Black and Brown Summit

Reviving Our Roots Through Courageous Conversations

November 18, 2023, 8:30am-2:30pm — Highline College



The Rhythms and Rhymes of Revolution


To empower and motivate our Black and Brown young men to excel in academics and to accept nothing less than excellence from self.


  • Critique social structures that inhibit Black/Brown young men from being successful in education.
  • Highlight the achievements in spite of the obstacles/barriers that they face.
  • Contextualize their self identity socially, culturally, historically, and politically by giving the young men a sense of self and value of self.

Summit Archive

View proceedings from the 2022 and 2021 Summits.

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Free Admission  •  Free Breakfast and Lunch  •  Free Enlightenment


8:30 - 9:00 am Registration/Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15am Opening
9:15 - 10:15am Keynote Address with Q&A: Kevin Powell
Hip-hop at 50: What does that mean for Black and Brown Males in America?

An interactive conversation with KEVIN POWELL on why hip-hop turning 50 in 2023 matters, what it means for the males of color who helped to create the music and culture, and what lessons around manhood definitions we can take from these 50 years of hip-hop, including now.

10:30 - 11:45am Workshops Randy X Nunez
Son de Allá, Son de Acá

An ongoing dilemma in the Chicano/Latino community is feeling like an outsider in relation to society. I'm not from here, I’m not from there, but history proves our indigeneity binds us to the land. This workshop will explore our indigenous history and culture, and engage in a conversation to draw from our ancestry, a sense of purpose and direction.

Marcus Harden
Loveful Literacy: An Ode to Black and Brown Men

A journey for black and brown men of all ages and all participants to be engaged by the strongest word in the human language, love. Utilizing movement with the soundtrack of hip hop as our guide, as community we will engage in authentic topics of identity, affirmation and love through utilizing multiple literacies to anchor and root us in a message that lasts beyond the moment.

Aaron Reader
From Lyrics to Legacy: Crafting Your Success Story

In the spirit of the summit's theme, "The Rhythms and Rhymes of Revolution," this workshop delves into the transformative power of self-awareness and personal growth, using the legacy of Hip Hop as its backdrop. We won't just be reminiscing about iconic rap lyrics; we'll be harnessing their essence to inspire a new generation of Black and Brown young men to understand their worth, potential, and the power they hold within. The workshop is structured around three pivotal concepts: 1. Circle of Success: We'll discuss the importance of surrounding oneself with positive influences and the impact it has on academic and personal success. 2. You vs. You: Building on the idea that our current self is a reflection of our past choices, we'll explore the necessity of a complete identity shift to manifest a different, more prosperous future. 3. Manifestation - Thoughts to Actions: We'll delve into the power of turning thoughts into tangible actions and the role of intentionality in shaping our destinies. Throughout the workshop, students will engage in interactive discussions, personal reflection exercises, and group activities.They'll connect with the lyrics and artists that have been a voice for generations, using them as catalysts for their personal and academic triumphs. Learning Outcomes: - Understand the importance of self-awareness and personal growth in achieving academic and personal success. - Recognize the transformative power of Hip Hop and its relevance in today's socio-cultural landscape. - Engage in introspective activities that challenge pre-existing beliefs and encourage personal evolution. - Develop strategies to manifest positive thoughts into tangible actions for future success.

Armando Ortiz
Identity & the Inner Me

Growing up in my neighborhood there was a stigma around mental health. For my whole life I thought I was just an angry person and my temper was normal because everyone in my family was like that. It wasn’t until I left Washington state and realized how much I have been holding on to traits I learned and was given to by my biological father and grandfather. We do not give the opportunity for young men to express their feelings and talk them through it.The value of building relationships and community is giving space for understanding and connecting. Through the use of pop culture we have ways to connect and reflect with people, songs and visual media that helps us work through the internal battle we face as young men emerging into adulthood. We have to accept ourselves for who we are and embrace the love we choose to neglect from the people who support us. Kendrick Lamar, Naruto & Reservation Dogs are initial guides through self growth in this presentation.

King Khazm
Hip Hop & It Don't Stop

King Khazm and members of 206 Zulu speak upon how Hip Hop's transformative essence, and how it has elevated their lives from humble beginnings to national and international acclaim as performing artists, educators and community advocates.

Malaelupe Samifua & Joel Esqueda
Reaching For The Stars

This workshop will help students identify their goals and go through 5 steps on how to reach them.

