This three day education festival is for high school students, current college students, and educators. Below is our daily focus for each day:
April 19, 2022 (Day 1): HBCU Education Conference
April 20, 2022 (Day 2): HBCU College Fair
April 21, 2022 (Day 3): HBCU Teachers Fair
This event is being held to create an opportunity to expose high school students to HBCUs that are wanting to major in education. Connect current HBCU students majoring in education and HBCU alums that are current educators with securing employment opportunities. Last, but not least we created a space to have attendees be able to network, grow and develop from our dynamic breakout sessions and keynote presentations!
Mississippi Valley State University
Morris Brown College
Jackson State University
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Southern University and A&M College
Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Success
Southern University and A&M College
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
With over 30 years of professional experience in higher education, Dr. Jerryl Briggs was unanimously selected to become the 8th President of Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) on October 19, 2017. Prior to being selected President, Dr. Briggs served in the capacities of Acting President and as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at the University.
As the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Briggs served as the ranking vice president with direct oversight for the operational well-being of the university, assessing the institution’s needs through formal structures and constant contact and involvement with all constituents of the university.
While at Mississippi Valley, Dr. Briggs has helped to re-establish the University College model which led to successfully improving the University’s retention rate
by 10 percent for fall 2014 and 12 percent for fall 2015. In addition, he worked collectively with MVSU staff to increase overall university enrollment that resulted in a more than 200 percent increase in dual enrollment students for fall 2016 and an overall 11.4 percent increase over the past three years. Dr. Briggs also managed a $17 million capital improvement project for the University’s athletic complex, with additional planning underway for renovations to residence halls and other campus buildings.
Before joining MVSU, Dr. Briggs served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Central State University in Ohio. Prior to Central State University, he has held various positions within higher education administration, including serving for ten years at Lincoln University (PA) as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Dean of Students. He has also held positions at Clark Atlanta University, the College of William and Mary, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, and North Central College.
He has also presented professional workshops addressing the topic “student success at HBCUs” at various speaking engagements. An avid supporter of HBCUs, Dr. Briggs says, “HBCUs are most dear to my heart. They have been a part of my life, both educationally and professionally. I deeply value our experiences, and we must assure future generations have these same experiences on our campuses.”
Dr. Briggs earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry education from Xavier University of Louisiana, his Master of Arts degree in human relations and supervision from Louisiana Tech University, and both an Educational Specialist degree in higher education administration and a doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He also completed Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management program. Dr. Briggs is from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is the father of two sons – Isaiah and Jerryl, Jr.
Dr. Kevin E. James serves as the 19th President of Morris Brown College, a historical Black college founded in 1881 in Atlanta, Georgia. The institution is the only college in Georgia founded solely by African American patronage. Dr. James became the leader of the college while it was under duress and lacking recognition from the United States Department of Education as an institution in good-standing. The institution lost its accreditation in 2002-03. Dr. James was serious about the historical legacy of Morris Brown and was on a mission to re-accredit the institution. As an executive leader with years of business experience, he understood that re-branding the institution while staying close to its mission was vital. Therefore, he initiated #TheHardReset, a campaign to restore Morris Brown to compliance and recognition by the Department of Education.
Dr. Susan E. Powell, a native of Hallsboro, North Carolina, has served in Higher Education for over twenty-eight years. Powell earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University. She received her teacher certification from Barton College, Wilson North Carolina. Powell received her Master in Non-profit Administration from West Chester University, in West Chester, PA. She was recognized as the outstanding graduate for the College of Business and Public Affairs. Dr. Powell received her Doctorate of Education in Higher Leadership & Innovation from Wilmington University, Wilmington Delaware.
During her tenor at Lincoln University for seventeen years. During her tenure at Lincoln University, Powell served as Dean of Students, Director of Upward Bound, and Adjunct for First Year Experience & Academic Advisor. She also served as the PATRIO president for the state of Pennsylvania. Powell served as the primary administrator for the sexual misconduct board and presiding officer for the student misconduct board. She also served as primary advisor for SGA, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Zeta Omega Chapter, and Big Sister Little Sister. Powell was instrumental in implementing a certified leadership program entitled LEAD – (Lions Excelling And Developing). While at Lincoln, Powell was able to secure over $12 million dollars in grants for pre-college programs to aid first generation low income students. As a former classroom teacher, Powell is very passionate about helping young people especially first generation college students.
Powell’s passion and dedication to student affairs has afforded her a platform to present at conferences and conduct workshops across the country. Some of her topics included: “Teamwork”, “Developing the Leader in You”, “Mentorship”, Dress for Success” and “Preparing for a Successful College Career”. She currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Jackson State University in Jackson Mississippi where the motto is “Student Affairs Cares”.
