Black male summit at UA

Written by: Jackie Lallo

The University of Akron’s Office of Multicultural Development will host Black Male Summit Friday and Saturday, featuring nationally renowned speakers, educational leaders and practitioners speaking about the issues that black males face in higher education.

Those encouraged to attend are individuals interested in the recruitment, retention and graduation of black males in universities, senior-level administrators, guidance counselors, community leaders, concerned parents and faculty.  Most importantly, those strongly encouraged to attend are black males, according to The University of Akron’s website.

Certain topics to be discussed include retention, graduation and engagement, healthy relationships, career and professional development, health issues, identity development and masculinity, and spirituality.  The guest speakers range in careers from religion, psychology and mental health, to CEO positions held in the corporations.

“The presenters had extensive knowledge of their topics and provided me with great information,” said a guest of last year’s Black Male Summit. “The interactive nature of the workshops challenged me, both personally and professionally.”

The Friday event will begin at 11 a.m. and run to 5 p.m., when all those attending will have the opportunity to check in. Lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will have a keynote speaker. This event will be held in the Student Union ballroom where Dr. Randal Pinkett will present “The Five Things Every Black Male Must Know.”  From there, concurrent sessions will take place and attendees will be having dinner on their own.

Saturday, check-in will run from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  Speakers will include Dr. Joseph White, Dr. R. A. Vernon and Brian Heat. Biographies of these speakers can be found on the University’s website, under The Office of Multicultural Development, Black Male Summit tab.

“I’ve enjoyed the updated and contemporary information of silent issues in the black community,” said another guest from last year’s Summit. “I didn’t want the workshop to end, it was so inspiring.”

Registration was held Jan. 30 through March 31. Registering for the event included two lunches, admissions to all sessions and registration materials. Though registration was free for UA students and faculty, the cost to attend was $50 for others.

The site also includes a downloadable booklet including all the information about the event. For more information, visit