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Business executive to speak at Aspiring Minority Youth Conference

Business leader and child advocate Steve Pemberton will be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s 31st annual Aspiring Minority Youth Conference Saturday, Jan. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

The conference titled “Embracing Diversity: Understanding the Reality of 21st Century” is designed for sixth- through 12th-grade students, parents and community members.


“Our theme this year focuses on how critical it is that young people begin to understand the diverse and global world that they are a part of and how critically important it is for them to engage with and understand people who are different from themselves,” David Young, director of the UT Office of Excellence, said.

Pemberton, chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, is considered one of America’s most inspiring executives. Despite setbacks, he has been successful in both his personal and professional life by utilizing opportunity, access and equality.

“We are especially proud to present our keynote speaker,” Young said. “He is recognized as a leader on matters of diversity and inclusion and their importance to the growth of the American industrial complex.”

Pemberton’s inspiring journey from foster care to finding his biological family is shared in his memoir, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home.

After the general session featuring Pemberton, there will be a session for parents and educators titled “Fostering and Maintaining Healthy Lifestyles for the Whole Family,” which is designed to encourage parents to discuss nutrition and exercise with their children and be proactive about health and wellness.

Students will attend a concurrent session on “Ethnic Diversity: Overcoming the Negative, Reinforcing the Positive.” A Toledo Excel alumni panel will lead a discussion to encourage students to celebrate diversity and take pride in their ethnic backgrounds.

A free lunch will be provided for all attendees after the last session.

The free, public conference is hosted by Toledo Excel, which was established in 1988 and has since helped prepare underrepresented students in higher education for success in college.

To make a reservation for the free, public conference, click here or call 419.530.3823.

Click here to download a photo of Pemberton.

Media Coverage
13 ABC (Feb. 11, 2015)

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