Virginia Tech's Office of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring the first Black Constituency Conference. This is the first of a series of annual conferences designed to meet the needs of various university and community groups.

The conference, "Success Runs in Our Race," is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28, and will take place at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. It will feature three prominent African-American scholars: Gwendolyn E. Boyd, George C. Fraser, and Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Boyd, the first African-American female to earn a master of science in mechanical engineering from Yale University, is scheduled as the opening plenary speaker for the conference. Boyd is an engineer and serves as the executive assistant to the chief of staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She was recently appointed to an unprecedented fourth term as chair of the Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity Leadership Council.

Fraser, founder of FraserNet Inc., will serve as the keynote speaker. Fraser is considered by many to be a new voice for African-Americans and one of the foremost authorities on economic development, networking, and building effective relationships. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books: Success Runs in Our Race and Race for Success. Five of Fraser’s speeches have been included in the publication Vital Speeches of the Day – a first for any professional speaker in America, regardless of color.

Glaude will be the closing plenary speaker. Glaude is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Princeton University. He is a founding member and senior fellow of the Jamestown Project and is one of a new generation of African-American intellectual voices in the United States. He has built a reputation as a gifted scholar, teacher, and author. Books he has written include: In a Shade of Blue, Exodus!, and Is It Nation Time?

In addition to the plenary and keynote presentations, the conference will consist of breakout sessions focusing on issues impacting faculty, staff, students, and the community. The conference is free and open to all members of the university and local community.

For additional information, please contact Ray Plaza at rp25@vt.edu or (540) 231-7289, or call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (540) 231-1820.