African American Achievement Summit

May 29, 2018

In March of this year, SDWP’s opportunity youth research with Measure of America revealed that San Diego County had the largest Black-White disconnection disparity of any big city in the nation in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. And our overall black youth disconnection rate—26.4 percent—was the second highest in the nation, second only to the St. Louis region. We’re ranked first and second on metrics that measure how many of our Black youth are struggling and indicate how badly we are failing them in the critical passage to adulthood. 


SDWP’s partners at San Diego Unified, the San Diego Community College District, UCSD CREATE and United Way of San Diego see similarly troubling indicators for Black youth. When the partners met along with stakeholders to discuss the data, they concluded that one-size-fits-all programs are not working for Black youth. They decided to test targeted interventions.


As a result of these deliberations, the partners took the first step on May 29 by convening San Diego County’s first-ever African American Achievement Summit. More than 750 high school students were bussed to City College from schools around San Diego Unified, where they were met by dozens of African American community leaders and young adult near-peer mentors. The purpose of the summit was to connect students to mentors, resources to support their post-high school ambitions and tools and strategies to craft their own personal pathway through post-secondary education and into the workforce.