mundy. His death certificate, the undertaker’s accounts book and a land deed all refer to him as “Thomas H. Peterson.” In the obituary appearing in The Perth Amboy Evening News he is called Thomas Henry Peterson.


In October 1989, the school where Peterson had worked was renamed after him.

In New Jersey, March 31 is annually celebrated as Thomas Mundy Peterson Day in recognition of his historic vote.


Source:  and

BFSA Members Featured in Aspirations to Achievement Men of Color Video

24 Jun

BFSA members, Dr. Marcia Wilson, Director of Workforce Development Programs and Grants and Elton Robinson, Department Chair of Cosmetology–both from Los Angeles Trade Technical College–are featured in Achieving the Dream’s “Aspirations to Achievement:   Men of Color and Community College” video, which brings together data about the engagement and attainment of Latinos and Black males in community colleges.

The video highlights the voices of students and faculty, drawn from focus groups conducted in six Achieving the Dream colleges–Austin Community College (TX), Tarrant County College (TX), Los Angeles Southwest College (CA), Los Angeles Trade Technical College (CA), Lansing Community College (MI), and Jackson Community College (MI)–as well as other institutions at the Phi Theta Kappa convention. Emerging from the multi-year project are urgent questions that must be addressed in every community college committed to equity in outcomes across diverse student groups. Perspectives vary on the answers to these questions.  View the video below noting Marcia Wilson at minute 17:01 and Elton Robinson at 18:14.

Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, Achieving the Dream leads a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history. Together with their network of over 200 institutions of higher education, 100 coaches and advisors, 15 state policy teams, and numerous investors and partners working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia, they are helping nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.



Celebrating Juneteenth

19 Jun

Juneteenth PhotoJuneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas in 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African-American citizens throughout the United States.

It was on June 19th, that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863. This day is celebrated by African Americans in honor of their ancestors who received notice of being set free from slavery on June 19, 1865.

Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.  The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, and readings authored by African American writers such as Maya Angelou and Ralph Ellison. Celebrations sometimes take the form of parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests.Juneteenth Flag 1

The Juneteenth flag consists of a rectangle. The lower part of the rectangle is red and the upper part is blue and it has a solid white, five-pointed star at its center. The star is surrounded by a white outline of a 12-pointed star. The Juneteenth flag is often displayed with the United States flag to symbolize that slavery is illegal.

In Texas and some other southern states, the traditional drink on Juneteenth is Big Red soda. This variety of cream soda is a sweet, soft drink flavored with orange and lemon oils and vanilla. It is available in different flavors and with or without caffeine and sugar.

For more information about Juneteenth, visit and


Dedication to Black Fathers

15 Jun
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893. Oil on canvas, 49" × 35½". Hampton University Museum.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893. Oil on canvas, 49″ × 35½”. Hampton University Museum.

“In daddy’s arms, I am tall…”  Happy Father’s Day 2014 to all of our strong Black Brotha’s.  May today and all the days to come be blessed with love, faith, patience, understanding and joy.  Know in your heart that you are appreciated and loved.  There is no replacement for you.  Ever.   Stay strong.

This song, “Brotha,” by Angie Stone is dedicated to all of the fathers, godfathers, grandfathers, uncles, and father figures.

“He is my King, He is my one
Yes he’s my father, Yes he’s my son
I can talk to him, cuz he understands
Everything I go through and everything I am
He’s my support system, I can’t live without him
The best thing since sliced bread,
Is his kiss, his hugs, his lips, his touch
And I just want the whole world to know, about my…

Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never – try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true
Cuz you’re my Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no – one above ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true…”

“He’s misunderstood, some say that he’s up to no good around the neighborhood
But fo’ your information – a lot of my brothers got education (now check it)
You got ya Wall Street brotha, ya blue collar brotha,
Your down for whatever chillin’ on the corner brother
A talented brotha, and to everyone of y’all behind bars
You know that I loves ya

Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never – try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true
Cuz you’re my Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never – try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you- forever true
Cuz youre my Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no – one above ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true

You mean so much to me, you give me what I need,
I’m so proud of you (I said I’m so proud of you)
I love you for stayin’ strong, you got it goin’ on
I’m so proud of you (I’mmmmmmmmm)
Going through thick and thin, brothas you gonna win
I’m so proud of you (I said I’m so proud of you)
Whenever you facin’ doubt, brothas gon’ work it out
I’m so proud of you (I got unshakeable faith in ya)

Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never – try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true
Cuz youre my Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no – one above ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true
Only my Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never – try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I’m here for you – forever true
Cuz youre my Black Brotha, strong brotha, there is no – one above ya…”

Happy Father’s Day 2014.  Be blessed.


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