Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access; OUR Clemson

Clemson University brings its highly lauded Men of Color National Summit back for sixth year to help illuminate pathways to higher education for young men of color


Update: Rickey Smiley Morning Show to broadcast from Men of Color National Summit 

Entertainer Rickey Smiley will return to broadcast his popular “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” live during the Men of Color National Summit. Smiley will join stars of Shark Tank, The Office and more to headline the event. See the complete lineup of speakers below.

The Summit

Six decades ago, Clemson University began its journey of inclusion with the integration of its student body with its first African-American student, Harvey Gantt. Today, Clemson University continues to build on that foundation with its sixth annual Men of Color National Summit, which was established to support the University’s key priorities to help close the opportunity gap for African American and Latino high school men, create an inclusive climate, and establish a sustainable, diverse pipeline of qualified college graduates entering the workforce.

Presented by The Boeing Company, the award-winning and historically sold-out summit will be held March 28-29, 2023, at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, S.C. More than 2,000 students and professionals from across the nation will gather over two days to learn from more than 30 keynote and breakout speakers who will share practical information and inspirational stories for students to incorporate into their college-going plans, and for professionals to learn how to support the unique needs that young men of color face through their academic and professional careers.

“It is important for young men of color to see accomplished adult men who look like them, who could have similar upbringings, and who have redefined pathways to success – so they know that it is possible for them, too,” said Max Allen, senior vice president and interim chief diversity officer, Clemson University. “The Men of Color National Summit would not be possible if it weren’t for the financial support of sponsoring organizations, like The Boeing Company, that embody the same drive to create a more inclusive, equitable and accessible environment for students who have the grit and determination to achieve their dreams of going to college and earning their degree.”

Summit themes are centered around career and professional development; entrepreneurship; masculinity and personal identity; retention rates, graduation and student achievement; and social and community engagement. Attendees will have rich networking opportunities and can meet with corporate and academic exhibitors to learn about future career paths and what educational requirements are necessary to get there.

The 2023 keynote speaker lineup includes:

  • Carlos Andrés Gómez – award-winning poet, speaker, actor, and equity and inclusion strategist
  • Daymond John – entrepreneur, founder and CEO of FUBU, cast member of ABC’s Shark Tank, author
  • Oscar Nuñez – actor, best known for playing Oscar Martinez on NBC’s The Office
  • Trent Shelton – motivational speaker, podcast host, author, former NFL wide receiver
  • Baratunde Thurston – producer, host of America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston and How to Citizen with Baratunde, founder of Puck, New York Times Best-Selling author

Register to attend Clemson University’s sixth annual Men of Color National Summit at

Clemson University Division of Inclusion and Equity
The Division of Inclusion and Equity is comprised of multiple departments and commissions with initiatives and programs designed to fulfill the goals, objectives and obligations outlined in the Clemson Forward strategic plan to ensure a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.