Black Male Symposium

February 5, 2014
Dr. Steve Perry More than 700 local school and community college students are expected when Dr. Steve Perry, author, ESSENCE Magazine, CNN and MSNBC contributor, will highlight a day-long Black History Month, Black Male Symposium with the keynote lecture 3:30 p.m., Feb. 20 in K.R. William Auditorium on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

The event, a collaboration between WSSU Division of Student Affairs, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC-GA) was designed for WSSU, community college and public school students.  It will feature the unveiling of a new play by Garrett Davis titled, "Ndugu Dare I Dream," at 10 a.m.  At 1 p.m. there will be a financial responsibility seminar co-sponsored by AARP and campus tours with the keynote lecture and a book signing at 3:30 p.m.  In addition to WSSU students, more than 500 Winston-Salem Forsyth County School and 200 local community college students are expected.  The public is invited and admission is free.

Featured in CNN's "Black in America" series, Perry is considered to be one of the most innovative educators on the scene today. He is the founder and principal of what U.S. News & World Report has cited as one of the top schools in the country, Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn.  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.  Perry also is an education contributor for CNN and MSNBC, an Essence Magazine columnist, best-selling author and host of the number one docudrama for TVONE, "Save My Son."

The dramatic performance of the new play presents 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.  He was honored with the Man of the Year Award for his mentoring work at the local Boys & Girls Club.  But when his sons find out about this award he is confronted with the past that he thought he left behind.

Ndugu features James Sims, Darren McGill, Garrett Davis, Javon Bell, KP Rice and Dartez Wright. The production will challenge every man and woman that dares to dream and will help people understand the dreamer.  Most most importantly, it offers a look inside the self-imposed struggles of the African American Man.

WSSU's Black Male Symposium examines issues related to Black male upward mobility and progress to uplift Black males, prepare them to be leaders, and see them through the graduation process. 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.  The 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."

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