Men of Excellence present ‘State of Black Men Symposium’

Contact: Allison Matthews

Terrell Strayhorn (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Men of Excellence student organization will present a “State of Black Men Symposium” Thursday [Nov. 9] as a student-driven effort to discuss relevant issues from the perspective of male minority students.

The topic for the program is “Generation Z: Transcending Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers,” with emphasis on student success and retention rates for African American males.

The event is free and open to all.

Culminating with an evening event featuring Terrell Strayhorn, founder and CEO of Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC., the workshops are sponsored by the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and take place throughout the day in the Colvard Student Union.

Strayhorn is an internationally recognized student success scholar and highly acclaimed public speaker who has served on the faculty at The Ohio State University and has been named one of the country’s top diversity scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. He received his doctoral degree in higher education from Virginia Tech, after earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Virginia.

The symposium schedule includes:

—Panel discussion, “Leadership…It’s in Your DNA,” 9:30-10:45 a.m. in Foster Ballroom U. Moderated by Jordan Whittington, a kinesiology/sport studies sophomore from Madison, the panel will address the importance of student leadership.

—Presentation by Christia Gladney, “99 Problems: Don’t Let Your Health be One,” 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in Foster Ballroom U. Gladney, MSU assistant director for health promotion and wellness, will address health disparities in black males.

—Barbershop Talk, 2-3:15 p.m. in the first-floor Dawg House, discussion led by Strayhorn, Blake Lewis and Ricky Urgo. This session will address masculinity in the black community. Lewis, a sophomore marketing major from Alabaster, Alabama, is vice president of Men of Excellence and holds other student leadership positions. Urgo is an MSU graduate student in educational leadership/student affairs and higher education from Millville, New Jersey.

—Panel discussion, “#Blackandhooded,” 3:30-4:45 p.m. in Foster Ballroom U. This session will address how to navigate the graduate school process.

—Networking Session, 5-5:45 p.m. in Foster Ballroom M. Students will have an opportunity to have professional headshots taken, as well as interact with faculty and staff.

—Keynote featuring Terrell Strayhorn, 6-7 p.m. in the Foster Ballroom S and U. Strayhorn has authored 10 books and more than 200 book chapters and journal articles. He maintains an active research agenda focusing on major policy issues in education, including student access and achievement; issues of race, equity and diversity; impact of college on students; and student learning and development.

For more information, contact John Blue, assistant director of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, at 662-325-2033 or follow Men of Excellence on Instagram at Brandon Flowers, Men of Excellence president, may be contacted at, and Lewis may be contacted at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at