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Baruti Kafele, Jonathan Sprinkles to Address UVI's 2014 Man-Up Conference on Feb. 3-4

Nationally renowned educator and motivational speaker Baruti Kafele and entrepreneur and noted author Jonathan Sprinkles will be the featured speakers at the 2014 edition of UVI's Man-Up Conference. Man-Up sessions are slated for Monday, Feb. 3, on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and on Tuesday, Feb. 4, on the St. Thomas Campus. The male empowerment conference, an initiative of UVI’s Brothers With a Cause student organization, is aimed at motivating young male students to pursue a college education. The 2014 theme is "Man Up - Creating a Positive Future.”

Kafele, a "Hall of Fame" educator from New Jersey, has distinguished himself as a classroom teacher and middle and high school principal. He led the transformation of four different schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school to national acclaim, including a U.S. News and World Report Magazine feature recognizing it as one of America's best high schools. A best-selling author, Kafele works with hundreds of schools and districts to help them close what he calls the “attitude gap" – the gap between students with the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not.

Sprinkles, known as the "Connection Coach" delivers straight talk, "sprinkled" with laughs. He is a television commentator, featured columnist, author of six books, and a leading authority on personal development strategies for leaders and achievers. His passion for helping people perform at their best stems from the loss of his father to cancer at the age of 15. Attempting to mask the pain, he gave into peer pressure and the low expectations that surround many African-American men. Ultimately, his spirit wouldn’t allow him to stay down. Refusing to settle for life’s second best, he graduated college from the fourth-ranked marketing program in the country.

The conference will also include performances by the Omega Psi Phi fraternity’s National Step Team and the conference’s first high school DJ competition. Sponsors include the VI Department of Education and the VI Department of Human Services. For more information contact Dr. Haldane Davies at (340) 693-1004 or send email to hdavies@uvi.edu.