USF Hosts Forum on Reframing the “Achievement Gap”

Dr. Joseph Marshall of Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers to moderate panel discussion

SAN FRANCISCO — (Feb. 22, 2012)

The University of San Francisco’s Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach and School of Education are partnering with the Omega Boys Club to host a panel discussion and community forum entitled “Urban Education: Reframing the Conversation about the ‘Achievement Gap’ ” on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in Fromm Hall on USF’s main campus. This event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

“We need to change the way we talk about and address the issues facing our young people in urban schools around the Bay Area,” said Dr. Joseph E. Marshall Jr., co-founder and executive director of Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers, a youth development and violence prevention organization headquartered in San Francisco. “This event brings together a distinguished panel of experts who will discuss the root causes and implications of the so-called “achievement gap” while also providing proven success strategies and new philosophies in teacher training. We look forward to a lively and thought-provoking discussion.”

The program will begin with Brandon Santiago, a spoken word artist, who will deliver his piece “Brown vs. Board of Education.” Following Santiago’s reading, Marshall will moderate a discussion with a panel of experts, who will share their research with the audience. After each panelist speaks, members of the audience will be invited to participate by asking questions during the community forum portion of the evening. The panelists include:

  • Patrick Camangian: assistant professor of teacher education, USF School of Education
  • Katrina Traylor: co-director, June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco
  • Deborah Estell: coordinator, Leadership Academy, Omega Boys Club
  • Noah Borrero: assistant professor of teacher education, USF School of Education

“The University of San Francisco’s long standing commitment to urban education provides a solid foundation for this discussion,” said Mary J. Wardell, USF’s associate vice provost for diversity engagement and community outreach. “We believe facilitating this type of dialogue between key stakeholders both inside and outside the classroom is crucial to the success of future efforts towards bridging the divide experienced by many in urban schools.”

Community members and all those involved in educating and inspiring young people are encouraged to attend. Food and beverages will be served. Complimentary parking for those attending this urban education event is available in the Koret parking lot (upper and lower levels) located at the corner of Turk Boulevard and Parker Avenue. Entrance to USF’s Fromm Hall is located on Parker Avenue, behind St. Ignatius Church (650 Parker Ave., at McAllister). For more information, please call (415) 422-2697.

About Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers

The Omega Boys Club of San Francisco was founded by former educators Joseph Marshall and Jack Jacqua in response to the increasing number of inner city youth dropping out of school and being incarcerated or killed. Omega’s mission is to keep people alive and free, unharmed by violence and free from incarceration. The group strives to provide youth with opportunities and support to build positive lives for themselves and move into contributing roles in society. For 25 years, Omega has transformed the lives of thousands of at-risk mostly African-American young women and men, helping them succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the most innovative and diverse cities in the world and features a vibrant community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields while building a more humane and just world. University of San Francisco students, faculty, and alumni are involved in the entrepreneurial city of San Francisco and work in all industries, from technology to the nonprofit sector. With dedicated professors and exceptional academic programs to choose from, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to develop into ethical leaders who are sought after in their professions. USF’s diverse student body benefits from direct access to faculty, small class sizes, and a broad array of programs and co-curricular opportunities. Informed by the university’s 156-year-old Jesuit Catholic mission, the USF community ignites students’ passion for social justice and the pursuit of the common good. For more information about the University of San Francisco, please visit