Alumna offers solutions to education crisis

This year’s African American History Month speaker challenged students and faculty to move past the familiar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Instead, the more helpful questions should be, “Who are you? Why are you here? What can’t you live without? What are your gifts? And what is uniquely yours to offer the world?”

During the event held Feb. 1 at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Crystal West, an alumna of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School and LeMoyne Owen College, encouraged students to have an attitude of success.

“Tell yourself, “I am not a problem; I am a solution,” West said.

“Others tell us enough that we are problems…enough of that!  Look at yourself as a solution.”

This year’s African American History Month theme, “LOC: A History of Providing Solutions to the Crisis of Black Education,” reflects the national theme.

West used her platform to address providing solutions to the crisis of black education.

She offered three solutions to the crisis of black education: (1) parents and teachers should honor the gifts you see in a child, (2) learners should seek unconventional ways of education, and (3) learners should develop a stronger sense of self.

“Like me, you might need to teach in a foreign country.  Accept that sometimes you might experience discomfort,” she said.

Also during the celebration, the LOC Gospel Choir and The Kashmir Society performed. Kashmir Society members Leon Muhammad, Lauren Jointer, Keenan Stuckey and Isaac Freeman offered a tribute to three prominent black figures: Barack Obama, Shirley Chisholm, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sharing some of their personal quotes. They persuaded the crowd to a call to action: strengthening, funding and retaining HBCUs.

The event was coordinated by the Center for African and African American Studies, headed by Dr. Femi Ajanaku.