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Black Student Leadership Symposium 

The Black Student Leadership Symposium is a conference-style leadership event intended to provide growth experiences for Black undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty at the University of Northern Colorado. It is a day where Black undergraduate students are paired with a mentor and attend panels covering topics from asking for letters of recommendation and references, to boundary-setting as self-care, all given by Black graduate students, staff, and faculty. Undergraduates should expect to learn things related to the academy, the job application process, self-preservation that aren’t taught, and, if they so desire, experiencing presenting poster presentations. Graduate student, staff, and faculty should expect to learn mentorship skills, how they can aid in building campus community, and practice communicating their experiences as opportunities for undergraduates to learn from.

Black Student Leadership 2023 Panels

Project Support with the Office of Undergraduate Research

    • Learn about how you can get support for your academic, research, and creative projects from OUR.
    • Presented by the Office of Undergraduate Research

 Watch: Project Support with the Office of Undergraduate Research

Community Resources for Black Future Leaders in Greeley

    • Learn from current City of Greeley leaders and former UNCO campus leaders about how you can best thrive on campus and in Greeley.
    • Presented by Raymond Lee, Alex Reaves, and Tyrell Allen. Moderated by Dr. Jieun Lee

Watch: Community Resources for Black Future Leaders in Greeley 

How to Write Personal Statements, Diversity Statements, and Cover Letters without Commercializing your Life Experiences as a Black Person

    • Have you ever felt pressure to discuss the hardships and trauma you have experienced as a Black person when applying for scholarships, jobs, graduate school, etc.? Get guidance on how to write strong application statements while also preserving your privacy.
    • Presented by Dr. Jordan Garcia and Monique Atkinson. Moderated by Dr. Cindy Wesley.

Watch: How to Write Personal Statements and Diversity Statements Without 

Asking for Professional Help: How to Do It

    • Need a letter of recommendation? Want to list someone as a job reference? Come to this panel to learn how to ask them and the etiquette around the process.
    • Presented by Aisha Gallion, Stephanie Torrez, and Allen Davis. Moderated by Dr. Chelsie Romulo.

Watch: Asking for Professional Help-How To Do It 

Continuing Education: Opportunities at UNC for Now and Later

    • We talk a lot about graduate school, but what really is it? Why would you get a graduate degree? How can I pay for one? What do I need to apply, and when should I start working on an application? This panel will answer all of your questions and more, with a focus on going to graduate school here at UNC.
    • Presented by Brittney Frankson and Gabriel Owusu. Moderated by dr. janine weaver-douglas.

Watch: Continuing Education-Opportunities at UNC for Now and Later 

Radical Self Care: Caring for Yourself at the Inconvenience of Others

    • While self-care is commonly seen as bubble baths and drinking water, it is much more than that. Oftentimes, self care is setting difficult boundaries. Learn boundary-setting strategies with authority figures.
    • Presented by dr. janine weaver-douglas and Patricia Hartley. Moderated by Dr. Kelly Langley-Cook

Program Objectives:

  • To provide current Black/African/African American diasporic undergraduate students with a leadership curriculum, portfolio, staff/faculty/graduate student mentor & peer community to support them throughout their collegiate career.
  • For Black/African/African American diasporic undergraduate students to critically engage around culturally-authentic leadership development and to find a safe and caring space in which to evaluate their leadership goals
  • For Black/African/African American diasporic graduate students, staff, and faculty to create mentoring and advising relationships with current undergraduate students.
  • To highlight opportunities for leadership development for Black/African/African American diasporic students on campus and in the community.


Our Black Student Leadership Symposium is built on a framework of a traditional undergraduate conference intended for marginalized students in Northern Colorado, following the tradition of Dr. Robert Dillingham’s “Interpersonal Growth Workshop: Human Relations and Human Interaction Skills” sponsored by the Black Studies Department of UNCO from May 22 to May 25, 1980. That framework is supplemented with modern undergraduate academic conferences, and the education-focused essays of bell hooks.

How to get involved 

Who we’re looking for:

  1. Black undergraduate students at UNCO interested in building community at UNCO, in gaining leadership skills, and in learning more about post-graduation opportunities.
  2. Black graduate students, staff, and faculty at UNCO interested in either mentoring a Black undergraduate student for the next year, starting at the Symposium, or passing on your experience to those students in the form of panels at the Symposium.

Event Itinerary 

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM 

Breakfast and icebreakers with your mentor/mentee at the UC ballrooms

9:50 AM - 10:00 AM 

Opening Remarks 

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM - Session 1

We will be having three concurrent panels going on at this time. Topics of those panels are to come

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM 


11:30 AM - 12:12 PM - Session 2

More panels

Poster presentations – undergraduate students have the opportunity to bring a poster displaying research or ideas and present their posters and answer questions during this time.

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM 

Closing Remakes 

Event FAQs

A: Reach out to Frankie Logan @ Francisco.logan@unco.edu