SPC Hosts State HBCU Conference

April 12, 2024

SPC Marketing & Strategic Communications

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On April 5 and 6, St. Philip’s College hosted the Texas Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Conference Series, Democracy Schools. The event brought together nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, administrators, and political figures from across Texas to discuss the vital role that HBCUs play in shaping the future of the state.

The conference series, now in year three, emerged from campus-wide leadership development and civic engagement initiatives at Huston-Tillotson University (Austin, TX.). The series seeks to reclaim and renew visions of American democracy rooted in civic capacity, community traditions, and institutions.

The conference featured a variety of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and keynote addresses, ranging in topics from "HBCU Legacies: Empowering the Next Generation of Citizen Professionals" to "The Democratic Commitment to Change: Interrogating the Political Psychology of Race and Justice."

The conference had several notable speakers, including Mayor of San Antonio Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 4 Tommy Calvert, 436th District Court Judge William H. “Cruz” Shaw III, and State Representatives Ron Reynolds (Dist. 27), Jolanda Jones (Dist. 147) and Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (Dist. 120).

Dr. Joelle Nanivazo, the lead organizer of the conference and an Assistant Professor of Economics and Interim Chair of Social & Behavioral Sciences at St. Philip’s College, expressed her gratitude, stating, “The Texas HBCU conference was a year-long planning effort from SPC faculty, staff, and students. The planning and volunteer teams worked tirelessly to ensure the conference agenda was engaging and interesting.”

To conclude the conference, Vice President for Academic Success Randall Dawson delivered closing remarks, and Rep. Ron Reynolds presented St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston with a proclamation from the State of Texas.

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