This year’s conference theme was “The Art of Empowerment: Leadership Through the Ages.” Each year, the conference works to honor the legacy of the late Congressman John Robert Lewis.
This year’s conference featured keynote speakers including Rodney Bullard and Michelle Summers.
“To be able to not only come to TROY but to know that this his birthplace and this is his legacy, to see that this city and nation still honors him and is still very excited about getting in good trouble and doing those things not just for blacks but for society as a whole,” Summers told TrojanVision.
Saturday morning attendees started sessions. The adults had their session in the Trojan Center Theater, while the students had theirs in John Robert Lewis Hall.
“Ms. Alisha Brown spoke about leadership, and she brought to us different individuals who promote leadership, and she closed home with John Lewis,” said Assistant Director of Student Involvement Sadaris Williams.
Dr. Henry Terry is a musician and also the Choral Director Chair at George Washington Carver High School in Montgomery. He explained how music can create change and a line of communication amongst people.
During the student session, guest speaker Henry Everett gave students advice to help develop those leadership skills.
“A lot of people want to be in a leadership position but sometimes you got to be a great follower,” Everett said. “To be a great follower you also have to be a great worker, so I just always say just chop wood and carry no matter where it goes just do it.”
Sarah Jane Houston, a sophomore psychology major from Albany, Georgia, explained how she felt about attending this year’s conference.
“I’ve seen the effects of the work that leaders such as Dr. King has pursued in my local hometown so being able to move to TROY and see leaders such as Congressman John Robert Lewis and the impact, he has made here has been inspirational to my outlook on life,” Houston said.
To close the evening, eight students were rewarded with the Lamar P. Higgins Award. Those students were Amelia Nettles, Anna Grace Holland, Catelyn Blackmon, Chris Jenkins, Marcelles Martin, Rose Hilarion, Teyshaun Williams and Zion Graham-Lee.