The 28th annual Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference begins Thursday, January 21 and continues through Sunday, January 23 at Texas A&M University.
Conference Chair Danielle Sanders says SBSLC, one of the largest student-run collegiate leadership events in the nation, has a goal of continuing to empower students to excel academically and become productive leaders in their communities.
The theme for the 2016 conference is “The Revolution: Walk with Us.”
“This theme is a charge to take a stance by changing the narrative,” Sanders says. “Individually our efforts may be great, but collectively our community will thrive. Through meaningful dialogue and thought-provoking discourse, we can all join in the revolution. It is our hope that through this three-day conference, our participants are challenged and inspired to strive for professional, personal, and academic growth.”
Since the event began in 1989, SBSLC has brought together African-American students to address the issues facing the black community, hear speakers, and attend workshops that focus on developing strong leadership skills as well as networking opportunities.
Highlights of this year’s conference include a play titled “50 years On – Soul of a Nation” by Will and Company at 7pm, Thursday, as part of the opening ceremony held in the Bethancourt Ballroom in the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M. Also, on Saturday at the 12:30pm lunch in Duncan Dinning Hall, the 5th Annual Ignite the Mic Poetry Slam will be hosted by Tro’juan Henderson, a nationally renowned performance poet. Saturday’s closing banquet keynote speaker will be Jeff Johnson, an MSNBC contributor, White House correspondent, and an award-winning journalist. The banquet is scheduled for 7pm in the Bethancourt Ballroom.
The conference includes more than 50 workshops, a career fair featuring diverse companies that do business on virtually every continent and a vendor fair supporting small business entrepreneurs.
The Charles Williams II Advanced Leadership Institute will be held on campus in conjunction with the conference. Organizers say the institute provides an additional opportunity for student leaders to engage in more in-depth discussions and increase their leadership preparation.
Conference planners say the legacy of SBSLC is the combination of knowledge with family, religion, culture and community and using that combination as a tool to become leaders and productive members of society. They say they are dedicated to providing participants with an amazing experience, ensuring they leave the conference ready to positively impact their community, look toward the future without uncertainty or trepidation, and are ready to embrace the unknown.
For more information about the conference, presenters and workshops, and information about corporate sponsors and other activities, see http://sbslc.tamu.edu/home.