Jamal “Jace” Farr
Music is Medicine

Talk about the importance of music. The influence of music. The responsibility and accountability of music. Especially in Hip Hop

Andre Dickerson
Empowerment and Resilience: Leveraging Your Strengths to Overcome Challenges for Success

Everyone possesses talents and strengths that can help them overcome any adversity or challenge entered. We will explore how belief in oneself, personal empowerment, and recognition that your life has a greater purpose will enable you to activate and leverage your strengths for success.

Brian Cedeno
We need more Black and Brown doctors STAT!

The need for Black and Brown doctors is higher now than ever. It has been proven that representation matters and that when communities are cared for by people who look like the community and speak the same language as the community, the community's health improves. This workshop will discuss how racism and policies like redlining have impacted the health of communities and why the solution is for more Black and Brown physicians. We will also discuss the steps each student needs to take to make it to college and medical school and provide resources to finance their education. We will end the workshop with students taking a picture of themselves in a white coat and a stethoscope they will take home to remind them that they are future physicians.

Irvin Enriquez
Ni de aqui ni de allá (cultural duality in the US)

Talk about the struggle of being a latino in the US. The opportunity, violence, and factors that drive our youth to gangs and higher dropout rate.

12:00 - 1:00pm Keynote Address with Q&A: Dr. Rob Rubalcaba
Math & Computer Science through Hip Hop

Motivating concepts in several mathematics and computer science courses though turntablism, records, hip hop samples. Live learning of mathematics of social networks to hip hop sample chains, periodic functions through loops, fractions through records, weighted means with a crossfader.

1:00 - 1:15pm Closing
1:15 - 2:30pm Lunch/Resource Fair


Registration for the 2023 Summit is now closed.

Email us if you have any questions.

In order to create the best possible environment for growth, learning, and empowerment, please take note of the following:

Although we have allowed 8th grade students to attend in previous years, the summit is now reserved for high school students only.

You are in for a tremendous day of enlightenment and fellowshipping. You young men deserve this day and this day is for you to be recognized as assets in our communities. Our mission at the summit is to have you leave knowing that you, your fellow classmates, and other young men of color have the ability to put posturing aside and work together to combat all stereotypes and perceptions.

I acknowledge that I have read the above statements, understand the summit’s expectations and mission, and am ready to engage and succeed!

Frequently asked Questions


Do I need to register for the summit?


When I tried to register, it said that registration had closed. Is there a waitlist I can get on?

Unfortunately, we are unable to have a waitlist for the summit. Registration is capped at our capacity plus 30 percent, which takes into account the substantial number of no-show attendees on the day of the summit.

I forgot to register/registration is closed. Can I just show up to the summit?

Only registered students will be guaranteed admittance to the summit. If an unregistered student shows up on the day of the summit, they will be required to wait in the will call area until all registered students have been processed. In the event that there is still space available after all the registered students have been admitted, unregistered students will be admitted in the order that they arrived. After we have reached capacity, any remaining unregistered students are required to leave the campus for liability purposes.


Why can’t middle school aged students attend?

Although we have allowed 8th grade students to attend in previous years, the summit is now reserved for high school students only for the following reasons:

Maturity level: The planning committee strives to bring presenters and topics to the summit that speak to current events and issues important to young students of color. As many of the topics discussed revolve around the dense and multi-faceted issue of social justice, many middle school students do not have the comprehension level needed to both engage in, and respect, this dialogue.

Behavior: Attending the summit requires students to have the strong personal responsibility and critical listening skills that are more common in older students; we simply do not have the staff or the ability to continuously monitor individuals who need to be reminded consistently to behave appropriately.

How long is the summit?

The summit is an all-day event, from approximately 8:00am to 4:00pm.

What if I arrive late?

We cannot facilitate late arrivals. Our registration and check-in tables open at 8:00 am sharp and close promptly at 9:15 am when the keynote speaker begins. IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:15 AM, EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT.

Cost, Location, and Programming

How much does it cost to attend?

The summit is FREE to attend.

Where is the summit?

The student summit is located in the Student Union Building (Bldg 8) on the Highline College campus, with adult chaperone programming located in Building 7. Individual student workshops are held in various classrooms on campus; students are escorted by summit volunteers to and from these classrooms.

Do I need to bring my own food?

No. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided for you.

What workshops will I be attending?

Workshops will be assigned as students are processed through the registration table the day of the summit.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in his specific workshop?

