Archive | October, 2015

A Legacy Moving Forward

13 Oct

By Jasmine Phillips, Counselor LATTC

LATTC UmojaAs I looked around the room, I was proud to see these new, yet familiar faces.  As with tradition, we blessed our food and broke bread to open this gathering; and I knew it would be a wonderful semester. The first Umoja meeting of the year demonstrated the deep bond from students to faculty and from faculty to students as everyone gathered together in unity committed to the academic success, personal growth and self-actualization of our students.  It was a celebration of the hard work that had transpired in the past years as well as the anticipation of what’s to come this year.

It was very moving to see African American males, passionate and energized, come to be part of the Umoja community, stand up to introduce themselves, share their personal stories, and support each other through words of encouragement.

Through the Sankofa model of reaching back and connecting, this year’s Umoja students will partner with the new campus club, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), as well as the LACCD Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) to empower students to pursue and never give up on their dreams, and to push forward while always remembering the past.

As this theme sets the tone for the coming year, Umoja has a variety of cultural events and educational activities planned. 21520673123_e885c916c8_o They just returned from the annual rededication event of Colonel Allen Allensworth State Historic Park, the first city in California founded by African Americans.  It was a celebration of the renewed commitment to the park and its symbolic representation of self determination, educational success and economic development.

The next event will be the the “Black Minds Matter!” rally in Sacramento on Thursday, November 5, 2015.  Over 800 high school, community college, and university students from all over Los Angeles and northern California will rally on the steps of the state capital building.  After that, the students will travel to Oakland to the Umoja XI Conference at the Oakland City Center Marriott from November 6th to the 7th, 2015.  Hosted by Chabot College and the College of San Mateo, this year’s theme is “Our Students Matter:  Cultural Democracy, Equity as Action.”

In addition to the cultural events, there are also a series of educational workshops that will be taking place as well.  The goal is to create a culture of reading and academic success, so students will take part in study skills, reading, writing, and math workshops throughout the year.

Through the power of community, unity, and the Each One Teach One model, LA Trade-Tech’s Umoja community plans to increase its cohort of students as well as improve retention through empowering and uplifting students.   New coordinator, Jeremy Jackson, brings valuable tangible experience to his new position; so it is going to be a fabulous year, and it’s already evident that the sky is the limit.  In the words of those who have come before us, might I remind us all to “keep your eyes on the prize.”  At Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, the Umoja legacy continues and will be the pathway to ensuring that African American students attain the prize of academic success.

Oct 13th Unveiling of Haiti Bound Fire Truck

5 Oct

Fire TruckThe 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 destroyed many structures, including entire hospitals and other medical facilities. Since then, some fires that started were simply left to burn out due to lack of resources.

Coordinated by Fire Capt. Jonathan Bowers of the Los Angeles County Stentorians, a chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, organized an effort to provide the demolished country with a fire truck as well as with the necessary training to operate it.

In September 2012, the Compton Fire Department donated a fire truck to Carrefour, a residential neighborhood in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.  To get it ready, the truck was brought to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for refurbishment through the college’s automotive repair program.  After nearly 2 years of students providing the hands-on labor to restore the truck, it is ready to be dedicated and sent to Haiti.

The Los Angeles Trade-Technical Foundation has coordinated an official unveiling ceremony to take place on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. on the Trade Tech campus.  The fire engine will have lights on and sirens going near the North Event Tent.  At 11:45 a.m., the formal dedication ceremony and presentations will occur in the same location.  At 12:15 there will be a reception at Magnolia Hall atrium.

Representatives from the Haitian Consulate and Department of Defense will be present, along with elected officials; Los Angeles Trade-Technical College faculty, staff, and administration; students from the Transportation’s Collision and Repair Program; major suppliers including NAPA Auto Parts; and of course, fire fighters representing Los Angeles City, County, and Compton Fire Departments.  For more information, visit

Content and photo credit:  Chini Johnson, Professor, Emeritus, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and LATTC Foundation secretary and