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MSNBC correspondent to speak at Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth


What: The UT Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth, “Today’s Planning — Tomorrow’s Success,” aims to inspire young people to make decisions with long term consequences in mind to positively impact their futures. The conference includes a session for parents about their role in serving as guides and counselors and a student session to raise awareness about how their decisions today will impact their futures.

When and Where: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Student Union Auditorium on the UT Main Campus.

Who: Jeff Johnson, social activist, journalist and author, will be the keynote speaker. Johnson is an MSNBC correspondent, commentator on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” and author of Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am.

Full release:
Youth advocate, social activist, political commentator, award-winning journalist and author Jeff Johnson will be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 28th Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth Saturday, Jan. 28.

Sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee, the conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. This year’s theme is “Today’s Planning — Tomorrow’s Success.”

“Recognized for his sociopolitical influence, Jeff has earned a reputation as a positive force among youth and young adults,” said David Young, director of the Office of Excellence and the Toledo Excel Program. “His commitment to fostering broad-based communication about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socioeconomics will make him an outstanding speaker for this conference.”

Johnson is a commentator on the nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” which tackles issues on politics, entertainment and social policy. The MSNBC correspondent is senior adviser for Media and Youth Outreach for People for the American Way, and national director of the Youth and College Division of the NAACP. In addition, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons appointed Johnson vice president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. In 2009, Johnson’s book, Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am, was published.

“The goal of the conference is to give parents and students methods for making short-term decisions with long-term consequences in mind,” Young said. “We hope to encourage students to use foresight in their day-to-day decision making and equip them with the necessary tools to make positive choices personally, educationally and career-wise.”

After the general session with Johnson, there will be breakout session for parents. The parents’ session will provide the tools needed to put together an action plan that will propel children into a bright future and assist adults in understanding the critical role they play in serving as guides and counselors in decision making as their children develop into responsible young adults. Parent session presenters will include Talmadge J. Thomas, senior pastor of Mt. Zion Church, and Teresa Quinn, principal of Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls, both from Toledo.

A concurrent students’ session titled “One Moment From Greatness: Decisions Equal Destiny” will feature Coach George Rice III, CEO and head coach of Triple Threat Enterprises, based in Washington, D.C. Rice will encourage students to think beyond the present and understand their daily decisions have a major impact in long-term planning. He also will stress the value of patience and forethought in the decision-making process and encourage students to seek the advice ofparents, teachers, mentors and peers when faced with difficult choices.

Make a reservation for the free, public conference at or by calling 419.530.3820.

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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