TULSA, Oklahoma –
Tulsa Community College held their African-American Men’s Leadership Summit on Monday.
“People just need to choose to get involved,” said Harrison Hardman.
Hardman, who’s interested in becoming a paralegal, was one of about 50 people to attend the school’s summit.
It’s a luncheon sponsored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion area of TCC, which included speakers, mentors and workshops.
“I believe I’m the only African American student in the paralegal studies program,” said Hardman. “I’d like to see more people that look like me come out and study to become, lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants.”
The summit comes as the college is working to raise graduation rates, especially among underserved and underrepresented groups.
TCC’s Dewayne Dickens helped organize the event.
“One of the concerns across the nation is we know that African-American males are struggling to succeed and be a part of the higher education world,” said Dickens, the school’s director of culturally responsive practices.
Dickens said nationwide, graduation rates among African-American men are lower than other groups.
He said programs like this at TCC have proven helpful in the past.
“This group has the most significant number of barriers,” said Dickens. “Our goal here is to help them manage those barriers and overcome them.”
Something Dickens said is a good reminder, especially on Martin Luther King Jr Day.
“This is the perfect day to talk about it because we want to talk about the dream,” said Dickens. “This is one area where everyone should have an opportunity for quality education.”
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