|Mike Jones facilitates question and answer session|
During our Language Arts and Leadership Conference, I repeatedly noted that my colleague Mike Jones "got us here" and that "he made this happen." Of course, we in fact had many contributors and vital assistance, but I do remember that several months ago, Jones was the one that came in with the crucial vision.
"Rambsy, let's do a conference for young black men," he said at the "meeting" before there was even an official meeting or planning committee for this conference. In his work as an advisor, Jones has been on the ground level working with a range of guys here SIUE, and he realized that we needed to do something extra that would assist young brothers navigating the university.
So Jones got us started. Since I've been working with a couple of secondary schools in the area, I suggested that we also create some workshops for high school students as well. We talked and began sketching out plans.
|Mike Jones & President Brian Johnson of Tuskegee University at the close of the conference|
I received a reminder that our guy Jones has been integral to this kind of organizing prior to his arrival at SIUE. A week before our event, I attended a symposium devoted to black men at St. Louis University. At one point in the program, one of the speakers acknowledged that none other than Mike Jones had been one of the initial organizers who prompted the formation of a support network and then conference for collegiate black men at SLU.
Our recent conference for young black men at SIUE was in part a continuation of Mike Jones's long-running efforts and a larger vision.
Language Arts and Leadership Conference