The 26th Annual Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights continues on April 11 with the fourth and final event in the speaker series, “Awareness to Action: The Native American Male Experience.”
As reported in the College Board’s report The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color, fewer than one-fourth of Native American males hold an associate’s degree or higher. There is a 17% high school drop-out rate among Native American males–the second highest of any group. Lack of comfort in school environment, lack of education within families, and poverty and financial responsibilities have been cited in research studies as the factors contributing to their high drop-out rate. Native American males also are more likely to be absent from school, suspended or expelled than any other group. And, due to relatively low population numbers, the Native American drop-out crisis has received little attention in policy and scholarly circles.
- Dr. Lee Bitsoi, program director, Minority Action Plan, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; education strategy consultant, Institute of Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC.
- Dr. Amy Fann, assistant professor, College of Education, University of North Texas
- Dr. Michael Fire, professor, Texas Woman’s University and elder in the Cheyenne Arapho tribe of Oklahoma
- Dr. Shannon Speed (moderator), associate professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts; assistant vice president, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
The session will be held in the Benson Library Conference Room, which is on the second floor of Sid Richardson Hall. A reception begins at 5 p.m. with the panel discussion beginning at 6 p.m. For more information about the Sweatt Symposium visit, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/hemansweatt.