LSU BMLI Fellows Attend Regional Leadership Conference

02/07/2012 03:54 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative, or BMLI, Fellows recently attended the 24th annual Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference, or SBSLC, hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, from Jan. 19-22.


The conference, with the theme of “In the Pursuit of Refinement,” featured a variety of workshops, including topics ranging from leadership development to health issues. More than 500 students representing 50 schools attended the SBSLC, which also included keynote addresses from international AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent and author and CNBC contributor Keith Boykin.


“I benefited greatly from attending the SBSL conference,” said Brylon Crier, BMLI Fellow and junior finance major. “The conference gave me a chance to network with student leaders from all over the country, as well as gave me leadership initiatives that I could bring back to LSU.”


The BMLI Fellows that attended the conference included Crier, from Albany; Da’John Dickerson, a senior information systems and decision sciences major from Kentwood; Nickholas Grant, a sophomore psychology major from Baton Rouge; Ramon Hardy, a sophomore mass communication major from Zachary; Derrick Lathan, a sophomore graphic design major from Baton Rouge; Charles Lewis, a sophomore microbiology major from Atlanta, Ga.; Phillip Thomas, a senior construction management major from Port Allen; Jared Williams, a sophomore mass communication major from Metairie; and Isaiah Woodson, a junior chemical engineering major from Richmond, Va.


“The Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference just seemed to hit close to home, being around other black student leaders who also attend predominantly white institutions,” said Lathan. “The workshops that I attended were awesome. Some were not as exciting as others (jokingly), but each provided me with great information that I can carry through life as a leader.”


BMLI Fellows administrators accompanying students included Fellow Program Co-Directors Marco Barker, assistant to the vice provost of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach; and Chaunda Allen, director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, as well as Fellows Program Graduate Coordinator Jared Avery, doctoral student in Educational Theory, Policy and Practice, or ETPP; and Fellows Program Graduate Intern Ray James, master’s student in ETPP.


The BMLI Fellows Program is a retention and leadership development program established by the LSU Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. For more information or to support BMLI, contact Barker at 225-578-5736 or Allen at 225-578-4339, contact them by email at or visit the BMLI website at For information on the SBSLC, visit

Melissa  Foley 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012