March 22, 2017 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College invites the community to “My Brother’s Keeper” panel discussion on April 12 from 10-11:15 a.m. in the 600 Building, Room 6-127. Sponsored by the Students of Color Alliance, the event is free.

The panelists will discuss how they have benefited informally or formally from mentoring, and the ways in which they mentor young men of color. Longtime Connecticut educator Les Saunders, lecturer of Counselor Education & Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University, will moderate the discussion. There will be time for a brief question and answer session after the discussion. The panel includes:

Thomas J. Clarke, II, council president for the city of Hartford and special initiatives coordinator for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, works to help create sound policy in Harford and coordinates outreach activities in the urban centers of the state. Clarke was named one of the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2016.

Philip G. Kane, Jr., is vice president of U.S. Bank N.A. He serves as vice chairman of the Legacy Foundation, a philanthropic organization that addresses health and education disparities in greater Hartford. He is also secretary of the YMCA of Greater Hartford’s board of directors.

Connecticut Senator Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, is deputy senate democrat president pro tempore and vice principal of Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. McCrory is also Senate co-chairman of the Aging Committee, vice chairman of the Banking and Children’s committees, and a member of the Judiciary and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees.

Kirk Peters, Ed.D., dean of student affairs at Tunxis Community College, oversees services to students. He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education student services. Previously, he was associate dean of Student Affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University. He continues to conduct workshops for secondary schools, colleges and universities on topics including student success, gender issues, mediation and diversity.

Andre Santiago is senior program director of youth programs at Leadership Greater Hartford, and the youngest program director in the organization’s history. He has provided leadership training to over 500 high school and college students in the region and created the region’s first intercollegiate leadership program. Santiago was named one of the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2016.

Darwin Shaw is a teacher who also coaches girls track and boys junior varsity basketball at New Britain High School. He is the co-author of “Becoming Coach Shaw: How I Learned to Run My Own Race,” a book about his hardships and experiences growing up in New Britain.

In 2014, President Barack Obama began the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address the barriers to success faced by young men of color in the United States. A wide range of initiatives and programs designed to put men and boys of color “on the right track,” My Brother’s Keeper aims to break down barriers for these young men and boys and open doors of opportunity to ultimately help them achieve their goals. A young man of color is far more likely to pursue educational and economic opportunities when such behavior is modeled in his familial and/or cultural community. Now known as My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the national non-profit organization remains dedicated to its founding principles.

For more information on the panel discussion, contact Kerry L. Beckford, faculty advisor for the Students of Color Alliance, 860.773.1654.

From fine arts, health, and technology to liberal arts & sciences programs, Tunxis offers over 60 associate’s degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington. For a map of campus, visit Tunxis at