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National Black Male Retreat Scheduled

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Three-day conference scheduled in March

By Frederick H. Lowe

The National Black Male Retreat, which promotes self awareness and unity, will hold its annual retreat March 25-27 at Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center, an Ohio State Park in Mount Sterling, Ohio.

Dr. Ivory Toldson will deliver one of three keynote addresses at the Black Male Retreat in Ohio.

The sessions will begin March 25, with hotel check in and general discussions. The next day there will be breakout sessions about becoming a social entrepreneur, earning money, the high art of negotiation and relationship goals.  The conference will end Sunday at noon.

The retreat, which was initially launched in 2004 or 2005, was intended to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to share and discuss their experiences at Ohio State University, one of the nation’s largest universities, said Tai Cornute, spokesman for The Black Male Retreat. Past retreats, beginning in 2009 have focused on redefining manhood and developing financial literacy.

The conference is now open to OSU graduate students and graduate and undergraduates students from other colleges and universities, including but not limited to the University of Texas, University of Minnesota, Kentucky State University, Berea College, University of Louisville, University of Wisconsin and an undisclosed number of community colleges.

“We’ve been building a network with other colleges,” said Tai Cornute, spokesman for The Black Male Retreat.

Approximately 120 students are expected to attend the retreat, although the conference has space for 150 students, Cornute said. Some 1.4 million black men were enrolled in college in 2013, according to Howard University.

The conference’s keynote speakers are Dr. Ivory Toldson, Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe and Scottie Graham, a former running back for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, who is now athletic director at Arizona State University.

Toldson is an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.”

Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe is founder and current executive director of the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) Organization, a  national group with over 250 chapters in 40 states that endeavors to instill a “spirit of care” and enhance the experiences of young African-American and Latino men in middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. SAAB will host the 12th national conference at The Edward Village Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan, April 1 and 2nd.

Admission to the Black Male Retreat is $300 until March 4. Late registration is $350.

Specific departments at the various schools are expected to help pay student expenses so they can attend.

Bledsoe, Toldson, and Graham will deliver the keynote addresses, others will speak to students who attend the breakout sessions.

The breakout sessions are named in honor of black-male heroes, including Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, who he was murdered by Cook County, Il., States’ Attorneys Police, Chicago Police and the FBI on December 4. 1969. Hampton was 21.

One of the breakout sessions is named in honor Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party.
One of the breakout sessions is named in honor Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party.

Medgar Evers, who was national field director for the Mississippi NAACP, when he was murdered June 12, 1963, by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. Evers was 37.

Dr. Leonard Moore, who sets up programs that support black athletes at the University of Texas, will be one of the speakers at the breakout sessions. He will be joined by Ernest Lever, a Lockheed Martin Fellow—an elite group representing less than 1 percent of the company’s technical workforce—at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas. His work focuses on applying his welding engineering expertise to solve technical challenges across the corporation, leading training for production operations and conducting research for new projects.

For additional information about the retreat, contact Tai Cornute at cornute.2@osu.edu  His telephone number is 614 274 4766.

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