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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.



LATTC’s Umoja Spring 2014 Induction Ceremony

7 Jun

Umoja, a Kiswahili word meaning unity, is a culturally responsive learning community and student support service dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students.  This year marks the progam’s second annual Spring Induction Ceremony, where students make a pledge toward personal and academic excellence.  Students who have been selected to be part of the program and who have maintained the required grade point average, were officially inducted into Los Angeles Trade Technical College’s Umoja Community.  At this special pinning ceremony, students took a pledge toward personal and academic excellence and were presented with Kente stoles.

Dr. Keneesha Tarrant gave inspirational words from the president’s office and Deborah Campbell, counselor and Black Student Union advisor, also came to congratulate the students.  This year, the students asked Garnet King, an LATTC staff and Umoja supporter, to present Linda Cole, Michael Hopper, and Dean Dorothy Smith with gold trophies.  They wanted to thank them for their tireless dedication to the students and the program.  Faculty members Thurman Robinson, Michael Hopper, Elton Robinson, and Gerald Mock, along with staff member, Garnett King, made up the receiving line to congratulate the students.

The Culinary Arts program, led by Steve Kasmar, prepared a wonderful lunch for the event.  Guests feasted on chicken parmesan, salad, and homemade rolls.  The culinary arts department also made a delicious chocolate cake, blueberry lemon parfaits, and an assortment of homemade cookies, tarts, and other delicious desserts.

Counselors, Maurice Burnett and Derek Majors were the original advisors of Umoja.  They attending the required professional development training and set the ground work to officially bring the Umoja Community to the campus.  After a lack of resources and financial support, the program was archived.  But in 2012, faculty advisors, Linda Cole, Michael Hopper, and Dr. Ayesha Randall officially relaunched Umoja (oo-moe-juh).  Dean Dorothy Smith, dean of student services, and Linda Cole provided seed support for its launching.

For more about LA Trade Tech’s Umoja program, visit

Juneteenth 2012 at Trade

21 Jun

Juneteenth is an annual observance on June 19th to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. This day is an opportunity for people to celebrate freedom and equal rights in the United States.  The Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Black Faculty & Staff Association (LATTC BFSA) celebrated its first annual Juneteenth event with a campus-wide potluck luncheon.  Over 90 faculty, staff, and administrators fellowshipped together over delicious soul food ranging from homemade dishes and store-bought favorites like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, homemade soulful coleslaw, chili, catfish nuggets, and chicken salad.  For dessert there were favorites like red velvet cake, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, chocolate cake, peach cobbler, pineapple upside down cake, and fresh fruit.  Admission & Record’s Carolyn Walker even blessed the event with down home pork dishes like grilled pig feet, chitterlings (aka “chitlins”), collard greens and cabbage, and hot water cornbread!  Many of the guests remarked that once in a while, this kind of eating was acceptable.  But of course, with the high rates of chronic diseases in the African-American community, this kind of eating can’t be an everyday occurrence.  So guests were also talking about ways to burn off the good eats.  In preparing for her upcoming nuptials, Lori Hunter of EOP & S and other staff members amended their daily stair exercise workout to two trips up and down, instead of one trip.  Another guest suggested following his meal with some ginger and citrus fruit.  And to burn off more calories, guests danced to golden oldies deejayed by Dean Derek Majors.

The Trade-Tech Black Faculty & Staff Association organized the event with the leadership of Linda Cole, VP of LATTC BFSA and Toni Johnson, Secretary.

The event took place in the TE conference room and was decorated with United States and Juneteenth flags.  At each table, there was a bottle of red punch, the Juneteenth flag, and a laminated History of Juneteenth leaflet, a keepsake for guests.  During the event, several short Juneteenth videos played and a compilation of photos from early 1900s to the 2012 LACCD Black Graduation Celebration ran on the big screen.

“This is the kind of camaraderie that strengthens the ties between the faculty, staff, and administrators, and creates a wonderful and harmonious working environment,” Ayesha Randall, SLO Coordinator, remarked.  “This was a beautiful event.  This is the foundation of a unified team environment–something that definitely supports and indirectly positively affects our students’ success.”  For more photos from the event, visit this link.