Registration ends Thursday for the Clemson University-hosted inaugural Men of Color National Summit, which will take place at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, April 27-28. Organizers say that more than 1,600 people are already registered. The goal of the summit is to attract and retain a highly talented and diverse group of students, faculty, and staff at the university, and to open up educational and career opportunities for young men of color, most of whom will be first-generation college students who often face an unusually challenging path to higher education.
The event has attracted celebrities such as Tom Joyner, Tavis Smiley, John Quiñones and Desmond Howard, who will share their inspiration, perspective and ideas at the conference. The event also kicks off Clemson’s “Tiger Alliance” program. Partnering with Greenville County Schools’ Superintendent Burke Royster, Anderson District 5’s Superintendent Tom Wilson, and schools from the I-95 corridor, Clemson will mentor the 400-member cohort through a revolving, multi-year initiative. The young men will receive guidance and enrichment opportunities to make them college-ready, and their progress will be tracked from the summit through high school graduation.
Clemson’s Chief Diversity officer Lee A. Gill said that the summit will present opportunities for all participants – particularly Clemson’s faculty and staff.
“Faculty and staff understand the value and importance of networking with colleagues and building pipelines for recruitment and collaboration to other institutions,” he said. “The Summit is a perfect opportunity to do both.”
Gill said that by 2022, more than 20 percent of South Carolina’s high school graduates will be Hispanic, and more than 25 percent will be African-American. The Summit is an opportunity to anticipate and benefit from these trends. The chief diversity officer warned that institutions, including colleges, that ignore these statistics will be left behind.
Learn more about the summit and register at http://www.clemson.edu/inclusion/summit/.