4th Annual Leadership Conference

Staying in the Game: A Legacy of Local Heroes

March 25, 2022 | 9 AM - 3 PM | Los Angeles Harbor College

Staying in the Game - A Legacy of Local Heroes

Conference Information

The Men of Color Leadership Conference organizers are a group of men of color (faculty/staff/administrators) from Santa Monica College, El Camino College, Long Beach City College, LA Harbor College, Compton College and many other community colleges. The goal of the event is to ignite a collaborative spirit between students who are men of color from various college campuses and leaders who have access to social capital that have the ability to support them.  Through the conference, students are exposed to various types of resources to support their academic, personal, and professional success. 

In 2018 Santa Monica College hosted the first men of color conference for community college students and staff that was free of charge to all attendees.  This is an important note because a lack of financial resources can be a deterrent for students of color seeking professional development opportunities.  The keynotes, presenters, and organizers were all volunteers.  The following years the conference was hosted by El Camino College (2019) and Compton College (2020).    

The 2022 Annual Men of Color Conference will take place at Los Angeles Harbor Community College on March 25 of 2022 from 9am-3pm.

Please register via Eventbrite.

Keynote Speakers

Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., is the Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the largest community college district in the nation with nine, accredited colleges, over 230,000 student enrollments, and an annual budget of $5.8 billion serving nearly 900 square miles of Los Angeles County. Appointed in 2014, Dr. Rodriguez has raised the District’s profile and built its national reputation as an outstanding urban community college district to study and work. Dr. Rodriguez has charted a course that includes well-prepared, diverse and innovative faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and instructional equipment, superbly trained and professional support staff, and enhanced business and community engagement.  

During his tenure, Chancellor Rodriguez led the efforts for a taxpayer approved $3.3 billion local facilities bond in 2016 and the hiring of close to 600 full-time, tenure-track faculty. He was a principal architect for the statewide California Promise Program, which was the result of LACCD-sponsored legislation with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago that provides all first-time, full-time Californian students with two years of tuition-free education at any of the state’s community colleges. A noted scholar, practitioner and educator-activist, Dr. Rodriguez has 30-plus years of experience as an educator,  faculty member, and administrator within California public higher education. Dr. Rodriguez has dedicated his career  to high-quality public education and championing equity and inclusion, diversity, and outreach to under-resourced  communities. In particular, Dr. Rodriguez has focused his career on educational policies that expand access to higher  education and financial aid, advocacy for undocumented and low-income students and students with disabilities,  and a keen focus on the leadership development of Latino and African American males. He frequently speaks on the importance of higher education, equity and leadership, ethnic studies, student access and success, governance and  governing boards, workforce development, fundraising and philanthropy, and civic participation. 

From 2003 to 2014, Dr. Rodriguez served as the Cosumnes River College President in Sacramento, California, and  as the Superintendent/President of the MiraCosta Community College District in San Diego. His leadership at both  institutions was marked by increased student enrollments, racial and gender diversification of faculty, students and  administration, increased support for student success and institutional equity, increased grants and endowments, and robust university, business and community engagement. 

Dr. Rodriguez has been very active in higher education issues on a national level. He serves as a STEM Education  Advisory Panel Member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is the past chair of NSF’s Advisory Committee  for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources. He is a founding member and serves on the Leadership  Group for the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, and is a former director  of the Board of Higher Education and Workforce, both of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and  Medicine. He co-chairs the Colleagues for Interstate Passport’s Future Advisory Group of the Western Interstate  Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and also serves on the Task Force on Community College Apprenticeships,  a collaborative workforce initiative between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the U.S. Department of Labor. 

In California, Dr. Rodriguez currently is the UNITE LA Advisory Board Chair; serves on the California Community  College Chancellor’s Office Economic and Workforce Development Advisory Committee; and serves on the Board of  Directors for both the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the California Community College Baccalaureate  Association. He is the immediate past chair of the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium (LAOCRC);  served as the California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators Association  (CALCCTA) Board President and was an appointee of former California Governor Jerry Brown to WICHE. At his alma  mater, the University of California, Davis, he is past president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association; served on the  U.C. Davis Foundation Board of Directors, and currently is the Chancellor-in-Residence at Wheelhouse: The Center  for Community College Leadership and Research. 

During his distinguished career, Dr. Rodriguez has received numerous awards and recognitions from international,  national, state and local organizations for his servant leadership and dedicated service, including the Ohtli Award  for Service and Leadership from the Government of Mexico; the Cal Aggie Alumni Association Jerry W. Fielder  Memorial Service Award; the Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services Service Award, Los Angeles; Educator of  the Year, College of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; and the Tom Bradley Local Leader of the  Year from UCLA. In 2021, he was named as one of the “LA500” most influential people in Southern California by  the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Dr. Rodriguez graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s  degree in Chicano studies and his master’s degree in community development. He received his Ph.D. in Education  from Oregon State University.  

Dr. Rodriguez is a first-generation, English-language learner, and proud son of immigrant factory workers. He credits  his parents for instilling in him a strong work ethic, faith and resiliency. Dr. Rodriguez is married to his wife, Irma, a  licensed clinical social worker and retired faculty member from Sacramento City College. His two children are also  educators: Andres, an ethnic studies professor at San Jose City College; and Angelica, a third-grade teacher with  the San Francisco Unified School District. 

Francisco C. Rodriguez, PhD

Chancellor, Los Angeles Community College District

Thomas A. Parham, PhD

President, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D., is a family man who resides in the Southern California area with his wife, Davida.  Dr. Parham is the 11 th president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), a highly diverse, metropolitan university primarily serving the South Central and South Bay areas of Los Angeles County. Established in 1960, CSUDH is one of the 23 campuses that comprise the California State University system, the largest system of public higher education in the nation.

Dr. Parham previously served as vice chancellor of student affairs and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he had been since 1985. For the past 38-plus years, Dr. Parham has focused his research efforts in the area of psychological nigrescence and has authored or co-authored six books and 45-50 journal articles and book chapters. He has sustained a scholarly focus in the areas of racial identity development, African psychology and multicultural counseling.

 Dr. Parham grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, his master’s degree in counseling psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is licensed to practice psychology in California.

In addition to his duties as president, Dr. Parham remains an active member of the community contributing his talents in the areas of social advocacy, community uplift and youth empowerment.

Conference Flyer

Men of Color 4th Annual Leadership Conference Flyer CMYK.pdf

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