Black Youth Summit works to strengthen black community

New statistics from the U.S. Department of Education say Wisconsin has the largest gap between white and black student high school graduations.

Officials at the La Crosse School district are working to ensure academic excellence for everyone.

On Saturday, the district held a Black Youth Summit for students to talk about different ways to achieve academic success, build self confidence and create strong cultural identity.

Students were able to interact with different area African American leaders and professionals.

Organizers say the event is a way to support black students.

“An event like this allows students to understand that they have a voice, that there is a community out there for them and that we want them to succeed,” said Shanudel Spivey, the School District of La Crosse Cultural Liaison .

Students were able to attend four breakout sessions that consisted of different speakers from the community as well as protesters from Ferguson Missouri.

Over 50 students participated in the event.