She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. And is the mother two adult children.
Dr. Jacqueline Gibson Preastly began her 22-year career in Higher Education teaching English, Speech, and Communication courses at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. In the year 2000, Dr. Preastly transitioned to Georgia State University's Department of Communication to teach and later accepted the position of Director of the McNair Program in the Office of Educational Opportunity, which she held until October 2006 - and subsequently moved on to Director of the Learning Resource Center at Lincoln University, PA. After just 1 ½ years, she was promoted to Director of the Office of Student Life and Development and received the New Professional of the Year Award her first year on the team. In 2008, she was promoted to Dean of Students, and she served the students of Lincoln University in the position from 2008-2012.
After her tenure at Lincoln ended, Dr. Preastly served the students of Kentucky State University as Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and Leadership Development. Moving into senior leadership, Dr. Preastly served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at her Alma Mater, Mississippi Valley State University, from 2013-2020. In August 2020, she joined Jaguar Nation at Southern University & A&M College in Baton Rouge as Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Success. Dr. Preastly has dedicated her career to serving and motivating students and is passionate about advancing the HBCU experience and the educational advancement of first generation, low income, and underserved students.
Dr. Preastly is a very proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Council of Negro Women. Her professional association memberships include the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi Valley State University; and earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron in Ohio.
F. Carl Walton is Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prior to accepting the position at Southern, he was Vice President for Student Affairs at Savannah State University and Vice President for Student Affairs as well as Associate Professor of Political Science (tenured) at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. He also held faculty appointments at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia and the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.
Walton was a participant in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennial Leadership Institute, a Higher Education Leadership Foundation Fellow, and a Kettering Foundation Whisenton Public Scholar. Additionally, he is a former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. His research interests are in the areas of higher education policy and legislative politics. As a Chief Student Affairs officer, Walton believes that creating a climate on campus that facilitates belonging and engagement will lead to higher student success rates. In that regard, during the summer of 2021, Walton established an Office of Community Outreach and Inclusion at Southern University.
Walton is member of the Board of Directors of the Deep Center of Savannah, Georgia (a non-profit organization that supports youth through providing avenues for literary and artistic expression) and holds membership in NASPA (Student Affairs Administrations in Higher Education), NASAP (the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals), NCOBPS (the National Conference of Black Political Scientists), and the Morris Brown College National Alumni Association. Additionally, he is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.
He holds the M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a B.A. in Political Science (Magna Cum Laude) from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia
Ja’el “The Great” is a professor, life coach, and dynamic motivational speaker who is passionate about spreading the message that “You are Perfect for Your Purpose.” Ja’el The Great’s passionate quest for excellence has propelled her to great levels of personal success. She honed her craft as a life coach and motivational speaker while working as a facilitator for world-famous motivational legend Les Brown at his “How to Become a Millionaire” Workshop. That opportunity coupled with her being able to meet Oprah Winfrey, study the mogul in her element and experience her giving spirit inspired Ja`el to become all that God has created her to be. As an actress and singer/songwriter she has worked with some of the greatest talents alive today, including Tyler Perry, Robert Townsend, Kim Fields, Loretta Devine and many more. Jael is a proud graduate of Thee Jackson State University and an honored Professor at Spelman College. She has been featured as a keynote speaker for conferences, workshops, and schools across the country. Ja’el is the author of the new book How to Keep Your Daughter From Doing What You Wish You Hadn’t and the creator of several popular workshop series including “Back to Basics,” a guide to dating and relationships. For more info on Ja’el’s books, her message, and upcoming events, contact her today.
Luke Lawal Jr. is CEO and founder of L & Company, a minority-based corporation in Los Angeles, California. Having founded and established a diverse portfolio of business ventures, the millennial is passionate about entrepreneurship, specifically amongst young professionals and giving back to his community in an effort to grow the next generation of leaders.
Luke’s first foray into entrepreneurship began in 2011 during his undergraduate career at Bowie State University when he founded HBCU Buzz, a promotional and progressive brand created to generate awareness of HBCU collegiate culture. The Buzz promotes pride and unity within all HBCU communities in order to enhance the black college experience and improve the perception of America’s historically black colleges and universities. The media outlet provides trends and breaking news about all-black colleges and universities by strategically utilizing references from schools, organizations, and media outlets. The company is currently the leading source of HBCU news for all historically black colleges and universities. Luke used his sharp methods matched with his passion for change, to lead HBCU Buzz to become “The most influential brand in the HBCU community” which also landed him a spot on the “DMV Top 30 Under 30” list in 2014.
