About the Conference

Grand Valley State University seeks to bring together youth service providers, K-12 educators, higher education faculty and staff, and community leaders to understand and interrogate the “systems” that impact the lives of Black boys & men in order to deconstruct and rebuild for their success.

Through a lens of intersectionality, the Black Boys & Men Symposium looks holistically at the lives of Black boys & men in a variety of educational and other contexts. The symposium is focused on creating a vision for equitable transformation throughout the educational pipeline, from K-12 to higher education and beyond. The symposium is designed to be a place of personal and professional growth for those who walk alongside Black boys & men to engage in discussion, learning and action.

Thursday, June 9th & Friday, June 10th

  • Location: Amway Grand Plaza
    • (187 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
  • Program: Dynamic plenary sessions, a robust curriculum of choice sessions, and networking opportunities.
  • Special Event: Sneaker Ball (this is both a social event AND a scholarship fundraiser)


  • Higher Education faculty/staff
  • K-12 teachers and administrators
  • Community/agency partners
  • All who are interested in changing the conditions for Black men in education!

We are offering a special student rate. Should you want to bring K-12 youth, please contact us at ed.dev@gvsu.edu.

Students may attend all aspects of the symposium sessions with the exception of the Sneaker Ball (as this is an adult-only event). Specific sessions that may especially appeal to students will be noted on the symposium schedule. All students attending the symposium must be accompanied by an adult chaperone as this needs to be noted on the registration.

Goals for Symposium

Goal 1: Bring state stakeholders together to begin to outline a plan for success and create a pipeline to include K-12, higher education, and beyond. 

Goal 2: Acknowledge the historical realities that have shaped outcomes for Black boys and men in order to create new realities. 

Goal 3: Identify systemic barriers in order to generate discussion, ideas, and solutions for equity. 

Goal 4: Create change agents by sharing leading practices and creating the capacity to create new and better outcomes. 

Goal 5: Deconstruct and rebuild systems to create the conditions for Black boys & men success.   


(616) 331-2500

Grand Valley State University

1 Campus Drive

4035 James H. Zumberge Hall

Allendale, MI 49504


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Reynolds & Sons

Bronze Sponsors

Foster Swift

Page last modified May 10, 2022