State of Black Men Symposium takes place during MSU’s Black History Month celebrations

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—In celebration of Black History Month, Mississippi State’s Men of Excellence student organization is presenting its bi-annual State of Black Men Symposium Tuesday [Feb. 18] at Colvard Student Union.

Themed “Breaking Barriers But Accepting Challenges,” the daylong program is free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged for non-university affiliates at

Portrait of Samuel Jones smiling for the camera
Samuel Jones (Submitted photo)

Various discussions of relevant issues from the perspective of male minority students will take place. Sponsored by MSU’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, the symposium culminates in Colvard Student Union Ballroom S and U with a 6 p.m. keynote address by motivational speaker, leadership trainer and author Samuel Jones.

Other scheduled events include:

—“The State of Black Men: Telling Their Story,” 10-10:50 a.m., Colvard Student Union Ballroom U, black male professionals share how their experiences have shaped the trajectories of their lives.

—“Dress for Success: The Dapper Look,” 11-11:50 a.m., Colvard Student Union Ballroom U, valuable tips on how to dress for success while maintaining personal style. In addition to leading this session, Executive Men’s Suits Owner Robert Ford of West Point will be giving away 10 free suits to participants.

—“Barbershop Talk,” 12:30-1:50 p.m., Colvard Student Union Dawg House, a discussion about issues impacting black male collegians and masculinity. EJ Edney, director of the University of Mississippi’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, will serve as facilitator.

—“We Real Cool, But Are We Well?,” 2-2:50 p.m., Colvard Student Union Ballroom U, a discussion to help black men identify ways patriarchy and systems of oppression impact love, fears and desires. Qiana Cutts, MSU assistant professor of counseling, educational psychology and foundations, will facilitate this session.

—“Stereotype Threat and the Black Male: Increased Awareness Begets Increased Responsibility,” 3-3:50 p.m., Colvard Student Union Ballroom U, a conversation on the development of supportive environments across campus spaces with the goal of thwarting potential for underperformance. Angel Brutus, director of counseling and sports psychology for MSU Athletics, will lead the discussion.

—“Give Us the Tools: Cultivating Our Success,” 3-5 p.m., Colvard Student Union Ballroom M, a graduate/professional school information fair where students can explore opportunities to advance their education even further.

—“Networking Session,” 5-5:45 p.m., Colvard Student Union Old Main Lounge, a chance for students to engage in conversation with faculty and staff. Refreshments will be served.

Learn more about MSU’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at; Men of Excellence,

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