A symposium will be held at Little Rock and Pine Bluff to address the crisis of low academic achievement among black males, according to a spokesman.

A symposium will be held at Little Rock and Pine Bluff to address the crisis of low academic achievement among black males, according to a spokesman.

The Black Male Achievement Symposium begins Friday at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at Little Rock from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A presentation and panel discussion will be led by John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation, which works to develop and strengthen public education. There will also be a screening of Beyond the Bricks, a documentary that promotes solutions to low academic performance of African American boys.

The event will include a public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the event will be held at the L.A. Davis Student Union at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The program will feature a presentation and panel discussion led by Ivory Toldson, a senior research analyst with the Congressional Black Caucus.

The symposium is sponsored by state Sen. Joyce Elliott, the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs, and the Women’s Council on African American Affairs Inc.

“The problems and solutions around the critical state of African American male achievement and related issues like poverty, health, criminal justice and lack of opportunity are neither black, nor poor, nor simple; so solutions will require aggressive, intentional intervention,” Elliott said. “The health, vibrancy and success of Arkansas’ schools, communities and economy depend on the attention, commitment and action from all of us.”

For information about registration or other details contact Joyce Raynor at (501) 372-3800 or via email at joyce.raynor@sbcglobal.net.