In an effort to cultivate a unique space for men of color, Luke also cofounded Suited Lifestyle along with a colleague from Howard University before he graduated. Suited Lifestyle is designed to create an extensive network of young professionals and other progressive, like-minded individuals from various walks of life who all share a commitment to leadership, self-sufficiency, and peer-to-peer engagement through social and cultural events.
Today the young CEO and entrepreneur is focused on his next business venture, Taper, an app designed to change how hairstylists and barbers engage with their consumers. As well as his mental health entity Root Care Health.
Luke is also a Master Mason and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Regan Farley has created a blueprint to effectively disrupt the public relations industry by its traditional standards. Regan worked with companies such as Fox Broadcasting Company, NBCUniversal, Def Jam Records, CBS Television, and PS Media Talent. She’s wrangled talent for red carpet events such as NAACP Image Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards, and more. As an alum of Lincoln University, she understands the importance of educating oneself to become an elite force in business and life. Regan lives by the notion that “The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately. Each person has a different hustle and a specific goal to get them there. It’s important to recognize that early on and know that you must run your race to be successful.”
As a digital content strategist, Regan provides strategy content for herself and clients through her company Intel Media Group. Intel Media Group (IMG) was established to elevate both traditional and new media footprints individuals, businesses, and brands across the country. IMG clients have appeared on nationally recognized media platforms shows BET, Black Enterprise, Hot 97, Breakfast Club, VH1, Fast Company, and much more. A stout philanthropist, Regan has partnered with organizations such as The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles and New York. She’s also a board member in the Maryland chapter and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her current endeavors include The PR Circle, Hustle Sold Separ8ly clothing, and Can’t Knock the Hustle journal, which is in conjunction with the Hustle Sold Separ8ly brand.
Tyrae started education career in her hometown of Oakland, California on the strength of positive relationships, Positive Behavior Intervention Systems, high expectations and Restorative Justice. After working in all levels, she spent most of her career as 8th grade teacher where she drove high accountability scores in both reading and math between the states of Texas and California respectively, before transitioning to school administration. As a school leader she is working actively to ensure academic achievement, strong relationships and even joy occur in a post pandemic elementary setting.
My name is Cate Rugano, your College & Career Prep Consultant.
I am a wife, a mother of three, 23yrs old son and two girls 10yrs and 5yrs.
I was born and raised in Africa, Kenya. I came to the USA to study. I have attained a double major Bachelors of Science in Business and Management and a Masters in Global Business Management. I recently obtained a Project Management Professional Certification and an Life Insurance Agent License.
ELT Consulting Solutions LLC begun from a strong desire to Empower, Launch and help students and parents Thrive. I work with all students to determine their "Why" and "how" to achieve their academic and career goals. I provide tools for parents to adequately support their students in their academic endeavors. Few sessions with such students has birthed a sense of purpose and determination.
I have successfully worked in the IT Human Resource field for over 10yrs.
I also have experience and a successful track record in College and Career Preparation.
Knowledgeable, creative, and compassionate are three words that can describe Andretta Rhone. A native of South Atlanta, Andretta is a proud alum of Alabama A&M University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She taught students in kindergarten through fifth grade for over 11 years. She now has an amazing career in the Ed Tech field.
In 2017, Andretta saw there was a lack of resources for black educators to showcase their talents and skills from inside the classroom. She took her passion for education and decided to start a business called Black Teachers Educate! Black Teachers Educate highlights black educators, provides opportunities and celebrates teacher success.
Her favorite message to tell others is to be kind to yourself and know that it’s never too late to choose you! - Andretta
Leonard is an Overcomer. It may be tough. It may be hard. But he will do his best to find a way. Leonard went from nearly being expelled from school to being a college graduate. From being the last one picked in sports to becoming a professional athlete.
He is a living example of start overs and perseverance. Although he has excelled in sports, that’s not the most important part of his journey. Leonard found his spark to speak early on in life and after many tests and tough situations, Leonard is now full throttle in his purpose as a youth motivational speaker.
Today, Leonard is on a mission to share his life experiences and the lessons he has learned in order to spread a message of purpose, hope and perseverance. He is passionate about inspiring our youth to discover their purpose, overcome adversity and be the best version of themselves that they can be. This is his mission. This is his purpose.
Brian A. Street, MSW is a Cognitive-Behavioral Coach, Founder & CEO of Your Legacy Begins Now, LLC, and COO for People360, and Hobson & Street Business Associates, LLC, as well as managing partner for SMC & Associates, LLC, and The Phoenix Circle Investment Group. Mr. Street holds three degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi where his work and research has been around mental and financial empowerment amongst minority communities. The core of his work activities revolves around positioning minority adolescents and young adults to initiate upward socioeconomic mobility in their lives. The goal is that this will in turn increase the probability of a positive change in trajectory for the future generations of their families.
