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Rev. Al Sharpton Addresses Campus Summit



Rev. Al Sharpton & Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed

Last week, B-CU hosted the First Annual National Summit of the Black Males in Higher Education Think Tank, which featured civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and B-CU Chairman Larry R. Handfield, Esq. (pictured above)

Joining a variety of community leaders along with B-CU students and administration, Sharpton addressed the young, Black males in the Performing Arts Center, about finding success in life. He shared personal examples of growth and development while impressing upon them the need to believe in themselves before anyone else will believe in them. "You have to be the founding member of your own fan club,” he said. "No one is going to do more for you than you would do for yourself.”

Dr. Handfield shared his personal story of growing up in Miami and credited the power of education in finding success in spite of his upbringing: "If I can do it, you truly have no excuse,” he said.

The event featured several sessions with speakers from local law enforcement, academic and minority groups and covered areas such as education and employment, conflict resolution, leadership and self-esteem.

The Black Males in Higher Education Think Tank (BMTT) is a campus organization that was formed several years ago to bring together Black male students who face challenges in finding success on campus because of their difficult backgrounds and upbringings. B-CU students who founded the group had no parental figures in their lives, had parents who had been incarcerated, and had even been homeless.

The participating students are required to have a high GPAs, perform community service, have no disciplinary sanctions and be registered voters. Since the BMTT began, more than 90% of its members have graduated.

Photo reprinted with permission of the Daytona Beach News-Journal © 2011

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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