STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-Men of Color are attending a two day summit on the campus of Mississippi State University. When it comes to pioneering in social and cultural diversity where issues are important to students of color, those kinds of gatherings tend to bring together business managers and other African American leaders who partner with MSU.
“We have the largest enrollment in terms of African Americans of any of the 1862 land grants and we are very proud of that. We made an effort to recruit minority students and we feel like they add a dimension to our university. Thats good for all of our students,” said Dr. Jerry Gilbert, MSU Provost.
Assembled with a purpose, and listening attentively to words of motivation, those men were hoping to achieve equal success while remaining relevant in an ever changing world.
“To gain more wisdom and perspective on the things and the concerns of whats going on in the country today,” said Tyshaun Hargrove, Columbus.
In the crowd….A Black Ethiopian student attending Alcorn State University. For him difficulties are ever present.
“You know where I’m from in Seattle Washington you know there aren’t any HBCU’s. So, going to a school 2,000 miles away from home and being able to adapt to that is also a challenge,” said Ismail Yusuf, Alcorn State University.
“Black men are challenged everywhere they go every day. I mean when you are thought of as a problem rather than a participant in society, that is a challenge for you. People like myself, with PHD’s absolutely are challenged. I can’t wear PHD on my forehead, so therefore I know these young men are experiencing when people approach me as just a man,” said Calvin Mackie, Motivational Speaker.
But somehow Mackie and those men of color we spoke with, remain optimistic about their plight. As they leave the summit they know in order to be successful they must incorporate the right; mind set, skill set, and asset.
“In education we focus on the skill set, now we got to focus on asset, but more importantly we got to focus on mind set. When we change our mind set and understand that we must get up and save ourselves and fight for life, then things will get better,” said Mackie.
“Ismail Yusuf So I believe that my success is pre determined; Its going to happen,” added Yusuf.
Among the topics addressed at the summit were….perceptions issues, the importance of academics, and achieving professional success.