At a glance...
Virgin Islands Males
Feb. 7, 2012 - STX
Feb. 9, 2012 - STT
Celebrating Responsible Manhood
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The University of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Department of Education and the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services will host the second annual MAN-UP Male Empowerment Conference on UVI's St. Croix campus on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and on UVI's St. Thomas campus on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. The theme of the conference is "MAN-UP: Realize your Potential - Celebrating Responsible Manhood."
In 2011, rising community concern about violent crime and a downward trend in the number of black males enrolled in colleges and universities across the nation prompted men within the University community to host the first Male Empowerment Conference. More than 3,000 young men from throughout the territory participated in two, one-day sessions in both districts, where insight and words of encouragement were shared to guide them toward successful lives.
The discussion themes for this year's conference will be delivered utilizing a multimedia stage play, "Real Men Talking," directed by Flemuel "Fleetwood" Brown, III. The play depicts five African American men talking about accountability, sex, relationships, self-esteem, incarceration, the falsehood of the streets, insecurities, fatherhood, mentoring, and history, just to name a few. "Real Men Talking" includes video vignettes by scholar Dr. Cornel West, musicians Common, Chuck D and Anthony Hamilton, author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and more. All of this comes together to ask the essential question, "What does it mean to be a "Real Man"? After the play there will be an opportunity for audience members to interact with each other and the cast during a question and answer session. Pastor George Phillips of the St. Thomas Assembly of God church will deliver a spiritual message and engage conference attendees. There will also be other contributing speakers and presenters.
The MAN-UP Male Empowerment Conference is an initiative of "Brothers With a Cause," a UVI program that seeks to attract more male students to the University and provide the tools and support to help them graduate. The intent of the conference is to impact high school males and young men who desire to get back on the academic track.
This year's conference will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 7, on the grounds of UVI's Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix and on Thursday, Feb. 9, in the Sports and Fitness Center on UVI's St. Thomas campus. It will offer two sessions - a youth session from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and an adult session from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
The registration form is available online at /import/sites/uvi/Forms/2012_registration_form_fillable.pdf. For telephone inquiries and to pre-register please call the UVI Office of the President at 693-1000.
All junior high and high school students must have signed parental permission slips and be in uniform in order to participate. No bandanas or backpacks will be allowed. Lunch will be provided for registered school participants. Food will also be available for purchase.
Parking in the UVI Sports and Fitness Center parking lot on St. Thomas will be restricted on Feb. 9. A shuttle bus will operate between overflow parking at the Reichhold Center for the Arts and the Sports and Fitness Center.
For more information about the Male Empowerment Conference, please contact Dr. Haldane Davies, special assistant to UVI President David Hall, at (340) 693-1004.