The monthly Community Brainstorming Conference forum will present the timely topic “Our Schools – Public, Choice or Charter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” on Saturday, Sept. 22 at St. Matthew C.M.E. Church, 2944 North 9th Street. Doors will open for breakfast at 8 a.m. with the scheduled panel discussion from 9 to 11 a.m.
Moderated by the Hon. Russell W. Stamper, Sr., Brainstorming has invited what is noted in a promotional descriptor as a cadre of “highly qualified experts” to address this theme. Panelist include Milwaukee Public School Board president and UW-M associate professor Michael Bonds, Milwaukee Community Journal associate publisher and president of Malik Productions Public Relations Company Michael Holt, Springfield College adjunct professor, writer, and African Centered Instructional Model school consultant Taki S. Raton, and Leon Todd, retired Milwaukee School Board director, activist, mentor, corporate media watchdog, and business consultant.
Various methodologies of educating African American children will be closely examined, compared and critiqued towards the objective, citing informational accounts, of “rescuing our young people from miseducation and the so-called education gap”
“Those selected as panelist for our September forum are probably among Milwaukee’s most informed participants on this subject given over the years their consistent qualitative media visibility and highly regarded published accounts on the education of our children,” says Stamper.
He adds that a range of methodologies impacting the positive and progressive education and development of African American children will be closely examined, compared and critiqued by this September panel.
“Instructional design and approaches, be it system or private sponsorship, will be addressed and predictably challenged by these intensely committed proponents,” he adds. Stamper recalls that the August 2012 elections “in more than one instance” asked the critical question that in his mind greatly affected the election outcome: “What is the best educational approach for the metropolitan Milwaukee child?”
“It is our vision that this month’s panel,” the moderator asserts, “will come to terms with a constructive response to this most challenged social inquiry.”
Presently headed by chairwoman Dr. Pamela Malone, Brainstorming began twentysix years ago on February 8, 1986 in the conference center of Saint Matthews Church.
This invitational meeting was convened at 9 a.m. by Samuel Johnson and Reuben Harpole for the purpose of “brainstorming” on a multitude of problems, issues, and concerns regarding Milwaukee’s African American community. The twelve invitees to this inaugural meeting list O.J. Johnson, Judge Stanley Miller, Marvin Hannah, Loren Willis, Judge Louis Butler, Mildred Harpole, Anthony Fikes, Winston Van Horne, Monroe Swan, Stanley Miller, Judge Russell Stamper, Sr. and Malone.
The group elected O.J. Johnson to facilitate the meeting. He would additionally later be named head of the Executive Committee of the Community Brainstorming Conference (CBC) and succeeded in this position by successive chairpersons leading to the current chair.
It would be at this initial discussion that the “Fourth Saturday Breakfast Forum” sponsored by the CBC was born. The schedule as of August 2012 proudly records 318 consecutive breakfast forums since its 1986 inauguration numbering over 50,000 participants.
Standing upon a tradition of program integrity, the CBC, according to their website, “has been able to realize one of its fundamental purposes, namely a continuous drawing together of the visible and voiced and the invisible and voiceless in the community for the sake of advancing the interest and good of African Americans in particular and the city in general.”
CBC also takes pride in its annual James Howard Baker Award. Prior to his untimely death in 1990, Baker was known in the community for his unending research and constant advocacy for the inclusion of people of African descent in every aspect of political and economic life in Milwaukee. He was known as a “one man urban research center” and as a solid intellectual with a sensitive touch that resonated throughout every segment of the Black community.
Noting his commitment and dedication to uplifting African Americans in Milwaukee with emphasis on the youth, MacArthur Weddle, long time president and CEO of the Northcott Neighborhood House, was chosen by the executive board of the CBC to be this past 2011 recipient of the Baker award.
Admission to the September 22 Brainstorming panel is free and open to the public. Parking is available on 8th Street off Chambers.
Those interested in any additional information on CBC are welcomed to visit their website at: www.communitybrainstorming.org.