On November 8, 2014, Jason Irby, author of Love Within Life, enjoyed the opportunity to meet author and Georgetown University professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, ABC News reporter, T.J. Holmes, and author and actor Hill Harper at the Black Men’s Solution Summit held at the John L. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Arkansas.
Dr. Randal Pinkett, President and CEO of BCT Partners, Richelieu Dennis of SheaMoisture, and Dr. Javon Johnson, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University were also presentation leaders.
The summit was designed to be an event that helps build a stronger community of black men and develop solutions for success.
“This was in incredible opportunity to participate in an environment of people whose purpose at the summit is to lead, give, and become mentors in the community. With strong sponsors like Walmart and Tyson, and excellent leaders like Dr. Dyson, T.J. Holmes and others, the stage is set for a great outcome in the black, as well as, the American community,” Irby said.
Irby attended several sessions where the speakers made presentations and engaged in conversation. Irby primarily participated in Track 3 for attendees ages 34 and over.
Richelieu Dennis – Entrepreneur and founder of SheaMoisture, hosted a listening session where attendees were allowed to express their concerns and opinions. The theme of the session was “Love and Togetherness.”
T.J. Holmes – International journalist and ABC News reporter, moderated several sessions. T.J. Holmes led and engaged the audience in dialogue and left attendees with a feeling of hope and opportunity.
Dr. Randal Pinkett – Business consultant most well-known as a contributor in the popular NBC television show The Apprentice with Donald Trump, delivered a message of excellence. Pinkett explained that possessing excellence was something no one could take from you.
Dr. Javon Johnson – Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, poet, and lyricist, wowed the audience by performing spoken word- slam poetry.
Hill Harper – Author, humanitarian, and actor known for his role in the CBS drama CSI: New York, conducted a “Changing the Game” session and presented the audience with his perception of energy. Harper explained that it takes energy to move things and it takes people using their energy to make things happen despite obstacles.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson – Author and Georgetown University professor presented “A Call For Action.” Dyson encouraged men to lead, love their children, love and respect women, build positive relationships, and give time and effort to the future of youth. Dr. Dyson bridged the generation gap by recalling popular music themes and familiar media. Dyson also informed the audience of furthering progress by using secular and biblical references to remind them of history.
Irby also met actress Phyllis Y. Stickney. Stickney, a Little Rock, Arkansas native who has performed in numerous Hollywood films, was excited about the opportunity to gather information and connect with others leading the effort in giving back to communities.
The Summit concluded with warm thanks from the summit coordinators to participants for attending and a plea by local area agencies to support black youth and families in need of assistance.