STARKVILLE, Miss.--Men of color aspiring to academic and professional success face unique challenges, so one of the Southeastern Conference's most diverse universities is sponsoring a Men of Color Summit to discuss those issues.
"Global Competitiveness: Exploring Pathways Toward Academic Achievement" will be held Thursday and Friday [Aug. 28 and 29] at Mississippi State University. The free, public gathering is MSU's third installment of the forum emphasizing diversity and inclusion.
Registration is required and remains open at https://www.oidi.msstate.edu/moc/.
New to the 2014 summit, the K-12 Pathways Mini Summit will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday. Kindergarten through12th-grade administrators will gather at Hunter Henry Center with teachers, parents and community leaders to discuss the issues faced by young men of color before they begin higher education.
Featured speakers will include Joe Scantlebury, senior policy officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Lewis Whitfield, senior vice president for the CREATE Foundation. The Gates Foundation works to enhance educational opportunities on a national scale, while CREATE, a Northeast Mississippi nonprofit organization, works to improve quality of life through education.
The Men of Color Empowerment Dinner, also to be held Thursday at the Hunter Henry Center, will be held 6-8 p.m. Earl Cummings, chairman and CEO of Texas-based BestAssets Inc., will provide the keynote address, and five "Champions of Diversity" will be recognized.
When the summit formally begins at 8 a.m. Friday, MSU President Mark E. Keenum will open the proceedings. He will also participate in an 11 a.m. panel discussion moderated by MSU Rhodes Scholar Donald M. "Field" Brown of Vicksburg. "Institutional Leaders: Building the Path to Success" will include Alcorn State University President Alfred Rankins Jr. and Coahoma Community College President Valmadge T. Towner.
Other panel discussions will include "How Foundations Determine and Address Needs in Higher Education: National and Global Models for Success," "Industry Leaders: Insiders' Views" and "Student Perspectives: Navigating the Path."
Additionally, MSU undergraduates will participate in a Three-Minute Oratory Challenge to address issues relevant for men of color. Winners will be chosen and honored.
For more information on the 2014 Men of Color Summit, contact Gregory Hunley, diversity and research assessment specialist for MSU's Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, at 662-325-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Men of Color Summit conversation on social media at #msumoc14 or visit www.facebook.com/events/1412029129058483/?ref=5.
MSU is online at www.msstate.edu, facebook.com/msstate, Instagram.com/msstate and twitter.com/msstate.