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Larry MacIntyre
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

IU expands partnership with Indiana Black Expo to reach minority families

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is expanding its long-standing partnership with Indiana Black Expo Inc. to include a series of year-round initiatives aimed at increasing college attendance among young African Americans.

The Bloomington and IUPUI campuses have long participated in IBE's Summer Celebration, which each July draws more than 300,000 visitors to the week-long event at the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

This year, IU's involvement is being expanded to all eight campuses. Each will have a presence at the summer exposition. In addition, they will continue their involvement with IBE by participating in year-round programs that provide information and incentives to prospective college students.

"Our goal is to facilitate a smooth transition from high school to IU," said IU President Adam Herbert. "We want to help young people understand what they need to do to prepare for college. We also want to help families understand how they can finance a college education."

Herbert said Indiana Black Expo makes an excellent partner for IU because it is serving an important community audience for IU -- Indiana's African American families.

Although best known for its signature fund-raiser, Summer Celebration in Indianapolis, the non-profit IBE organization has become a year-round, multi-faceted community service organization with 11 chapters across Indiana.

"Our mission is to be an effective vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African Americans," said Joyce Rogers, president and chief executive officer of IBE. "Working in partnership with IU on a statewide basis will give us tremendous new resources."

Charlie Nelms, IU vice president for institutional development and student affairs, will oversee the university's involvement with IBE. Nelms said partnership activities at each campus will include:

-- Ensuring that students and families are aware of the many different opportunities available to them.

-- Providing internship opportunities for IU students.

-- Identifying high school students for participation in any of several pre-collegiate programs on IU campuses.

-- Providing support and assistance to students preparing for high-stakes testing, such as the ISTEP graduation exam and the SAT college entrance exam.

-- Identifying and assisting students eligible for IU competitive scholarship awards.

-- Establishing a speaker's program in which successful IU students return to their high schools and describe their collegiate experiences.

-- Providing families with information on how to prepare their children for college and how to access all possible financial assistance.

"This will enable all of us at IU to begin a dialogue with students and families very early in the process," Nelms said. "We will be able to showcase the depth and breadth of our offerings."

During the 2004-05 academic year, IU enrolled more than 6,000 African American students at its eight campuses.

IU's presence at this summer's IBE Summer Celebration (July 7-17) will include a large historical display titled "The Black Experience at Indiana University: Realizing the Dream."

IU will sponsor the Town Hall Forum, State of the Black Family, on July 15 from 8 a.m. to noon. A panel of nationally known speakers, including U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, Judge Glenda A. Hatchett and Kevin Powell, will lead the discussion. The final day of the exposition, July 17, has been designated "IU Day."

More information about IBE and its Summer Celebration can be found at