To ensure equal workshop sizes, students are assigned a workshop. Students are not able to choose their workshops. However, workshop presentations are thoroughly screened by the Black & Brown Summit Planning Committee to ensure each workshop is equally informative, engaging, and impactful.

For Adult Chaperones

I’m an adult chaperone for a school/organization but I don’t know which students I’m bringing yet. Can I just hold some spots?

No. All attendees (both students and adults) must be registered individually to attend. We can NOT hold spots under any circumstances.

I’m a chaperone and some of the registered students I was supposed to bring can’t come. Can I substitute different students in their place?

No. If a student or adult has registered but is unable to attend, they cannot substitute another individual.

As a chaperone, will I stay with my student throughout the day?

No. Adult chaperones/attendees and students are on different activity tracks in different buildings. The summit is for the students and part of the impact of the summit comes from being able to have real, open dialogue. Please respect this space and understand that you will be reconnected with your students at the close of the summit.

I’m a chaperone who is bringing multiple students. Can I send you a list of the students attending instead of registering them all?

We greatly appreciate attendees or adult chaperones registering themselves and/or their students. Having attendees or chaperones directly enter their information increases accuracy, so we politely ask that you register attendees individually.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in his specific workshop?

As the summit is geared focused and created for high school aged males, chaperones are not permitted to sit in on these workshops; adult chaperones are able to view the keynote speeches remotely but have a fixed adult chaperone agenda in an adjacent building.

This is a valuable, transformative event that I want to be a part of. How can I get involved?

If you would like to volunteer at next year’s Black and Brown, please contact Tanisha Williams or Rickitia Reid.

My students received a t-shirt/lanyard/giveaway item. Do adult chaperones also receive giveaway items?

Unfortunately, adult chaperones are ineligible to receive giveaways. As Highline absorbs the entire cost of the summit, we decided to limit giveaways to students to increase the quality and quantity of items they receive.

Will all my students stay together if I bring a group of students?

One of the values of the summit is to encourage meaningful conversations and create new friendships. In order to facilitate this, students are assigned to workshops by individual rather than by school. Some students in you group may end up in the same workshop by chance, but it is highly unlikely that you student group will stay together for the entirety of the summit.

keynote speakers

Kevin Powell

Kevin Powell is one of the most celebrated political, cultural, literary, and hip-hop voices in America. He is a human and civil rights activist; a poet; a journalist; a filmmaker; a former two-time candidate for the United States Congress in New York City; a public speaker who has been to all 50 American states and 5 of the world's 7 continents; and he is the author of 16 books, including his newest title, The Kevin Powell Reader, which represents 30 plus years of his life work as a writer, public speaker, and social justice advocate. Kevin's 17th book will be a biography of Tupac Shakur, who he interviewed several times while a senior writer for Quincy Jones’ Vibe magazine. Kevin's writings have also appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Ebony, Essence, NPR, The Guardian, Complex, and HuffPost. Up next for Kevin is the launching of a new national organization in 2024 focused on voter education, voter engagement, and leadership development. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Kevin is a proud and long-time resident of Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Rob Rubalcaba

Dr. Roberto Rubalcaba is an Associate Math Professor at San Diego City College. He went from a GED to a PhD in Mathematics. He co-teaches Umoja and motivates his students by teaching math through hip hop, art, sushi, and dance.


Aaron Reader

Aaron Reader, born and raised in Oakland, California, is the Director of Diversity Equity, Inclusion, and Access for the Seattle Theatre Group (STG). With over 15 years of leadership in higher education, he's a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Aaron has pioneered and led initiatives such as Leadership Programs, as well as provided a number of student-centered workshops. A first-generation college graduate, he seamlessly blends his love for art with his commitment to social justice.

Andre Dickerson

Andre Dickerson is an experienced and passionate higher education leader, speaker, hip-hop professor, and consultant with more than a decade of progressive success in student affairs, enrollment management, and nonprofit administration. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Andre is a first-generation college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s degree in Medical Sciences, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and is completing a PhD in Higher Education. His professional competencies and achievements are in the areas of: Student Development and Retention; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Strategic Planning; Budget and Fiscal Management; Program Evaluation and Assessment; and Organizational Leadership.

Armando Ortiz

Armando T. Ortíz grew up in White Center and graduated from Big Picture high school. He went on to play two years of collegiate football at his alma mater Central Washington University where he majored in Sociology with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Upon graduating Armando went to attain his Master's in Education from Loyola University Chicago in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies. Since graduating from Loyola Armando has moved back to White Center where he has worked for a number of nonprofit city and school-based organizations which has led him to further his determination to serve the community that raised him. Currently he is working as a School Design Coach with the Big Picture Learning Native American Initiative and is serving as the Promise Scholars Specialist at Mount Rainier HS helping young men of color not only graduate, but continue on in their post high school aspirations.

