anIn 2015, ABEN’s founder, Debra Watkins, asked Angie Barfield, Jacky McFadden and Angelo Williams to help create a state-wide organization focused on the civic and cultural development of Black students in high and middle schools.
In 2016, we held our first highly-successful Day of Activism at the state capitol in Sacramento as well as our first conference at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.
In 2017, our second annual conference was held at San Jose State University to much acclaim. In 2019, we were hosted at Cal State Monterey Bay. In 2020, we held our largest conference ever on the San Francisco State University campus one week before the pandemic caused the shut down of venues throughout the state of California.
While the conference is the highlight of our program year, we do so much more! Please check out our website at BlackStudentsCU.us. In the 2019-2020 school year, we had 94 high schools and middle schools in our network primarily from Northern and Central California.
In spite of the pandemic, we still look forward to serving Black students and have plans to expand our reach into Southern California for the 2020-2021 school year. If you know of schools that are not yet part of our network, please encourage them to follow our work via our website and plan to join now! We are accepting new school sites through the end of November 2020.
At ABEN, we seek to work with partners who are committed to moving toward the provision of African-centered education — to the degree possible within any given environment.