Black Male Excellence Network (BMEN) Conference at Virginia Tech
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey
The Gold Effect brand was born in South Carolina and took roots in Blacksburg, VA, the home of Virginia Tech. With the majority of our team consisting of current Hokies, it only made sense to help out with the inaugural Black Male Excellence Network conference hosted on campus.
"This year’s conference focused on empowering Black male students through stories of persistence from several dynamic Virginia Tech alumni while giving non-black males insight into the lives of Black males. The conference featured a session that provided a safe but intimate environment where Black males and non were able to engage in small group conversation and storytelling. As one of the culminating engagement programs for the academic year, the Uplifting Black Men Conference helped to strengthen social, academic, and emotional connections with Black males and non within the Virginia Tech campus- community. Its powerful selection of panelists and speakers left audience members with insight into the successes and challenges that Virginia Tech’s Black Male students endure."
-Tommy Amal, Assistant Director of The Student Success Center at Virginia Tech
After discussing the needs of the campus and vision for the event, we agreed the best way to capture and express the energy of the day would be art.
With the help of talented artists from Virginia Tech we installed a gallery inspired by the past, present, and future stories of African descendants. The talented Sara Joy-Hogg also added in a live art performance during a keynote lecture.
Special thanks to Tommy Amal, Sara Joy-Hogg, Deia Green, Rodney Godrey Jr. Richard Parks, Virginia Tech, and Alison Matthiesson for the images.