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UCO Launches Black Male Summit Leadership Class for Area High School and College Students

An audience of young men listening to a presentation

Aug. 14, 2020

Media Contact: Sarah Ward, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2106, sward24@uco.edu

UCO Launches Black Male Summit Leadership Class for Area High School and College Students

Applications are now open for the University of Central Oklahoma’s inaugural Black Male Summit Leadership Class (BMSLC) this fall. The program, an innovative extension of the university’s annual Black Male Summit one-day conference, is designed to foster the next generation of leaders by empowering young, Black males. 

The BMSLC is a five-week virtual leadership class in which participants will be able to earn a leadership microcredential, a demonstrated mastery of a specific skill. Class sessions are 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays Sept. 23 – Oct. 21 (except for Oct. 14).

The BMSLC is a way to continue the mission of the Black Male Summit, originally planned for March 24 and canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The mission is to address the historical, cultural and relevant challenges that affect the development of young, Black males; build connections between UCO and public and private high schools across the state of Oklahoma; and, encourage the pursuit of postsecondary education.

As with the summit, the leadership class will allow participants to experience nontraditional, creative and interactive presentations, discussing topics on leadership, Black male masculinity, social justice and community activism.

“During a time of increased uncertainty, UCO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is excited to offer this innovative and completely virtual experience for our young, Black males,” said Dene Roseburr-Olotu, director of Central’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“At its very core, the BMSLC is about empowering and uplifting this often-forgotten segment of our community. Although we will not host the Black Male Summit this year in its traditional form as we consider the safety of our students and families, we hope that through this leadership class we can still provide a platform for these students to come together and engage in authentic conversations while emphasizing the importance of leadership and postsecondary education.”

The theme for the leadership class is “The Marathon Continues.” Inspired by the late rap artist Nipsey Hussle, the BMSLC will allow young, Black males to (re)discover their identity and reimagine their futures.

Students who are accepted to participate in the BMSLC will be eligible to apply for nearly $4,000 in scholarships, courtesy of diamond-level sponsors Perry Publishing and Broadcasting, CSAA Insurance Group a AAA insurer, UCO’s African American Faculty and Staff Association, and UCO’s President’s Leadership Council and Leaders of Tomorrow.

Interested high school and college students should apply by Friday, Sept. 4. Information sessions will be held Aug. 28-29.

For additional information or to apply, visit www.uco.edu/student-resources/odi/diversity-outreach/black-male-summit/ or contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 405-974-3588 or odi@uco.edu.

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Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/press/uploads/2020/02/9ce7018.jpg

Cutline 1: Pictured, Students attend the 2019 Black Male Summit on the UCO campus. This year, the summit will continue as a five-week virtual leadership class.