How do we make it so?
First a point critical to understand. The idea that there is a pool of
qualified Wisconsin minority candidates out there waiting to get in is
a myth, what my psychologist wife calls “magical thinking.”
We have to build the pipeline!
That is what the leaders of the communities of color in our area have
told me, members of the Chancellor’s Communivty Diversity Council.
And, that is what we have been about.
They said, “you must help us raise the aspirations of our youth.”
How do we do that?
Our answer is Phuture Phoenix.
We begin in the 5th grade of the “Title I” schools, the schools
where moms and dads are least likely to have gone to college.
Tonight, you will learn more about this award-winning program.
This afternoon, I will simply relay the phone conversation I had with
one of the grandmothers of a Phuture Phoenix participants. She had come
to our campus with her granddaughter and called the next day to say, “mom
and dad were working in a plant and could not go; they and I have never
been on a college campus; Phuture Phoenix Day is exactly what my granddaughter
needed; and why didn’t somebody think of this a long time ago?”