Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When the football teams for Johnson C. Smith University and Livingstone College, who have a rivalry that dates back more than 100 years, play in the annual Commemorative Classic this Saturday, November 6, the game will be preceded by a two-day symposium on the black and minority male crisis.

This Thursday and Friday, November 4 and 5, JCSU and Livingstone are hosting “Black and Minority Males Taking Flight through Personal Development, Knowledge Sharing, and Commitment to Community.” Topics to be covered during the symposium include health and wellness, relationship development, leadership development, and gang and violence prevention. The goal is to address some of the problems currently plaguing young black males, particularly the staggering high school dropout rates (53 percent nationwide). Scheduled keynote speakers include Dr. Maya Angelou, Stedman Graham, Captain Barrington Irving, Donnie Shell, and Mike Minter.

The two HBCUs are also collaborating on a two-year research project on "The Black/Minority Males in America: Identification. Impact. Diversion. Redirection." They plan to present its results at the 2012 classic.

The symposium is open to the public and is being held at the Park Expo and Conference Center. The game will be played at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. For more details and ticket information, visit

And in related news, you can read my profile of JCSU President Dr. Ronald L. Carter, "Answering the Call," in the November issue of Charlotte magazine, where you'll get a background on why the university is tackling such important community and societal issues.


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