News Release

Power in Diversity 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eric Thomas, hip hop preacher and motivational speaker

Eric Thomas, motivational speaker, educator, author and minister.

Tavis Smiley, talk show host and political commentator C.T. Vivian, minister, author and civil rights legend Cheryl Jacques, activist, lawyer and politician Tricia Rose, author, commentator and social critic Carlos Neverez, Cal State Sacramento leadership expert Eric Thomas, hip hop preacher and motivational speaker Event poster for the 2013 Power in Diversity Leadership Conference 

Talk show host, author and commentator Tavis Smiley will address poverty in America at the Power in Diversity Leadership Conference Jan. 24-27 in Atwood Memorial Center.

Now in its fourth year, the conference brings together students and employees from Minnesota State Colleges and University system schools and regional colleges and universities. This year's theme is We Are the Change: Where Do We Go From Here?

Smiley is one of six keynote presenters with national or regional reputations. Public tickets for keynote speakers are available at SCSUTickets.com, Atwood Memorial Center and 320-308-4636.

Power in Diversity builds leadership and communication skills, promotes academic excellence and reinforces education and cultural development -- all in the spirit of change.

While the conference focuses on the experiences of students of color, Power in Diversity is open to all who wish to take part.

Likely conference sessions include academic success, cross-cultural communication, leadership development, community service/civic engagement, current events, graduate school, careers, cultural equity and LGBT issues in communities of color.

Among the many components of Power in Diversity are the Variety Show (PDF), the Job & Internship Fair and the Graduate School Fair (PDF). 

Meet the conference speakers booked to-date:

Tavis Smiley is host of the "Tavis Smiley" television show on PBS. On public radio he hosts two shows: "The Tavis Smiley Show" and "Smiley & West." The Indiana University graduate has written 16 books. His latest is "Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto," co-written with educator and philosopher Cornel West. 

Cheryl Jacques is one of the leading voices for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. An administrative law judge in Massachusetts, Jacques is a former Massachusetts state senator and former president of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT advocacy group.  

Brown University professor Tricia Rose is author, commentator and social critic. She is best known for books on rap music, including "Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America" and "The Hip Hop Wars." The latter is a critique of contemporary hip hop that, among other things, discusses the genre's celebration of black ghetto excess and dysfunction.

C.T. Vivian is an activist, minister and author who has devoted most of his life to working for the progress of African Americans and the civil and political rights of all people. As a lieutenant for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Vivian did executive staff work during King's campaigns in Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, St, Augstine and elsewhere. 

Speaker, educator, author, activist and minister Eric Thomas is the very example of success through mentoring. He was plucked from the streets by a pastor who saw great potential. Today Thomas pastors A Place of Change Ministries in Lansing, Mich., and is an academic advisor at Michigan State University.

California State Sacramento professor Carlos Neverez is an expert on leadership theory and training in higher education. Formerly a doctoral fellow for the Kellogg Foundation, Neverez has focused on developing academic programs designed to cultivate transformational leaders.  

Institutional partners include Anoka Ramsey Community College; College of SaintBenedict;Saint John’s University; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Office of the Chancellor; Minnesota State University, Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud Technical & Community College and Winona State University.

Hosted in Atwood Memorial Center, the conference is managed by St. Cloud State's Office of Multicultural Student Services

For more information, contact Harry Jackson at hbjackson@stcloudstate.edu or 320-308-5393.

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