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ID Faculty and Alumni Participate in Young Men of Color Summit

By Thaddeus Mast

December 21, 2022

Event Marks New Collaboration Between Chicago Public Schools and Illinois Tech

Nearly 500 students explored Mies Campus on November 12 during the Young Men of Color Summit hosted by Illinois Institute of Technology. The event marks a new collaboration between Chicago Public Schools and the university.

The summit was a chance for young Black and Latinx men to learn how they can be successful in higher education, says Illinois Tech Director of Undergraduate Admission Markie Rhodes.

“Black and Latinx students are often disproportionately impacted by systemic challenges causing barriers to success in academia and higher education,” Rhodes says. “The YMOC Summit is an opportunity for these students to start building their networks early in their academic careers and to learn the necessary strategies to overcome any challenges they may encounter on their personal journeys.”

Speakers from organizations and schools across Chicago addressed the group, including Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi, keynote speaker and chair of Illinois Tech’s Department of Information Technology and Management Calvin Nobles, and Institute of Design Associate Teaching Professor Tomoko Ichikawa. Ichikawa and ID alumni Steven White (MDM 2017), Tommie Collins (MDes + MBA 2021), and Parker Royce Joyner (MDes + MBA 2022) led a 30-minute session about safe conversations.

The discussion leaders provided prompts from their own personal experiences in handling emotionally challenging situations. The young men slowly opened up, while various discussion leaders provided coaching.
—Tomoko Ichikawa

The ID-led session fit into a larger conversation about the challenges high school students of color can face and how to overcome those obstacles.

The summit was composed of seminars that touched on topics such as Illinois Tech’s pre-college programs and its Elevate program, which guarantees that students take part in hands-on experiences, receive personalized mentorship, and graduate career-ready.

Illinois Tech is focused on being involved in the community and on furthering its mission to provide a distinctive and relevant education to students from all backgrounds.