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Center for Urban Education Marks 10-Year Anniversary

Center for Urban Education Marks 10-Year Anniversary
Estela M. Bensimon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Lloyd Armstrong Jr., Alicia C. Dowd and Michael Diamond celebrate at the California African American Museum.

The USC Center for Urban Education celebrated a “Decade of Making a Difference” at the California African American Museum on Dec. 8. The gathering served as a holiday party and celebration of the center’s 10-year anniversary.

The event honored provost emeritus Lloyd Armstrong Jr. and professor Michael A. Diamond, former executive vice provost, for their contributions to the founding of the center, which was part of the university’s original Urban Initiative.

Center for Urban Education co-directors Estela M. Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd presented Armstrong and Diamond with engraved crystal plaques and a commendation from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

After the presentation, Bensimon and Dowd were given a video created by staff members from the center. The video included remarks from individuals regarding the center’s work to improve equity for African-American and Latino students in higher education.

“The work that you are doing is extremely significant and has already had an impact on college students around the country,” said Karen Symms Gallagher, dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. “Our school’s mission to strengthen urban education is definitely enhanced by what you are doing.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “I’m glad to be a voice for the exceptional work that has been done by the fine academic contributors who have gotten my attention by virtue of their constructive critique of community colleges and beyond.”

Other speakers on the video included Jamillah Moore, president of Los Angeles City College; Guilbert C. Hentschke, holder of the Richard T. Cooper and Mary Catherine Cooper Chair in Public School Administration at USC Rossier; Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, vice president for intercultural affairs at Loyola Marymount University; Lan Hao, director of institutional research at Citrus College; Marcy Drummond, vice president for workforce and economic development at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College; Dominic J. Brewer, associate dean for research and faculty affairs at USC Rossier; and Georgia Bauman, director for instructional services at Santa Monica College.

To watch the video, visit

The Center for Urban Education was launched in 1999. Its establishment was based on Bensimon’s observation that the victories in terms of access to higher education that had been achieved in the wake of the civil rights movement still needed to be translated into equitable outcomes for underrepresented students.

Center for Urban Education Marks 10-Year Anniversary

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