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1300 Campaign Summit Highlights Progress, Plans for Sending More Men of Color to College

Alyssa Flores Johansen, UC Merced

November 10, 2023

It’s been more than a year since UC Merced joined the 1300 Campaign partnership, continuing its efforts to help students of color attend and succeed at four-year universities. Now it’s time for a review and a look ahead.

UC Merced collaborated with Stanislaus State University, expanding the 1300 Campaign’s initiative to send an additional 1,300 young men of color into the UC and California State University systems by 2026. The initiative allowed a cohort of students to spend one week during the summer experiencing college life at UC Merced or Stanislaus State.

On Nov. 13, campaign partners will meet at UC Merced to hear a comprehensive overview of the campaign’s progress, review data trends of young men of color within the northern Central Valley, resolution milestones, and discuss goals and plans for the coming year.

The 1300 Campaign’s approach is accomplished through resolutions with K-12 school districts. Those resolutions are made up of a nine-point policy plan which includes engaging students in A-G requirements, ethnic studies, place-based mentorship, increased number of counselors, development of an organizational racial equity assessment tool, dual priority enrollment, mandatory implicit bias training, moratorium on willful defiance suspensions and culturally responsive pedagogy.

“The 1300 Campaign is a play on the 13th Amendment. Notably, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution bans slavery except in cases of incarceration, which created the foundation for the school-to-prison pipeline that exists today,” the organization’s website reads. “As a result of institutionalized racism, oppression and racial inequities that stemmed from the adoption of the 13th Amendment, young men of color face historically perpetuated mass incarceration pipelines, poor health outcomes, miseducation and limited opportunities. Consequently, boys and men of color are underrepresented in post-secondary education and overrepresented in the criminal justice system.”

The summit will take place from 9-10:30 a.m. at the UC Merced Conference Center and include remarks from Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz and a look back on the 1300 Campaign Summer Youth Leadership Academy held at UC Merced and Yosemite National Park over the summer.

African American Education Conference

CVV News l February 2023

At Modesto Junior College we honor and celebrate African American history and culture with our Annual African American Education Conference. This year’s conference is planned for Friday, February 24, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Our focus invites us to explore what it means to emerge into greatness and encourages each of us to step into who we are! Students (junior high, high school, and college) will be inspired to plan for college, cultivate success skills, and learn what is involved in creating educational goals. Identifying and accomplishing these goals can be transformational and life changing. All community members are encouraged to participate in this empowering and enriching program that is sure to inspire all of us!

African American Conference (AAEC) Legacy Award Criteria
Nominees must have a minimum of five years of service with the African American Education Conference.
Nominees may be MJC employees, alumni, community members, or organization.

Nominees have made an above-and-beyond commitment to the African American Education Conference.
Any member of the committee may nominate someone.

Nominees with the most votes by the committee will be selected. In the case of a tie, a runoff vote between the top two candidates will take place.

Modesto City Schools Becomes Sixth Partner in Merced Automatic Admission Program

CVV News l Posted: October 3, 2022

With the flourish of a pen on Tuesday (Sept. 27), students in the Modesto area gained an expedited pathway to become future Bobcats at the University of California, Merced.

UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Modesto City Schools (MCS) Superintendent Sara Noguchi and other educational partners participated in a signing ceremony to bring the Merced Automatic Admission Program (MAAP) to the school district.
MAAP is a partnership between the university and several Central Valley school districts that guarantees admission to students who complete specific requirements by the time they graduate. The program allows students who complete the A-G courses for first-year UC admission with a weighted GPA of 3.5, with no grade lower than a “C” to be automatically admitted to the university through a streamlined process.
Muñoz emphasized that UC Merced was established not just in the Valley but for the Valley and said the university will hold true to that promise.

“We are deeply committed to our Valley neighbors, their families and their success, and we know that the best path to social mobility is through higher education,” he said. “We want local students to join our community. We want to show them the universe. We want them to know that UC Merced is a place where there are no limits on your intellectual journey.”
Noguchi thanked the university and everyone involved for providing another opportunity for students who are interested in continuing their education after high school.

“We are thankful to Chancellor Muñoz and our partners at UC Merced for expanding opportunities for our students to receive guaranteed admissions,” she said. “We are also grateful to our MCS high school and college counselors for their unwavering commitment to preparing our students for academic success. This unique partnership helps us double-down on our district goal to ensure equitable access for all students to attain college and career readiness. We are so thrilled to light the path of success for our students.”

Modesto City Schools is the sixth school district to join MAAP. UC Merced Director of Admissions Dustin Noji said he hopes this latest partnership will draw even more students to the university to become the problem-solvers of tomorrow.

“There’s such a wealth of student talent in the Modesto area, and we’re excited to expand the MAAP program and encourage them to start their journeys at UC Merced,” he said.