Brian Cedeno

Brian was born in Toluca Mexico, and came to the US at the age of 10. He is the first in his family to go to college, and medical school. Brian went to UW for undergrad, where he majored in Public Health. After graduating, he worked at Sea Mar CHC for four years before starting medical school as a health educator, where he had the opportunity to implement community programs and provide direct patient centered education to the Latino community. He started at the UWSOM as a Community- Focused Urban Scholar Program (CUSP) student. In medical school, he has received the UWSOM Service learning award twice, and was selected as a Husky 100. He was also inducted to the UWSOM Gold Humanism Honor Society for his dedication to underserved communities.

Jamal “Jace” Farr

Jace is a Seattle Hip Hop veteran with over 30 years experience. He is a part of the globally respected group Black Stax. His current role is Artist Engagement Manager with The Residency and he’s been with this agency for 7 years. Jace’s goal is to educate, motivate and share stories with the Community using Hip Hop Culture.

King Khazm

King Khazm is an emcee, producer and community organizer who has become a prominent figure in the Hip-Hop community within Seattle and around the world. His work to engage and empower communities is demonstrated through over 25 years of music, art and community service. King Khazm has performed all around the country and world including the World’s Fair & Expo 2020 (Dubai), The IBE (Netherlands), Galpao Aplauso (Brazil), Festival de la Juventud (Guatemala), and Strictly Street (Malaysia), Folklife Festival (Seattle), sharing stages with the likes of Naughty By Nature, Gza, Kurtis Blow, Zion I, Aceyalone and others. As a producer, he has collaborated with artists such as Abstract Rude, Afu-Ra, Def-I, Eli Almic, Gabriel Teodros, OneBeLo, Sadat X, Sean Price and Xololanxinxo.

Marcus Harden

Marcus Harden currently serves the Senior Director of Academics and Development for Overtime Elite in Atlanta, GA. A first of its kind Basketball league that focused on player development, economic empowerment and education for young men. Marcus serves as the lead for education and development for players. Marcus is a lifelong social servant, serving in education in policy at the federal and state levels. Marcus is a proud SOUF END resident (when not in Atlanta) and proud adoptive father, mentor, son, brother, friend and Miami Dolphins & HEAT fan!

Randy X Nuñez

Son of Petra and Ambrosio Nuñez, who migrated by way of South Texas and Sinaloa, Mexico to Washington state as farmworkers in the 1960s, Randy Nuñez grew up in the Yakima Valley. While the environment Randy grew up in was beset with poverty and violence, he was fortunate to have had a supportive family, and community mentors for academic guidance and community organizing. Recently earning his doctorate degree in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, Randy has combined his commitment to social justice and education. He currently works in public education as an equity and justice organizer where he trains and coaches educators in the service of youth.

Irvin Enriquez

Community member and Marysville school district employee. Have been working with gangs and students of color for over 10 years.

Malaelupe Samifua

Malaelupe is the eldest son of Savai'inaea Malaelupe Alosio Samifua, Sr. (Nua ma Se'etaga, Samoa) and Anita Vili (Vailoa, Samoa). He was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i and moved to the Seattle area as a young kid. He grew up in South King County (White Center/Burien) where his passion for education and community service began. He is an advocate for youth and young adults and education equity. He is a local worship pastor at his church and loves singing, cooking and playing volleyball.

Joel Esqueda

Joel Esqueda serves as the Highline College Cohort Learning Communities Coordinator. He is a Highline alum and graduated from Western Washington University in the summer of 2022, holding a degree in Sociology and a Minor in Education and Social Justice from Fairhaven College. Joel is a first-generation college graduate and the son of two hardworking immigrant parents. Prior to joining Highline College, he worked in Whatcom County for Bellingham Public Schools as a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Family Liaison. He also held the position of Lead Mentor and Coordinator at Compass2Campus.

Summit DJ: Edward Martinez

Growing up in a diverse home of cultures and languages, my love of music stretches and reaches all walks of life.


Highline College is located at:

2400 South 240 Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

All Summit sessions will take place on the first floor of the Highline Sudent Union (Building 8)

View campus map →

Please email us if you have any questions.