Black Male Symposium
Hundreds of area middle school, high school, college and community college students attended the 11th annual Black Male Symposium on Winston-Salem State University's campus Feb. 20.
This year the symposium featured a new play Ndugu Dare I Dream, the story of one man's struggle to gain the respect of his sons by three different women while yet raising the son of his current wife; a seminar on financial responsibility sponsored and hosted by AARP; a panel discussion; a keynote lecture and book signing with Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School; and a campus tour.
"When we first organized it was to provide a positive response to some issues that had come up in the community," said Theo Howard, the university's assistant vice chancellor of student affairs. "But today, our mission has expanded to include a lot more than local issues. That mission is to address the obstacles facing underrepresented male groups by providing access to greater social and cultural opportunities by way of networking and activism within our campus and broader community."
This year the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system was invited to participate for the first time. Howard noted that he organized the symposium with the help of more than 100 young men in the Winston-Salem State community.
In his address, Perry challenged his young audience to prepare for their futures while in school and to visualize what their futures could potentially look like after they graduate.
Capital Prep has sent 100 percent of its predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high-school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated in 2006.
In past years, featured speakers have included Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Dr. Mark Lamont Hill, Spike Lee, Kevin Powell, Dr. Na'im Akbar and Dr. Mark Anthony Neal.