Summit takes place April 10-11
The influences of media, culture and sports on black male identity makes up the social dialog of The University of Akron’s eighth annual Black Male Summit, taking place April 10 and 11 at the John S. Knight Center and on campus. Students join with educators, policymakers, athletes, media and entertainment stars, nonprofit and business professionals to network and share success stories and strategies.
There’s never been a more appropriate time to examine the media influence on black male identity.
- The summit brings in award-winning journalist and television news host Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (April 11 at 12:30 p.m., UA Student Union) to speak on the impact of negative stereotypes in the news.
- Steven Kniffley Jr. and Ernest Brown Jr. from Wright State University examine images of black manhood in their presentation “The Big Scary Black Man: Black masculinity, the media, and the development of the black male psyche” (April 11 at 10 a.m., UA Student Union).
- Successfully transitioning the black male athlete from high school to college – and overcoming media stereotypes of black athletes as “dumb jocks” – gets featured from personal points of view.
- Attendees also will hear from Maurice Clarett (April 10 at 9:30 a.m., Quaker Square Station) who helped lead his Ohio State football team to a national championship in 2002, and Jalen Rose (April 10 at 10:30 a.m., JS Knight Center), an ESPN analyst and former NBA star, and how they faced life-changing issues.
- Dr. Brad Conn (April 11 at 11 a.m., UA Student Union) leads a forum titled “The Stereotype of the African-American Male Athlete: Removing the Dumb Jock Stigma.”
- Experts also examine the representation of black men in films, literature and music.
- Keynote speaker Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (April 10 at 12:30 p.m., JS Knight Center) will connect civil rights identity to hip-hop culture while forging links between older and younger Americans
- Actor/activist/educator Lamman Rucker (April 11 at 1:30 p.m., UA Student Union) speaks openly about the influence media had on his life and career.
- Founder and president of Third World Press, Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti (April 11 at 3:30 p.m., UA Student Union) will talk about the inspiration found in a strong African-American literary tradition.
- In addition to these prolific speakers from around the nation, the summit will present a screening of Finding the Gold Within (April 10 at 8 a.m., Akron-Summit County Public Library), an independent film that follows six students through their college experiences.
- Workshops and multi-media presentations by filmmakers, musicians, directors and artists will further address the critical role culture plays in molding a masculine identity.
- Personalized curriculum and mentorship is a major premise for black male success. Educators from all over the country will present programs and solutions that have worked in their schools and communities.
- Dr. Damon A. Williams (April 11 at 9 a.m., UA Student Union), senior vice president for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, will share his philosophy on academics and leadership.
- Dr. Frederick Gooding Jr. from Northern Arizona University leads three sessions, including “The Genius of Hip Hop: Rhyme and Reason in the Classroom” (April 11 at 2:30 p.m., UA Student Union).
New this year are the Black Male Summit Legacy awards, founded to honor the trailblazers who have made a significant contribution to the African American community. The 2015 honorees are: The Honorable Judge Randolph Baxter, former Chief Judge of United States Bankruptcy Court; Dr. Ronald J. Fowler, a theologian and educator; Professor Jon Onye Lockard, a working artist and educator; Dr. Joseph L. White, professor of psychology and psychiatry. Read more about these remarkable men at BMS Legacy Awards (April 10 at 11:45 a.m., JS Knight Center).
Summit events include over 60 panel discussions, breakout sessions and workshops. For a full list, click here. Public admission (registration required) to the Black Male Summit is $50 and includes meals for both days. UA students attend free of charge; non UA students for $25 with valid student ID; UA faculty and staff can attend for $12. For more information and to register, go to www.uakron.edu/ie/bms2015.