Rose State College is hosting their annual diversity summit to empower Black youth.
Monique Bruner, executive director of diversity and cultural affairs, said this is the fifth year for the summit and it all started with young man reaching out to her for help.
"Because I had a young Black man come into my office and say, 'I need some additional help with graduation, and so I think we should do this.' So, my first thing was that sounds kind of crazy, but then when I went back and looked at some of the statistics it did show that we had an issue with black males graduating from Rose State College," she said.
The summit is available for young men in college or high school, and not just African American men. It is open for Hispanic and Native American young men as well.
Bruner is especially excited about this year’s speaker Darrion Cockrell.
"He’s amazing because he was in the foster care system, he joined a gang when he was ten years old, kind of got into a little life of crime, he got hooked up with a counselor from school that changed the trajectory of his life," Bruner said.
Cockrell is the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year and been featured on many national shows including good morning America, bet, and CBS News.
"One of the quotes that he gives or that he says really resonates with our program is he said, 'When I changed the way that I looked at things, the things that I looked at changed,'" Bruner said.
The event is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 12, and it is both in-person and virtual, but you have to register either by going to rose.edu or simply calling Rose State College at 405-733-7524.