Welcome Unites and Uplifts Educators and Students

Student Showcase Spring Symposium group participants

By Quinci Mann | Photos Josh Egel

2/25/24 Oakland, CA — At Bloc15 Kingmakers of Oakland extended a warm embrace to educators and students worldwide, marking the commencement of their annual Spring Symposium education leadership conference with a reception steeped in purpose and passion. Under the theme “Black Love is Liberation,” the evening echoed the sentiments of Founder and CEO Chris Chatmon, who eloquently articulated the profound impact of love in transforming the lives of Black boys globally.

Romero Wesson welcome spring symposium“Love has been the cornerstone of my journey, weaving its way through my community, my family, and my work,” remarked Chris Chatmon. “It’s through this love that we reclaim our narrative and uplift the next generation of Kings.”

The presence of Board Members Brother Ricky Jackson and Brother Romero Wilson, the latter also serving as Co-Board Treasurer, exemplifies the dedication of Kingmakers to uplift the voices of those who have overcome adversity. Ricky Jackson shared reflections on his journey, emphasizing the pivotal role of mentorship and community support in his path to greatness.

Rickey Jackson movie playing“As I stand here today, I am a testament to the power of community and resilience,” affirmed Ricky Jackson. “It took a village to nurture my potential, and now, it’s my duty to pay it forward.”

Brother Romero Wilson echoed these sentiments, highlighting the importance of ancestral intelligence in reclaiming narratives eroded by systems of oppression. “Our ancestors fought for our right to be here, to thrive, and it’s our responsibility to honor their legacy,” remarked Romero Wilson.

Amidst the lively atmosphere, the soul-stirring performances of KOO Krew captivated conference attendees, infusing the evening with a spirit of celebration and empowerment. Their music, rooted in themes of Black joy and Afrofuturism, served as a testament to the transformative power of art in shaping narratives and inspiring change.

KOO Krew performs at spring symposium welcomeAs conversations flowed and connections deepened, the opening reception set the stage for 3 days of multi-racial, intergenerational, cross-sectional learning. Each interaction, each exchange of ideas, propels us closer to a future where love, resilience, and solidarity reign supreme.

In a world where the prevailing narrative for Black men is often one of hate and vitriol, perpetuated through images and messages dictated by societal norms, love emerges as the ultimate liberator. It is through love that we challenge these stereotypes, dismantle oppressive systems, and pave a path toward true liberation for Black communities globally. As the symposium unfolds, may this message of love and solidarity echo far and wide, inspiring change-makers to continue the fight for racial and educational equity with unwavering determination and boundless love.

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