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Diversity Today

What Happens When 800 Young, Black Leaders Come Together

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The author and fellow BSC attendee Jordan Culpepper of Howard University.

Earlier this month, more than 800 young, Black student leaders from dozens of campuses nationwide came together for the 22nd annual Black Solidarity Conference (BSC) at Yale University. Each day was packed with insightful conversations — both in the form of formal workshops and networking events with recruiters and CEOs and in the hallways and bathrooms. My peers and I all have so many opinions regarding what it means to be a young person of color in this rapidly changing political, economic, and technological landscape; we were feeding off of each other’s fervor. We exchanged stories, advice, and of course, social media handles.

In true college-student fashion, I took notes on some of the most inspiring things I heard. I’ve bookmarked them for whenever I’m in need for a boost, and I hope you’ll do the same. Because, let’s be honest, it can be empowering to know that you are not alone.

Overheard at #BSC2017:

“Sometimes you just need an opening to have courageous conversations.”
– Opal Tometi, cofounder of Black Lives Matter

"Do incredibly deep research on any career path you're interested in – that’s going to set you apart."
– Adrian Hopkins, Business Development Strategist, The New York Times

“I wasn’t willing to stand up for myself at my primarily White high school, but hanging with all of my Black friends at Georgetown has empowered me.”
– Jerome Smalls, Georgetown class of 2018

“Ask for what you want. A lot of students wait for opportunities to come their way. You really have to ask."
– Stacey Olive, Executive Director of Talent Acquisition, The New York Times

"If there's one thing I wish I'd known [earlier in my career], it would be that it's okay to make mistakes and to take risks." — Liza Landsman, President and Chief Customer Officer,


Favorite #BSC Tweets

Images courtesy of Lydia Anglin

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