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UHD Hosting Greater Houston Area Men of Color Collegiate Symposium Nov. 19

Leaders in Business, Academia Sharing Knowledge with Local Students


By Mike Emery

Student success is at the heart of the University of Houston-Downtown's mission.

A number of programs and initiatives are in place to support this very mission, including the annual Greater Houston Area Men of Color Collegiate Symposium. This year’s event will continue its tradition of imparting advice, counsel and wisdom on local students. It also will feature a who’s who of successful men of color who are ready to mentor and guide these students.

Special guests include:

  • Marcus Bowers, Co-Founder and CEO of She’s Happy Hair

  • Tyrone Smith, NFL Veteran and Founder of First and Goal Inc.

  • Julius Bayone, Executive Director of Mission Transformation

Opening remarks will be delivered by UHD President Loren J. Blanchard and additional insights will be shared by members of the UHD faculty and staff.

The virtual event is open to all area high school and college students and will offer them an opportunity to learn from the aforementioned leaders and others during sessions throughout the day.

“Over the last six years, the University of Houston-Downtown has worked to improve opportunities for marginalized populations, support diversity initiatives and collaborate with local community partners to create safe spaces for diverse students to learn and achieve great things,” said Dr. Jerry Wallace, Assistant Dean of UHD’s College of Public Service.

Wallace and others at UHD have played a key role in supporting students of color through transformative program,s such as Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. (aimed at increasing graduation and retention rates of underserved male student populations) and Call Me MISTER (supporting aspiring male teachers of color).

The upcoming symposium complements these efforts by connecting with both UHD students and those from area high schools and community colleges. Most importantly, it serves to spotlight the opportunities that await so many students at the University of Houston-Downtown.

“An important goal of this event is to establish lasting partnerships with school districts, community colleges, local businesses and community partners in an effort to recruit, retain, graduate and produce qualified men who can impact change and improve lives as future UHD alumni,” Wallace said. “This event strives to highlight what has already been done and what will continue to take place to create academic and career opportunities as well as cultural wellness for men of color.”

Breakout sessions will further spotlight academic and professional possibilities for students and focus on career opportunities in STEM, Public Service, Humanities, and Business.

Wallace is among the UHD presenters who will enlighten attendees on the importance of higher education during this symposium. Other University speakers include:

  • Dr. Vida Robertson, Director for the Center for Critical Race Studies

  • Dr. Matthew Fugate, Assistant Chair and Assistant Professor of Urban Education - Co-Director of Call Me MISTER

  • Olga Feliciano, Instructor of English Composition

  • Randy Torres, UHD Alum and mentor for the Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. Program

  • Fard Rollock, Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. Program Coordinator

  • Kemonta Jackson, Call Me MISTER Program Coordinator

  • Tremaine Kwasikpui, Director of Student Activities

  • Reyna Romero, Director of College of Humanities & Social Sciences Advising Services

  • Ben Robles, Director of Marilyn Davies College of Business Advising Center

  • Jordal Gipson, Assistant Director of College of Sciences & Technology Advising Center

For more details, email menoflegaci@uhd.edu or visit this site for a Zoom link. 

“The University of Houston-Downtown is a great place for any and all students to come and learn,” Wallace said. “This annual symposium specifically wants to encourage men of color of all ages that UHD is an institution that is dedicated and determined in helping them finish strong so they too can have major opportunities.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.