The Palm Springs Unified School District African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC) is celebrating and commemorating Black History Month on Saturday by joining together members of the community to learn and connect around topics of culture, family and action plans. The event is slated for Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PSUSD’s offices at 1000 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. Parents and community members that comprise the AAPAC leadership board, have secured experts to share their knowledge through engaging presentations. Student leaders representing Black Student Unions at the District’s high schools will also be showcased.

Event emcee will be Cielo Vista Charter Co-principal Devlinn Clinton. Guest speakers will include Dr. Lamar Shields and Dr. Jomella Thompson

Dr. Lamarr Shields

Dr. Lamarr Shields

Shields is a motivational speaker, author and leadership coach. A scholar-practitioner in the field of racial, ethnic, and academic identity among Black and Latino male youth, Shields has a depth of experience with fostering inter-connectivity and deep engagement among educators, policy makers, parents, and other change agents.  Shields  works on behalf of children and young adults who are at greatest risk for school-based discrimination and/or academic failure due to poverty, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant or English Language Learner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, or involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice systems. He is the founder of  PRAISE College Readiness Program (PCRP) a program that helps African-American and Latino males in Baltimore to become competitive applicants to four-year colleges/universities resides in Baltimore.

Jomella Thompson

Jomella Thompson

Thompson, an associate professor at University of Kansas, holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on neighborhood development, healthy youth development, and prevention, including substance abuse and violence prevention. Thompson supports community capacity-building efforts to address social determinants of health through community-based participatory research in urban neighborhoods and disparate communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and intervention to promote mobilization and change in communities.

“Everyone is invited to this event,” said Family Engagement Coordinator Ruby Rivera. “Families will leave with knowledge, community connections and a renewed energy to help our children find happiness and success”

Reservations are not required,  and the event is free and will include morning refreshments, lunch and child care. For more information, call (760) 416-1374.