Feb. 4-5: The Leadership Conference Celebrating Black History Month begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at Troy University in the Trojan Center Ballrooms, and continues from 8:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.
Friday’s keynote speaker is Dr. Vashti M. McKenzie, Bishop of the Thirteenth Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Saturday’s keynote speaker at the closing luncheon is Dr. Calvin Mackie, President and CEO of Channel ZerO Group and Chairman of the Louisiana Council on the Social Status of Black Boys and Men.
Workshop sessions are scheduled from 8:15 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
This event is open for coverage. Please contact Clif Lusk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your organization’s attendance. For Friday night on-scene coordination, contact Tom Davis via cell at 334-268-9981, and on Saturday contact Clif Lusk via cell at 334-268-9982.
A complete schedule and biographies of speakers and presenters follows below.PROGRAM
Bishop Vashti McKenzie serves as the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the first time in the over 200-year history of the A.M.E. Church, in which a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office.
Bishop McKenzie is honored to serve as the presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal District that includes the State of Tennessee and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Her husband, Stan McKenzie serves as the Supervisor of Missions.
Bishop McKenzie is the author of four books. The first two, Not without a Struggle and Strength in the Struggle concerns leadership and professional growth for women. Journey to the Well helps women seek new directions for personal growth and transformation following the footsteps of the Biblical Samaritan woman.
Her latest book is Swapping Housewives. It is the story of Rachel & Jacob & Leah. The ancient Biblical story has 21st century implications for married and unmarried love.
She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park; holds a Master of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity and has earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Bishop McKenzie is a much sought after preacher, seminar instructor and lecturer at churches, corporations, colleges and universities. She continues to make presentations to national civic, service and social organizations. Bishop McKenzie has been honored for her community service, outstanding achievement and being a religious role model by a number of diverse civic, educational, business and governmental leaders. She is also the National Chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. an international public service organization and life member of the NAACP. She has received honorary doctorates from Howard University, Wilberforce University, Morgan State University and Goucher College.
She is the wife of Stan McKenzie, a former player in the National Basketball Association. Together, they have three children.
Bishop McKenzie is humbled and grateful to God for the many opportunities and blessings afforded her as she strives to serve with excellence in the Kingdom of God.
Speaker, Author, Professor and Inventor Calvin Mackie is a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans. President Bush honored him with the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Recovery Authority, leading the state’s rebuilding efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is the author of A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business. He was featured in Spike Lee’s HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts" and has appeared on national shows as the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer and the Tom Joyner Show. Dr. Mackie is President of the Channel ZerO Group, an organization committed to maximizing the effectiveness and potential of individuals and organizations.
Bishop S. D. James
Senior Bishop, Evangelistic Pentecostal Churches (Worldwide), Inc,
Our Apostle and Prophet, Samuel Demetrius James, was called to preach the Gospel in the late 1940's, he delivered his first sermon at the Emerson Street Church of God in Christ, Montgomery, Alabama. In 1947, a serpent was prepared to take the Apostle's life before this great ministry could come forth. Nevertheless, God, through Mother James, intervened just in time to snatch Samuel away by his shirttail from the venomous strike. The guardian angels are with him even unto this day. Being ordained of God, our Apostle and Prophet demonstrated great wisdom at an early age, as did the Lord Jesus Christ before him. He was reading the Bible by age three and evangelized in Cleveland, Ohio at age four. He was in the third grade by age seven, received his license to preach at that same age, and began traveling as an evangelist on Trailway and Greyhound buses alone.
Apostle James became a proficient child-evangelist by the age of 12 under the tutorship of Prince Fred L. Davis of Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, who has taught hundreds of aspiring young ministers of many religious organizations. Apostle James pastored his first church by appointment in Greenville, Alabama at age 17 and was ordained at age 18 by Bishop J.E. Townsend, with whom he also traveled, was taught in the prophetic ways, and brought to the Junior Bishopric.
At the college level, he was initiated into the Beta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in 1963. He was ordained a Prophet at age 19. By 1969, he had built two churches, instituted the International Youth Congress, served on the Board of Bishops and Elders, assisted in many ordinations, worked with Evangelist A. A. Allen and preached throughout the United States. When the Lord began to move on him in the 1960's, ordaining him a prophet and showing him many visions, little did he know that Bishop C.H. Mason, Bishop Townsend, Bishop D.C. Rice, Bishop W.T. Phillips and Evangelist A. A. Allen who inspired him… all would leave the scene and the torch would be passed to him to carry the gospel of the kingdom to all nations.
