Big 12 black student leadership conference returns to K-State

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Today, the 36th Annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, with this year’s theme “The Talented Tenth: Redefining Black Student Leadership” returns to K-State after having not been here since 2004.

More than 600 students from more than 31 schools, both in and out of conference, will be coming to K-State for personal growth.

“This conference will focus on development of the individual, as well as develop everyone as a leader,” said Jordan Walker, junior in finance and committee chair of the planning committee for the event. “We are redefining how to be a black leader. When we talk about how our ancestors—they used to be able to do things like sit-ins and they were effective. Sit-ins wouldn’t be so effective today. At this conference, we will discuss the issues of today and figure out how to solve them.”

Vuna Adams III, junior in finance and public relations chair of the planning committee, said he wants people to take what they get from the workshops and speakers, and go back to their homes to give back to their communities.

“People in the past had it a little bit harder than we do now,” Adams said. “People in the future will have it a little bit harder than we do now. We need to continue to bring information back and apply it within our own communities. This trickle down process within the black community will allow it to continue to grow.”

Many nationally-known speakers will be coming to K-State to present and speak at this conference. Devin T. Robinson X will be speaking tonight, and Jonathan Sprinkles, Marc Lamont Hill and Steve Perry will be presenting on Friday. Myra Gordon, Frances Cress Welsing and Kevin Powell will be speaking on Saturday.

“Knowledge is power,” said KeNeice Musgrove, junior in hotel and restaurant management and hospitality chair of the planning committee. “When students and speakers come to K-State, we want them to understand what true hospitality is. African-American culture is welcoming, and we want to focus on that.”

The closing events each day are focused more toward social interaction. Friday night, the conference has facilitated a Gospel Extravaganza in which Alexis Spight is featured. The Big 12 Conference Step Show will be featured at Bramlage Coliseum Saturday night. Students involved or not in the conference are welcome to attend the step show.

There will also be a career and vendor fair. Musgrove said she is excited for the fair for the opportunity it provides to network with professionals, as well as with fellow African-American leaders.

The 36th Annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government will be taking place from today until Sunday, March 3.

“It’s exciting for people to come to a place where everyone has the same mindset as you,” Walker said. “Everyone is here to improve themselves as leaders, to become the best leaders they can.”

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