In March 2021, Merced Union High School District became the first partner of MAAP. Since then, Dinuba Unified School District, Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District, Chowchilla Union High School District and Los Banos Unified School District have joined the program list.
Students interested in the program must submit their MAAP applications by July 1, before their senior year begins. They will be notified to submit their UC applications by Nov. 30. Program participants will be prioritized in the application review process and notified of their admissions in early March.

To learn more about MAAP, visit the program’s website.

Free Hospitality Career Training Program Starts Sept. 12 at Merced College

CVV News | Posted: August 22, 2022

MERCED, Calif. — As the local hospitality industry continues to grow, Merced College is once again helping to prepare students for great jobs in hotels, restaurants and more.

From customer service and conflict resolution to crafting cocktails, local students can learn all the skills they need through Merced College’s Hospitality Career Academy. The free, 12-week program kicks off with an event at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Mainzer in downtown Merced.

Spaces are still available for the third cohort of the academy, a partnership between Merced College, El Capitan Hotel and Mainzer that first launched in Fall 2021. In completing the program, students receive college credits in addition to practical training and sage advice from longtime industry leaders. Classes will begin Sept. 12, with a graduation ceremony planned for Dec. 12.

In its third installment, the Hospitality Career Academy will once again offer the crowd-favorite mixology workshop, with Billy Pedrozo of Bella Luna introducing students to the art of crafting cocktails. Staff from El Capitan and Mainzer will provide panel discussions, property tours, presentations on guest services, and customer service scenarios, and in a new addition to the academy, UC Merced Executive Chef Mitch Vanagten will present on the business of catering.

“The Hospitality Career Academy provides a unique opportunity for participants to learn about themselves and how to be excellent employees and coworkers,” said Caroline Dawson, Dean of Instruction. “This program is leading students to better job performance, greater job satisfaction, and a clear career advantage.”

Students will receive 48 total hours of training on topics including communication, customer service, team building, conflict management, unconscious bias, and attitude in the workplace, plus 3 units of college credit for completing the academy.

Near the end of the program, students will participate in a “Hospitality Job Fair” in which they can meet with local employers to learn about job opportunities, ask questions and apply for jobs. Several graduates from the first two cohorts of the academy secured employment with local hospitality employers.

Completing the academy also prepares students well for ongoing education, such as through enrollment in Merced College’s culinary management program.

“For anyone considering jobs in the hospitality sector, which is growing rapidly in the Merced area, this academy is an ideal step toward that goal,” Professor Jonae Pistoresi said. “Graduates from this program will be better prepared for those jobs, better prepared for their job interviews, and better prepared to handle delicate situations in every aspect of their lives. You will learn and grow in unexpected ways through this academy.”

For information or to apply for the Hospitality Career Academy, contact Dorota Mimms at or (209) 384-6223.

UC Merced Honors Graduates with Historic In-person Commencement

By Desiree López, UC Merced

A wave of blue and gold covered the recreation fields at UC Merced as more than 2,400 students walked the stage during the first in-person spring commencement in three years.  

The three-day ceremony weekend started by welcoming back 1,000 alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 — who were previously honored with a virtual ceremony because of COVID-19.  

On Saturday and Sunday, another 1,460 graduates from the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) and the schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences had the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments in front of their families and friends as they were bestowed their degrees, including doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s.  

The ceremonies featured keynote speakers Fred Ruiz, chairman emeritus of the UC Board of Regents and co-founder of Ruiz Foods, and immediate past UC Regents Chair Cecilia Estolano, the CEO and founder of Estolano Advisors.  

Student speakers Cathryn Flores, who majored in English and minored in writing, and Maya Morris, who majored in chemical sciences with a chemistry emphasis, both shared messages of unity and perseverance as they stood center stage congratulating their classmates on their successes after navigating life and remote learning during the pandemic.  

“UC Merced students have the opportunity to create their own legacies for the next generations of college students. We’re innovators, artists, scientists, social scientists and the ambitious leaders of tomorrow,” Flores said.  

“This is a place where anyone, from any background, can go and feel welcomed and accepted. The atmosphere here is one of diversity, equity and inclusion. Instead of competing, people here lift each other up,” Morris said.  

Central Valley Voice
Central Valley Voice
Felicia Roberts took an idea gathered a few people to reached into a minority community to highlight the positive, using a minority newspaper the Central Valley Voice. Roberts was joined by her sisters Carolyn Williams, Alleashia Thomas, niece Hermonie Lynn Williams, nephew Ron Williams, cousin Jerald Lester, Jay Slaffey, Greg Savage, Tim Daniels and the late J Denise Fontaine. Each individual played an important role in the birth of the newspapers. Since, then many have stood strong behind the success of the newspapers and its goal to fill a void in the Central Valley community The Central Valley Voice published their 1st issue in November 1991. Its purposed was to highlight the achievements of minorities in the Central Valley. The Voice focuses on the accomplishments of African Americans and Hispanics giving young people role models while diminishing the stereotypical pictures of gangs, crime and violence that permeate the minority communities. Since 1991, the Central Valley Voice has provided an important voice for the minority community throughout the Madera, Merced. Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

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