2016 Summit Speakers

Featured Speakers

Colin Powell

General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.)

For over fifty years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. 


From 1987 – 1989 Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989 – 1993 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position but also was the first African American to do so.  Full bio...


Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker whose work centers on the changing American identity. In June 2011, the New York Times published a groundbreaking essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant.  A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story he wrote.  He then wrote, produced, and directed Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience.


This year, as part of its "Look Different" campaign, MTV aired, White People, a television special he directed on what it means to be young and white in America.  Full bio...

Harper Crop

Hill Harper 

Hill Harper is an award-winning actor, best-selling author and philanthropist. Harper starred on the CBS TV drama CSI: NY  from 2004 to 2013. He most recently starred on USA Network’s Covert Affairs and appears on CBS as Agent Boyle in the fast-paced drama Limitless.  He can also be seen co-starring alongside Will Smith in Sony Pictures release of CONCUSSION  due in theaters Christmas Day.

Harper is the author of four New York Times  bestsellers and has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting. Harper is founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship, and grant programs. Full bio   


Dr. Walter G. Bumphus

Dr. Walter G. Bumphus is president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. From 2007 to January 1, 2011, Dr. Bumphus served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Bumphus has also been appointed by President Barack Obama to several prestigious commissions and task forces. He was appointed in 2012 to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, in 2013 to the Presidential Commission on Excellence for African Americans, in 2014 to a task force on sexual assaults on college campuses, and to a Presidential Task Force of the State Department’s 100,000 Strong Initiative.  Full bio

Damon Williams

Dr. Damon A. Williams

Dr. Damon A. Williams is a scholar, leader, and educator passionate about making organizations inclusive and excellent for all, creating equitable educational outcomes, and activating learning, youth development, and leadership in ways that are transformative and inspiring of new possibilities.

In September of 2013, he assumed a new role of global responsibility as the Senior Vice President for Program, Training, and Youth Development Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Dr. Williams has lectured at and been a consultant to more than 300 organizations and higher education institutions globally.  Full bio


Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton

Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton served as President of Cuyahoga Community College, the largest and oldest community college in Ohio, since 1992.  She retired June 28, 2013 as President and was presented with the title of President Emeritus.  During her tenure, the College became a leader in educational innovation, workforce training and economic development.  

Dr. Thornton is an internationally acclaimed speaker, addressing the leadership of community colleges across the globe on a variety of topics including:  high performance leadership; leading from the middle; coaching of new first-time presidents; closing the educational gap for minorities; infusing creativity and innovation in leadership; new directions when navigating murky waters; and others.   Full bio

Ed Too Tall Jones2

Ed "Too Tall" Jones

At 6'9", Ed "Too Tall" Jones signed with Tennessee State University to play basketball, but left the team after two seasons, to concentrate on playing football under head coach John Merritt. In his new sport, Jones became a two-time All-American defensive lineman, playing on a team that only lost 2 games, en route to winning the black college football national championship in 1971 and 1973.

 In 1974, Jones was the first overall draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys, making him the first football player from a historically black college to go that high in the NFL draft. In 2014, he was elected to the Black College Football Hall of Fame.  More info

Charles Davis for Web

Dr. Charles H. F. Davis, III

Charles H.F. Davis, III currently serves as Director of Higher Education Research and Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education. He is responsible for managing the Center's postsecondary services including campus climate assessments, diversity trainings and workshops, executive education programs, equity institutes and other professional learning experiences for college faculty and administrators.

He is also the executive director and principal investigator of the Activist Millennials Project, which serves as the nexus of research and practice for millennials engaged in activism and social justice organizing at the intersections of educational institutions and communities.  Full bio


Representative Edwin Narain

Edwin “Ed” Narain is a dedicated member of the Tampa Bay community who has served in various civic leadership roles more than two decades. In November 2014, Ed was elected to the Florida House of Representatives as the State Representative for District 61. As a freshman legislator, Ed was elected Chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, earned the Florida Counties Association County Champion Award and received a coveted Distinguished Advocate Award from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.    

Professionally, Ed is a Regional Director with AT&T and is a three-time Florida Top Performance Manager of the Year (2009, 2010 & 2013). He has also earned two AT&T Summit Awards given to performers within the top two percent of the company (2005, 2013).   Full bio   

Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft, where he remained to play his entire fourteen season professional career. He is widely considered one of the best linebackers in NFL history.

Recognized as often for his hard work in the community as he is for his hard hits on the football field, Brooks has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, the 2003 Bart Starr Award, and the 2004 Bryon “Whizzer” White Award, and the 2008 JB Award through the NFL Players association, all of which recognize an NFL player annually for their commitment to the communities in which they live.  Full bio

Pre-Conference Workshops - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Harris and Wood

Male Program Assessment for College Excellence (MPACE)
Dr. Frank Harris and Dr.  J.  Luke Wood  1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This workshop will focus on the Male Program Assessment for College Excellence (MPACE) - an outcome-based assessment tool designed to assess and improve the effectiveness of programs and initiatives serving men of color in community colleges. This workshop will cover the development of the instrument, the utility of the MPACE for outcomes assessment, how to employ the instrument, and suggestions for reviewing analytic results.

Juan Gilbert

Increasing Diversity in STEM: Experience from the Trenches 
Dr. Juan Gilbert  3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

In this presentation, Dr. Gilbert will discuss the state of diversity in STEM using examples from computer science. Computer science is one of the least diverse disciplines in STEM. Many see the lack of diversity in computer science as a civil rights issue given the high salaries these professionals receive. When an entire segment of society doesn't have equal access to those careers, this is a civil rights issue and must be addressed. Dr. Gilbert will describe how he has moved the needle on increasing diversity in STEM with specific examples from his lab and various projects. He will also discuss tools, techniques and strategies that can be used to increase enrollments, retention and ultimately graduation.

HCC Preconference banner


Reviewing the Decade: An Orientation for First-Time Attendees  3:30 pm - 5:30 pm 
Dr. Sylvia Marion Carley
Mr. Derrick Brown
Mr. Edwin P. Olmo

This session provides an overview of the mission and goals of the Black, Brown and College Bound Summit. The informal and interactive format explains how the Summit has, for the last decade, advocated  for African-American  and Latino males. 
The overview will highlight the most significant  results of the Summit’s presentations. First-time attendees will leave this session motivated to create or transform programs  at their respective institutions.