Student Leaders Organize Black Leadership Summit

ASB, BSU, Men of Excellence leaders to share experiences with next generation

OXFORD, Miss. – Leaders from various University of Mississippi student groups are organizing a Black Leadership Summit this weekend in an effort to provide the campus’ next generation of black leaders with skills, access and encouragement needed to carry on the strong legacy built by previous generations.

The summit, organized by ASB President Joshua Mannery, Black Student Union President Nicholas Crasta and Men of Excellence President Dearrius Rhymes, will feature talks from current and former student leaders Kimberly Dandridge, 2012 ASB president; Carl Tart, UM’s first homecoming king; and Austin Powell, 2016 ASB president, among others.

“We wanted to provide a space for our emerging black leaders where they could hear from current leadership and get the resources they need to develop and grow throughout the course of the year,” Mannery said. “With everyone comfortable and familiar with Zoom, I figured now would be the best time because we can host as many students on the call as we want.”

The concept for the summit formed just over two weeks ago when Mannery texted Crasta looking for insight on an idea – something Crasta said is a weekly, if not daily, event.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us and the leaders who inspired us to help future students navigate a community that for the most part doesn’t look like them,” Crasta said.

Rhymes talked about Jarrius Adams, a previous UM Gospel Choir president who Rhymes says took him under his wings as a brother and mentored him to become a greater leader.

“He expected a lot out of me as a leader and pushed me to be a stronger leader than I would have been, but he also led by example when it came to organizing and bringing people together,” Rhymes said. “Having picked up the torch, I feel like it’s very important to now develop the next generation of leaders to follow us.”

The 2020 Black Leadership Summit will be live on Zoom from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (July 25).

Students can register to attend the summit here.