Virginia Tech’s Student Success Center has announced that the Sixth Annual Uplifting Black Men Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, Feb. 27. Building upon previous thematic conferences, “I Got Next” has been selected as the theme for this year’s virtual conference.

The mission of “I Got Next” is to inspire and empower this generation of Black men to achieve any goals that they want — to promote the importance of the journey and the work associated. This conference will provide a virtual space for participants to plan, execute, and assess their educational and personal goals with the help of renowned presenters.  

The event’s keynote speaker will be Michael Eric Dyson, Distinguished University Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, College of Arts and Science, and Distinguished University Professor of Ethics and Society, The Divinity School, and Centennial Professor at Vanderbilt University. Dyson is one of America’s premier public intellectuals and author of more than 20 books, including seven New York Times bestsellers. A contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and political analyst for MSNBC, Dyson is recipient of two NAACP Image Awards and the 2020 Langston Hughes Festival Medallion.

Former President Barack Obama has said, “Everybody who speaks after Michael Eric Dyson pales in comparison.”

“I Got Next” is a call to action – a phrase that keeps the dream attainable and focuses one on the goal at hand. Without that, dreams’ purpose are lost, and without purpose, function is lost. “No matter where I am or where you are, you have to know that there is always a next step,” Dyson says. “We want to pose some specific questions to prepare our listeners.”

  • How do you prepare for the next game?
  • What game are you playing? (Either athletic or life situation)
  • What is the next step?

These questions and scenarios play a vital role in preparing for the next steps in life. It’s more than just a game. It’s applicable to life, and the journey awaits. Collectively, a theme has been curated to describe the preparation, planning, and execution necessary to master life’s journey.

To register for the Uplifting Black Men Conference, click here. For those wanting to present at the conference, click here.  

Please direct questions or comments to Michael R. Williams at michaelrw@vt.edu.