Eleventh Black Male Summit Encourages, Celebrates Black Success

The Summit is two days of leadership and inspiration from top national experts in African-American male educational achievement.


The Black Male Summit was originally created for administrators and educators to come together and discuss ways to help African-American students reach success. (Courtesy of The University of Akron)

By Megan Parker, News Contributor

Hosted by UA’s Office of Inclusion and Equity, the Black Male Summit will not only celebrate the accomplishments and experiences within the African-American community but also discuss the challenges still faced by African-American males.

Each year, a different theme for the Summit is chosen based on events happening around the world. (Courtesy of The University of Akron)

Jolene Lane, Vice President for Inclusion and Equity, UA’s Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator, said in a press release that the Black Male Summit helps move young African-American males forward through creating positive network connections.

According to a press release, the Black Male Summit will offer ways to build better pathways to “recruit, retain and graduate African-American males in high education.”

Antoinette East-Jenkins, assistant program director, said one of the goals for the Summit is to help find ways to take African-American males from elementary school, through college and to success after graduation.

“This program is designed for them, on this campus,” East-Jenkins said. “It is a really good networking opportunity for students, all students; not just students who are African-American or male.”

Presenting sponsors of this year’s Summit are Walmart and AT&T. Other support comes from FedEx, Summa Health, Alpha Phi Alpha, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Dominion Energy and METRO RTA. (Courtesy of The University of Akron)

Throughout the two-day conference, several different speakers and breakout sessions will cover topics, such as the political changes since the Martin Luther King, Jr., assassination, health risks among the African-American Community and leadership skills for future careers.

Some of the guest speakers include Stedman Graham, a businessman, author and educator; Dr. David M. Anderson, Sr., an entrepreneur and author; Romona Robinson, an eight-time Emmy award-winning anchor and author.

Other guest speakers include Jason Mayden, co-founder and CEO of Super Heroic; Brian Heat, a career education, radio host and trainer; and Capt. Barrington Irving, a pilot and educator.

According to the press release, UA and the Black Male Summit will induct two recipients of the Black Male Summit Legacy Award, Curtis Mack, J.D., and Billy Soule, during lunch of Friday, April 6.

There will also be a tribute at the lunch on Friday “to the late Dr. Joseph L. White, renowned scholar, professor and psychologist, who passed away last November,” the press release said.

East-Jenkins said that White is considered one of the founding contributors to the creation of the Black Male Summit at The University of Akron in 2007.

Several scholarships will also be awarded by the BMS Scholarship Committee during the two-day conference.

The Summit will take place Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 in the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. However, registration for the Summit has been closed.