UW-Platteville to host annual Ebony Weekend

February 8, 2018
Ebony Weekend 2017
Ebony Weekend 2017
Ebony Weekend 2017

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Black Student Union will host the 13th annual Ebony Weekend Conference Feb. 23-25, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and concluding at 1 a.m. on Sunday. Created to celebrate generations in the black community and seek to bridge the gap between them, the conference includes workshops, entertainment, social interaction, inspiring lectures and substantial dialogue.

The theme for this year’s Ebony Weekend Conference is “Building a Culture and Shedding the Label.” According to the conference website, this theme will “focus on the importance of educating the black community as well as others about black identity, harmful black stereotypes and exploring how culture can help future generations continue to network and build throughout the black community.”

“Educating students and faculty about black history is fundamental when trying to understand the past and present along with black culture and identity,” said student Perri Jones, Ebony Weekend coordinator and vice president of UW-Platteville’s Black Student Union. “It also helps to develop relationships with students in order to help students of color succeed at the university and in other areas of life.”

This year, three keynote speakers have been selected to present at the conference including social activist Early Jackson, Chief Empowerment Officer Dr. Velva Burley Flowers, and life coach Cherese Jackson. Students, staff, faculty and community members are encouraged to attend the breakout sessions and listen to the keynote speakers at no charge, even if they aren’t attending the full conference.

After effectively overcoming a stretch of drug addictions, Early Jackson has developed himself to become a successful life coach who works to bring balance, skill, relevance and understanding to people of all nationalities. According to the Ebony Weekend website, he has served as an educator, a conference and seminar host, as well as a radio and television personality in the greater Philadelphia area for more than 13 years. 

As chief empowerment officer of The Flowers Institute, Flowers’ purpose is to “educate, equip and empower people while serving as a professional human resource trainer and empowerment coach.” Flowers is also the author of “Choices: Making Moves To Win!” educational training that teaches people how to think strategically and make moves towards their goals.

Drawing from traumatic situations in her past and the power to overcome them, Cherese Jackson has established a career as a life coach. Having traveled extensively as a developer of nonprofit and for-profit organizations and churches, she has served as a coach, confidante and leader.

“The speakers and breakout sessions are designed to help educate the audience about black experience and everyday hardships that people of color experience that not only affect people of color, but also those around them,” Jones, who is a junior psychology and biology major, said. “Listening and learning about the experiences can help those who attend overcome future hurdles or become an ally to someone who may face them.”

Although an early registration discount is offered until Friday, Feb. 16, participants can register for the conference up until Friday, Feb. 23. To register or view the full conference schedule, visit ebonyweekend.weebly.com.

“In order to move forward from a difficult past into a brighter future is to learn from the past,” Jones said. “And I hope that is recognized in the conference.”

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu


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