In 1992, The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County (TCOE) was established by Gloria Washington Wallace to serve as advisors to The Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP) in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS).
Our initial purpose was to provide a historical perspective on the education of Black youth in the County, provide substantial role models of moral standing and spiritual leadership for our children, and serve as regal representatives for BSAP ceremonies and programs, such as the Evening of Excellence celebration for Black graduates.
In 1997, TCOE became an independent entity — responsible first to the Black community of Howard County, based on a change that we wanted to make in the criteria for acknowledging Black students.
1. Be the Voice for truth, balance and justice in the Black Community of Howard County TCOE strives to do this by making recommendations for improving academic performance, adopting policies and procedures that create high performing schools, ensuring that all villages are equally provided community services, and by monitoring and speaking out on inequities that impact the Black Community.
2. Support, champion and advocate for the Black Community in Howard County TCOE strives to establish itself as the resource to which the Black Community turns for advocacy when there is inequity in the community and to also be a source that can provide information on county services.
3. Provide perspectives of the Black Experience throughout world history TCOE strives to partner with other black cultural organizations and other organizations to share the Black Experience with the younger generation and to establish itself as a resource for knowledge of the Black Experience.
The mission of the Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County is two-fold.
To develop, strengthen, guide and advance the educational and cultural well-being of the Black Community of Howard County.
To sustain and grow itself as a community of Elders that actively serves to advocate for the Black Community of Howard County in collaboration with parents, educators and other community leaders.
We envision a vibrant organization whose members have pride in our Ancestry and who work together to support the educational, cultural and social opportunities for the Howard County Black Community resulting in a confident, aware Community and optimum success in the Black family.