He currently serves, Senior Bishop, Evangelistic Pentecostal Churches (Worldwide), Inc, Chief Executive Officer-S.D. James Evangelistic Association, Inc, CEO- Jerusalem Campground, Bethlehem- Ephratah Ranch Operations, President, S.D. James Enterprise, Editor-n- Chief, Open Door Publications/ Outreach Magazine, and author of over 200 book, transcripts and periodicals.
Kenneth Anderson is a nationally certified counselor with over thirty years of experience in the mental health profession. Currently, he is Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at Calhoun Community College, the largest two-year school in Alabama with an enrollment of over 12,000 students.
Kenneth is also a small business owner, community organizer, and host/producer of a live, weekly radio talk show called 2nd Chance broadcast every Sunday from 2-3 pm CST on WJOU, 90.1 FM, Oakwood University’s radio station and on the Internet at www.wjou.org. The show celebrated 20 years on the air in November of 2010.
Kenneth has written as a community columnist for the Huntsville Times and received numerous awards and recognitions for over two decades of community service. He has professional affiliations with numerous organizations including the American Psychological Association and the 100 Black Men of America-Greater Huntsville Chapter and is an ordained elder.
Renown speaker, educator, author, activist and minister, Eric Thomas is rising to national prominence by delivering a high energy message that tells youth through firsthand experience how to live up to their full potential and greatness and by breaking the cycles of crime, hopelessness and despair that many face daily. Known for his engagingly personal approach, his messages are both dynamic & inspiring. When coupled with his own Cycle-Breaking experience his blunt essays on reality and remarkable ability to reach even the most jaded of minds, has helped thousands of youth nationwide become peak performers academically, spiritually and personally. Eric has electrified audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to urban educators, collegiate athletic programs and inner-city youth development agencies with the message of his own life’s struggles and the principles, insights and strategies he used to overcome them. Eric is no stranger to the ills that plague our communities as he was born in Chicago, IL and raised on the streets of Detroit, MI. His childhood and adolescent years were difficult, and his life struggles and personal identity issues were intensified because like so many, he did not establish a relationship with his biological father until his early thirties.
At the age of 16, defiant and hardheaded, Eric decided to leave home and drop out of school, choosing to live on the streets of Detroit. By divine intervention at age 17, Eric met a pastor who saw him a young man with tremendous unrealized potential. As a result, their mentoring relationship was born which led Eric to complete his GED and to prepare for college. Determined not to be another statistic, Eric enrolled at Oakwood University where he began reading everything he could get his hands on. Understanding the struggle of the streets, he realized what his purpose in life was to become, so he reached back to his fellow drug dealers and helped many of them get their GED’s, go to college and incorporate the strategies and self-improvement exercises he learned in order to assist them in developing their own life plans. In so doing, he provided them with a much-needed positive option to the life of crime and illiteracy they then led. While in college, Eric started Break The Cycle I Dare You, (BTC) a nonprofit youth development and special event organization that focuses on developing programs for youth who have made bad choices and most often have had family, social, and academic struggles along with the lack of a father figure in their lives. Eric now serves as the Chairman of the Organization.
He obtained his Masters degree in 2005 and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education Administration at Michigan State University and serves as Senior Pastor of A Place of Change Ministries, Lansing Michigan. He also serves as a consultant at Michigan State where he has developed The Advantage Program, an undergraduate retention program targeting academically high-risk students of color.
Eric’s representation of the merits of higher education, coupled with his knowledge of the pains of the street, inspires young people to break bad habits and reach for new levels of personal and spiritual achievement.
Eric has lived a life of challenges and triumph but has found a way to break the cycle.
Jason Branch is an energetic and dynamic speaker that offers a unique perspective to a variety of subjects such as leadership, relationships, mentoring, goal setting and achieving success. Jason encourages people of all ages to chase the truly important things in life such as a solid character, strong personal relationships and a sense of purpose in one’s life.
Jason Branch is a native of Dayton, Ohio. He is a 2005 graduate of The University of West Alabama with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Jason received his Masters Degree in Community Agency Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009. He is a recipient of UAB’s 2009 Graduate Student of the Year Award for the Community/Agency Counseling Program. Jason served as a Cluster Coordinator for the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services. While in this position, he developed and enhanced several programs that benefit youth in the City of Birmingham and surrounding areas. Jason is an Associate Licensed Counselor and opened his private practice in April of 2010 to provide counseling services for adults, adolescents and families. He has a passion for youth and his mission in life is to combat the stigma of counseling and mental health in the African American Community.
