Clemson University: Empowering Young Men of Color to Achieve Their Dreams

by Savoy Staff

Photo caption: Students and chaperones from high schools across the country participate in Clemson University’s Men of Color National Summit.

In reflecting about his experience at Clemson University’s 2022 Men of Color National Summit, one attendee shared, “It was an amazing moment to look around the room and see that many black and brown faces of young men and knowing that everyone at that conference was there to show them how they can achieve their dreams. It doesn’t happen enough, and I want every black and brown young man to feel that power.”

That sentiment is exactly what Clemson’s Men of Color National Summit is all about – helping young high school men of color realize that their dreams of earning a degree from a higher education institution are within their reach, and empowering them with the knowledge, pathways, and support to help them succeed. Fully supported by Clemson University’s President Jim Clements and its board of trustees, the summit is one of the top national conferences that addresses overcoming the challenges that many male students of color experience when pursuing admission into higher education institutions.

Since 2017, this award-winning and historically sold-out event has inspired thousands of students, educators and administrators, community, corporate and government leaders from across the country with riveting speakers, networking opportunities and meeting time with corporate and academic exhibitors to learn about future career paths and what educational requirements are necessary to get there.

Presented by The Boeing Company, the summit is an ideal forum for employers to meet face-to-face with their potential future workforce to gain an understanding of the challenges young men of color face on their journey to and through higher education and their careers. As evidence proves the critical value of a diversified workforce and as corporate social responsibility elevates in priority, more and more companies are investing their resources to help diverse students find their way to and through higher education and into the workforce.

“Our mission is to close the opportunity gap for young men of color by illuminating pathways to higher education and a career,” said Max Allen, senior vice president, chief of staff and interim chief diversity officer at Clemson University. “These young men have the grit and determination to succeed. Each of us can be a part of the solution to help, which not only benefits these students, but helps to pave the way for a pipeline of qualified diverse candidates entering the workforce of tomorrow.”

The lineup of the 2023 keynote speakers include:

  • Carlos Andrés Gómez – award-winning poet, speaker, actor, and equity and inclusion strategist
  • Daymond John – entrepreneur, founder and CEO of FUBU, cast member of ABC’s Shark Tank, author
  • Oscar Nuñez – Award-winning actor, best known for playing Oscar Martinez on NBC’s The Office
  • Trent Shelton – motivational speaker, podcast host, author, former NFL wide receiver
  • Baratunde Thurston – producer, host of America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston and How to Citizen with Baratunde, founder of Puck, New York Times Best-Selling author

There will be more than 30 breakout speakers to learn from over the course of the two-day summit. Summit themes focus on career and professional development; entrepreneurship; masculinity and personal identity; retention rates, graduation and student achievement; and social and community engagement.

Another attendee shared these powerful words about how participating in the summit impacted him. “There are times that we forget about dreams and goals that we deferred because of past failures or life’s mishaps. This summit sparked a fire in me that I previously allowed to simmer.”

Don’t miss your chance to join more than 2,000 students, educators and administrators, community, corporate and government leaders for the 6th annual Clemson University Men of Color National Summit!

Clemson University Men
of Color National Summit
March 28-29, 2023
Greenville, SC
Register at

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