Recently, Mr. Street has begun an initiative called The Black Economic Initiative where he focuses on helping the Black community to come together as a collective and practice group economics that will eventually shift into focusing on:
- funding campaigns for Black political candidates
- providing support to get more Black individuals into public service positions like becoming police officers, judges, public defendants etc.
- owners of Black media outlets
- Starting and funning Black schools and academic programs
Dr. Sharon H. Porter (Dr. Sharon), educator, author, publisher, and host is owner and Editor-in-Chief of Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine. She is the President of SHP Enterprise Inc, the umbrella entity of Perfect Time SHP LLC Book Publishing, SHP Media and Graphics, and Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine. Dr. Sharon also serves as an elementary school principal in Maryland.
Dr. Sharon is a graduate of Howard University, Walden University, Johns Hopkins University, National-Louis University, and Winston-Salem State University. She is also a part of the Harvard University School of Education Women in Educational Leadership 2019 Cohort.
She is the visionary, author, and publisher of the HBCU Experience Anthology.
Tamara Bates is a captivating community voice who speaks out on social responsibility and equity across the United States' southern region. She is an organizer at heart who is not shy when addressing social justice issues and flawed policies that impact everyday people. Bates is the thought leader of the Rock AR Vote voter engagement initiative, which focuses on civic education and community engagement through Arkansas and Tennessee.
Bates is a proud graduate of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Civic engagement and outreach work became a driving passion for her throughout Arkansas. An organizer with a love for community development, Bates has worked in politics on the local, state, and federal levels. In 2016, she contributed to the outreach efforts to support the Democratic Party of Florida's data-driven and metrics-based program to mobilize voters. Also, she served as Co-Director for Woke Vote during the historic Senate runoff victory election in Georgia.
Brad Butler II is the CEO and founder of Brad Butler II & Associates, LLC. He is also an award-winning youth and school motivational speaker, 3x author, student advocate and speaker coach. Before Brad became all he is today, At the tender age of eight, Brad experienced an unexpected transition that changed the course of his life forever!
My name is Gavin van der Vindt, and if I summed up myself in 3 words, The best way I would want to be remembered is God, family, and servant.
Born and raised on the ugly streets of the Cape Flats in Manenberg, Cape Towns, and not just thriving but surviving the cold and bitterness the streets offer to young adults is a testimony that there is hope for a fallen generation. I can mention a few profound, pivotal, and defining moments, achievements, and accolades I'm proud of, but this does not represent Gavin Van Der Vindt. I am a second chance; I am Now fit for purpose, investing in people and retaining life. I'm now a father, husband, and servant in my home and community. This has been a life-changing and constant pursuit of my identity in presenting the best version of myself.
Kierra S. Jones is an educator with 5+ years of experience as a teacher and education consultant. She holds a Biology and Chemistry Degree from Prairie View A&M University and a Masters of Art in Urban Education with a concentration in Education Leadership.
Kierra partners with individuals, groups and organizations to create highly engaging learning activities that support academic growth through her online platform Teaching Busy Bees LLC.
Kierra is also the founder and CEO of Booked Cafe Books, a children’s diverse bookshop. Geared towards amplifying and empowering marginalized voices. Booked Cafe is “a bookshop rooted in giving back”, for every book purchased another book is placed in the hands of a child or teachers hand free of charge.
Kierra currently lives in Dallas, Tx, and uses her free time to explore the world through travel and adventure, self-care advocate, and spending time creating memories with her family and friends.
Brian Keith Harris II is an award-winning educator, lecturer, and motivational speaker, recognized for his work in transforming the landscape for black and brown children through teaching history, poetry, and dance. He is the Founder of Cultivating Young Kings, an organization that provides best practices and training for teachers, school districts, and community leaders who educate and work with black and brown boys in and out of the classroom. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Sons of Freedom Dance Institute, an organization that nurtures character, increases social awareness, and builds a spiritual foundation for black and brown boys through classical and contemporary forms of dance and movement.
Brian currently serves as the Director of Outplacement and Graduate Support at Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, a tuition-free Episcopal school educating boys in underserved communities in Washington, DC.
Brian is a 2003 graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism. He is a May 2006 graduate of The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology with a Master in Divinity degree with a concentration in Christian Education. Brian is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Ministry degree with a concentration in Public Engagement at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Brian is the author of Freedom’s Design: 20 Days of Empowering Black Kings and I Am My History. Both books celebrate the brilliance and creativity of Black children and honor the legacy and resilience of their Ancestors.