Demonstrating its fundamental commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Metropolitan State University of Denver will host the 41st annual Black World Conference on Feb. 21, led by the Department of Africana Studies.

This year’s theme is titled “Black Love/Black Joy” and has several events throughout the day dedicated to the theme. The King Center Recital Hall will be transformed into a vibrant hub of cultural exchange, intellectual dialogue and artistic expression.

9:30 a.m. — Morning Roundtable: Unraveling the Essence of Black Love/Black Joy 

The symposium kicks off with “What Is Black Love/Black Joy?” This session is a perfect stage to delve into the multifaceted dimensions of Black love and joy, exploring their impacts on individual and community life.

Moderated by Monica Williams of Equity Project LLC, the panel boasts distinguished voices from:

  • Tai Edwards, Denver Health 
  • Jason Shankle, Inner Self and Wisdom LLC  
  • Ryan Ross, Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado  
  • Lumiere Bukasa, independent writer and storyteller 
  • Charlene West, Denver Public Schools  

11 a.m. — Keynote Address: A Journey With Kevin Powell

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear from Kevin Powell, a prominent figure in contemporary social commentary. His keynote address, moderated by Michael Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, should be a highlight of the day. Powell, renowned for his insightful views, promises to offer an enriching perspective on the symposium’s theme. 

2 p.m. — Afternoon Roundtable: Practical Dimensions of the Theme

This session focuses on “How Do We Practice Black Love/Black Joy?” Moderated by Aisha Fukushima, founder of RAPtivism and the current Social Justice, Race and Music Series artist, this discussion is poised to offer actionable insights and real-life applications of the days theme. 

7:30 p.m. — Evening Concert: A Cultural Treat

The day culminates with a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring Fukushima. This performance is not just a musical event but a celebration of the symposium’s essence, blending social-justice themes with the power of music. 

The Black World Conference is not just an event; it’s a journey through the rich tapestry of Black culture, identity and expression. It’s an open invitation to everyone at MSU Denver to immerse themselves in a day of learning, understanding and celebrating the multifaceted nature of Black love and Black joy. This symposium will be a memorable chapter in the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion and cultural enlightenment. 

The event promises to be a landmark occasion in our campus calendar, inviting students, employees and the wider community to engage in a meaningful exploration of African American experiences and perspectives.