The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

SCC Brown Issues conference features workshops and speakers for Hispanic high school students

Brown Issues keynote speaker Carlos Molina III talks to the audience about what he faced during his childhood. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | juliejorgensenexpress@gmail.com
Brown Issues keynote speaker Carlos Molina III talks to the audience about what he faced during his childhood. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | [email protected]

A City College graduate encouraged Hispanic high school students to pursue higher education and strive to overcome adversities April 22 at the second annual Brown Issues Youth Conference held at City College.

The keynote speaker was Carlos Molina III, a City College and UC Berkeley graduate who, after two years of working in Sacramento’s Capitol, made his way back to community outreach working with the California Endowment. His speech focused on the struggle of rising from “nothing to something.”

“You need to feed your spirit. You need to realize where you come from. You need not to be ashamed of it but to take pride in it,” Molina said, “because that’s the courage you need to get through these trials and tribulations. You only need to look to the past to know where the future is going. You have it in you.”

Brown Issues keynote speaker Carlos Molina III talks to the audience about what he faced during his childhood. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | juliejorgensenexpress@gmail.com
Brown Issues keynote speaker Carlos Molina III talks to the audience about what he faced during his childhood. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | [email protected]

Molina detailed his childhood growing up in downtown Sacramento. He said he came from nothing to something, setting the tone for the day. He spoke about not focusing on the past and always looking into the future. He encouraged the “mislabeled” students to look at themselves in the mirror to see how they got their features and to never be ashamed of where they came from.

Molina acknowledged the people behind the scenes who put the event together and incorporated Prince in the opening of his PowerPoint presentation. He talked about how he got teased for listening to Prince when he was younger. He said that he got into three fights throughout his life over Prince, because he wasn’t going to let anybody tell him what resonated with his story. He was young and dealt with a lot of pain, so Prince “spoke” to him.

In addition to Molina’s speech, the event featured workshops on financial aid, the dangers of domestic violence, and values. One workshop was led by Ricardo Lemus, an active Brown Issues member, who discussed the history of the Norteño-Sureño Mexican gang conflict. He stressed the importance of teaching youth how the war is a money-driven misconception and people are getting used.

City College Interim President Michael Poindexer shakes hands with the audience members during the Brown Issues Conference. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | juliejorgensenexpress@gmail.com
City College Interim President Michael Poindexer shakes hands with the audience members during the Brown Issues Conference. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | [email protected]

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“The theme is promoting higher education to the mislabeled,” said Lemus, “so we focus on bringing youth that normally don’t get talked to about college, and we try to focus on bringing students that have barely a C or below a C and use this conference as a motivation to inspire them to seek higher education.”

Lemus lost his train of thought as he was speaking because incoming students were chanting “Brown Issues!” With a smile on his face, he quickly acknowledged how fitting it was before he continued on.

“A lot of us have powerful stories so we try to connect our stories to certain issues…then we kind of use that to inspire them and show them, ‘Look, we all did it; you can do it, too.’”

City College Interim President Michael Poindexter, who spoke to high school students at the event and introduced Molina, echoed Lemus’ encouragement for students to pursue a college education.

City College Interim President Michael Poindexer talks about making sure everyone has a fair chance to go to college during the Brown Issues Conference. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | juliejorgensenexpress@gmail.com
City College Interim President Michael Poindexer talks about making sure everyone has a fair chance to go to college during the Brown Issues Conference. April 22, 2016. Julie Jorgensen, Photo Editor. | [email protected]

“Don’t let anybody—no one—tell you that you can’t go to college, no one should be able to tell you that,” said Poindexter. “I am so passionate about making sure each and every one of you find your way into a college or a university.”

The event hosted students from feeder schools such as C.K. McClatchy High School, Luther Burbank High School, Natomas High School and Heritage Peak Charter School.

The conference was primarily organized by the Brown Issues City College Chapter. The group’s Sacramento State University Chapter also provided organizational support, according to Lemus.

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