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Skidmore College

Matters of sex and race

January 29, 2016

"I really had no idea what to expect," says Renato Dornelas '18 of the 15th annual Black and Latino Males Conference he attended last November. 

An annual event of the Consortium of High Achievement and Success, the conference brings together male-identified Black and Latino students from across the United States to talk, network, and workshop to help achieve their academic and personal goals. More than 150 students from 26 liberal arts colleges and small universities attended this year. For Dornelas, "The opportunity to brainstorm and share life experiences under the topic of race and identity was mind-blowing. I got to meet people from all walks of life, with backgrounds I could not imagine."

An international student from Brazil, he traveled to the Claremont, Calif., event with Jimmy Cacho '17, Eleuterio Martinez '18, and Nigel Smith '19, alongside anthropology professor Bernardo Rios and admissions staff member Aaron Ray. They chose from workshops such as "Defining Manhood," "Forms of Citizenship," "How Environmental Issues Affect Communities of Color," and "Networking 101." There was also time to talk with representatives at a graduate school fair and to participate in interactive sessions on race and gender.

Back at Skidmore, the four students are eager to continue the conversation that's engrossing campuses across the country. Dornelas explains, "We want to use the knowledge gained at the conference to further the conversations with the large student-body organizations we have, as well as promote a more accepting and respectful campus for every single student."

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