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Pathways to higher education: Clemson University’s Division of Inclusion and Equity hosts Men of Color National Summit and Women’s Roundtable


Clemson University’s second annual Women’s Roundtable and fifth annual Men of Color National Summit will take place April 20-22 at the Greenville Convention Center. The two events, developed in support of Clemson’s mission to create a climate of inclusive excellence, help establish a sustainable, diverse pipeline of qualified candidates entering the workforce.

The Women’s Roundtable, a developmental and networking opportunity for participants to acknowledge, explore and invest in the promotion of the experiences of girls and women, particularly in STEM fields, is expected to host nearly 400 participants. Its focus is to emphasize the importance of education and focus on the tools necessary to cope with and navigate exclusionary educational and professional environments that many girls and women encounter.

The 2022 Women’s Roundtable lineup includes highly accomplished women in multiple industries, including:

Keynote speakers:
• Sandy Carter, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Unstoppable Domains; Chair, Girls in Tech
• Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, Writer, and Host
Professional women’s panel, comprised of:
• Jil Littlejohn Bostick, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Winnebago Industries
• Melissa DeSantiago, PhD Student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Clemson ’14 Biosystems Engineering)
• Tonya Matthews, CEO of the International African American Museum
• Lenore Pearlstein, Publisher of INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine
• Laura Supra, Senior Product Manager, GE Gas Power

Roundtable discussions moderated by:
• Claudine Miles, Co-Founder and CEO of Restore More
• Kimberlie Milton, Co-Founder and COO of Restore More

The Men of Color National Summit helps close the opportunity gap for African American and Hispanic males and helps illuminate the pathways to higher education. The summit will bring together 2,000 high school and college students, business professionals, educators and administrators, government officials and community leaders from 20 states across the country. The summit will emphasize the importance of education and help establish a sustainable, diverse pipeline of qualified candidates entering the workforce.

The Men of Color National Summit will feature an impressive line-up of nationally recognized speakers including leaders in government, business, academia, sports and entertainment.

The speakers for the 2022 Summit include:

• Congressman Jim Clyburn, Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives, South Carolina’s 6th District
• Ted Colbert III, President and CEO of Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company
• Jeffrey Brown, President and CEO, Ally Financial
• Michael Eric Dyson, Professor, Vanderbilt University; author and radio host
• Derrick Gragg, Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation, Northwestern University
• Jose Hernandez, Engineer and former NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-128 astronaut
• Roland Martin, Host and managing editor, #RolandMartinUnfiltered
• Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
• Brian Heat, Speaker, educator, trainer, and Amazon Best-Selling author
• Michael Strautmanis, Executive vice president of public engagement, Obama Foundation

Renowned comedian and radio talk show host Ricky Smiley will broadcast the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show to 3.6 million listeners nationwide live, featuring interviews from speakers and leaders at the Summit.

The Summit will host an exhibitor fair with vendors from various Clemson colleges, departments and programs, as well as businesses and community organizations. Representatives will speak with students about potential career paths, college majors, graduate degrees, and how to align their interests and goals to make them possible.

“Both the Women’s Roundtable and Men of Color National Summit help students navigate their pathways to higher education and help prepare them for the global workforce,” said Jim Clements, president of Clemson University. “Clemson’s inclusion and equity initiatives are helping to ensure a long-term, positive impact for not only the young people involved but to also increase the talent dividend for our state and beyond.”

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