Black Education Impact Conference 2020

Black Education Impact Conference 2020

March 4, 2020

(Guest contributors: Julia Cummings and Serwaa Adu-Tutu)

CU Denver hosted 62 youth and 20 adults on February 21 for the 2020 Black Education Impact Conference. High schoolers participated in career workshops and presentations themed around the topic: “Moving Beyond the Screen: Using the power of social media to promote higher education, social activism and community involvement.” The event was planned and orchestrated by the School of Education & Human Development and multiple divisions across the CU Denver campus.

In his introductory remarks, CU Denver’s Omar Montgomery encouraged participants to pursue higher education: “Lift up your community, lift up your school, and be the best you can be.” In addition, he encouraged finding out about scholarships and internships.

Michael Dennis of Xcel Energy delivers the keynote address at the 2020 Black Education Impact Conference.

In the keynote address, Michael Dennis from Xcel Energy discussed the importance of risk taking and self-confidence and doing something with your life that might be uncommon. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” he said. He encouraged the audience to be willing to build skills, learn something new and take advantage of opportunities. He did have some words of caution about thinking carefully prior to posting on social media. “You want to be careful how you build your brand; because, I can tell you, when I look into hiring people in the IT space, the first thing I want to know is , is this the same person professionally and personally?”

“It is an honor to host an event at CU Denver which supports the development of Black high school students in the Denver metro area,” said Marlinda Hines, recruitment and outreach manager in the School of Education & Human Development.


Conference Speakers:

  • Carol Carter, LifeBound and GlobalMindEd
  • Michael Dennis, Xcel Energy
  • Bobbie Harbert, Front Range Community College
  • Deneshia Hearon, CU Denver’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Walter Huff, Keller Williams Realty, DTC LLC
  • Kwabena Mensa, speaker on college readiness and collegiate interest
  • Omar Montgomery, CU Denver’s EOP Office
  • Andrew Lewis Nunn, former SVP of Information Technology at CP Lotus
  • Terita Walker, East High School in Denver Public Schools
  • E’Toyare Williams, Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL

Conference Planning Committee Members:

  • Serwaa Adu-Tutu, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development
  • Chinar Aldawoodi, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development
  • Aswad Allen, chief diversity officer at Emporia State University
  • Lesa Briggs, CU Denver’s K-12 Outreach
  • Deneshia Hearon, CU Denver’s Office of Admissions
  • Chelsey Grassie, SEHD PhD student and research associate at McREL International
  • Marlinda Hines, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development
  • JaNet Hurt, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development
  • Lena Price, Auraria Higher Education Center