The Aug. 27 and Sept. 24 sessions center on the 55,000 Degrees initiative ─ a public-private partnership to make Louisville a more competitive city by 2020 by increasing the college graduate population by that many more degrees. One goal is for at least 15,000 of those new degree-holders to be African Americans.

  • Aug. 27, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., “Making More Black Students College-ready and College Graduates” is intended to help explain the initiative and give community members a chance to comment. Panelists will include Tomarra Adams, UofL; Geneva Price, Greater Louisville Alliance of Black School Educators; Edward White, River City Drum Corps Cultural Institute; Felicia Lee, Job Corps; and the Rev. Aletha Fields, high school teacher. It will be at the NIA Center, 2900 W. Broadway.
  • Sept. 24, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., will be a chance for community members to give input to 55,000 Degrees leaders and partner institutions on the program and on strategies to meet the initiative’s goals. It will be at the DuValle Education Center cafeteria, 3610 Bohne Ave.

Blaine Hudson, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Saturday Academy director, will lead both programs. Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens plans to attend them.

Admission to both sessions is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

To reserve a spot at the Aug. 27 or Sept. 24 sessions, call LyShanna Cunningham at 502-852-2658.

Community members who want to share ideas about how to help more black students become college-ready can e-mail Bani Hines-Hudson at the Saturday Academy at

The Saturday Academy is an outreach program of the College of Arts and Sciences and offers programs on black history, issues and culture. The regular program of free sessions for adults and high school students will resume in October and run weekly during the school year at DuValle Education Center.