Jason is also the founder of the Brothers Outreach to Underprivileged and Needy Children Everywhere (BOUNCE) Mentoring Program. He developed this program in the summer of 2006 with the intent of providing mentorship and life skills to underprivileged youth. His commitment to mentoring and nurturing young men in and around Birmingham earned him the 2009 General Mills Feeding Dreams Award and he is a recipient of the 2010 Grace House Ministries: Hats Off to Those Who Serve Award.
Jason is very active in the Birmingham community as a member of several organizations, including: The Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals, 100 Black Men of Birmingham, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alabama Counseling Association, Association of Black Psychologists, American Counseling Association, UAB Graduate Student Association, and UAB’s Blazer Male Excellence Network, Junior Board Member for Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School. Jason was also selected to appear in the 2008 and 2009 editions of Who’s Who in Black Birmingham.
From an early age, TORIAN KYLE SALARY knew he wanted to be in the public eye. With his passion for speaking and his spiritual upbringing, which led to his desire to give back, Motivational Speaking soon became a reality. With the help of his Promotions Manager, he formed TKS Motivations in March 2010, which became an official corporation in July of the same year. Now 25, Salary embraces his 10th year as a speaker. His journey and experiences throughout his life has become the basis of his speeches.
Whether motivating 2,500 people in New Orleans at the tender age of 16 or speaking to a few college buddies, Salary interjects humor, interaction, and a light hearted spirit while motivating. His speeches are heavily focused on students, but have entertained and inspired the adult-working class as well as the “little ones.”
Salary holds a BS degree in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations from Troy University. He enjoys meeting new people, traveling, attending church, and of course motivating!
In 2002, Troy University launched the first Leadership Conference to kickoff Black History Month. The idea for the conference was birthed through Trustee Lamar P. Higgins and was implemented through the Troy University Institute for Leadership Development. Dr. Shirley Woodie, Director of the Institute at that time, formed a small committee to help coordinate the first conference. Committee members were Trustee Lamar P. Higgins, Dr. Shirley Woodie, Dr. Robert Pullen, Ms. Mary J. Griffin, Ms. Eleanor Lee, Ms. Barbara Patterson and Ms. Shelia Jackson. The committee hoped to have 30 registrations for the conference. Forty-two individuals registered for the first conference and the community response was tremendous. As the conference grew, the City of Troy became key to the success and provided resources and support and became a Co-Sponsor of the event. An advisory committee made up of University staff and faculty; representatives from the City of Troy; elected officials from Troy and Pike County; and community and business leaders are appointed to help plan the annual event. In 2009, over 750 individuals registered for the conference making it by far the most successful event thus far. The conference could not be a success without the support of many to include the Troy University Institute for Leadership Development, Office of Student Involvement, Troy University Foundation, The City of Troy, Wal-Mart and Bishop S.D. James.
2002: Rev. Michael Thurman & Judge Wilson Barnes
2003: Dr. Patricia Russell-McCloud & Dr. Yvonne Kennedy
2004: Attorney Thomas N. Todd & Mr. Aubrey Miller
2005: Rep. Lois DeBerry & Dr. Tonea Steward
2006: Dr. Ronald Myers & Rev. Jamal Bryant
2007: Dr. Joseph Lowery & Dr. Belle Wheelan
2008: Dr. Richard Arrington & Ms. Cynthia Tucker
2009: Judge Greg Mathis & Former Ambassador Andrew Young
2010:Ms. Lyn Vaughn, Ms. Kandi Burrus & Mr. Tim Reid
2011: Bishop Vashi M. McKenzie & Dr. Calvin Mackie
Advisory Committee Chairs:
2002: Institute for Leadership Development
2003: Mrs. Shelia Jackson & Bishop S.D. James
2004: Ms. Eleanor Lee
2005: Ms. Mary Griffin
2006: Ms. Shelia Jackson
2007: Ms. Shelia Jackson
2008: Mr. John Parker
2009: Dr. Robin Byrum & Ms. Mary Griffin
2010: Ms. Catherine Jordan
2011: Trustee Lamar P. Higgins & Ms. Charlesetta Townsend-Jones