Visit ConcordiaKente Summit for Collegiate Black Men

Kente Summit - November 3-4, 2017

The objective for the Kente Summit is to assemble male college students of African descent who attend colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota in order to build community across campuses, identities, experiences, and commonly faced issues.

The summit will take place on Friday, November 3rd at Macalester College and Saturday, November 4th at Hamline University.

The summit will begin on Friday evening at Macalester College with dinner and the El-Kati Lectureship with Margo Natalie Crawford, associate professor in the Department of English at Cornell University. We will continue the summit at Hamline University with an all-day conference on Saturday. The day will include great speakers, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, Brotherhood Talking Circles, and much more. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

The 2017 Kente Summit is sponsored by the Minnesota Private College Council, with support from Concordia University, St. Paul, Hamline University, Macalester College, the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota.

Registration and Payment

The Kente Summit is for undergraduate students who attend Colleges and Universities in Minnesota. Staff and Faculty are allowed to attend if they are bringing students. All who attend, students, staff, and faculty, are required to register and pay.

Please contact your school before registering as payment is required at the time of registration. The expectation is that your school will cover that cost.


Please contact Adrian Perryman at with any comments or questions.

Kente Summit Schedule of Events

Schedule: Friday, November 3

LOCATION: Macalester College, Kagin Commons, 21 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105

4:00 pmRegistrant Check-In
5:00 pmWelcome from Kente Committee and Call to Community
5:30 pmWelcome from Macalester President Brian Rosenberg
5:45 pmDinner
6:00 pmSt. Paul Youth Poet Laureate Donte Collins
7:00 pmEl Kati Lecture with Margo Natalie Crawford
9:00 pm“The Get Down” Kente Social with DJ Advance
The Loch, Campus Center
Schedule: Saturday, November 4

LOCATION: Hamline University, Anderson Center, 774 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55104

8:00 amContinental Breakfast and Check-In
Anderson Center 112
8:45 amKente Welcome
9:15 amWelcome from Hamline University President Dr. Fayneese Miller
9:30 amKeynote with T. Mychael Rambo
10:15 amConcurrent Sessions I
11:30 amLuncheon
12:15 pmBlack History Jeopardy
1:15 pmConcurrent Sessions II
2:15 pmDessert Break
Giddens Learning Center Lobby
2:30 pmBrotherhood Talking Circles
Giddens Learning Center 100E and other rooms
4:00 pmClosing Gathering with T. Mychael Rambo and Kente Committee

Speaker Bios

Margo Natalie Crawford

Margo Natalie Crawford studies 20th and 21st century African American literature and the full interdisciplinary spin of global black studies. She is most known for her work on the 1960s and 70s Black Arts Movement. Her ongoing work is situated in black radical imaginations, with a particular interest in radical black feminism, black diaspora theory, and black queer theory. She is the author of Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus (Ohio State University Press, 2008) and the coeditor, with Lisa Gail Collins, of New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers University Press, 2006). Her essays appear in a wide range of books and journals, including The Trouble With Post-Blackness, Want to Start a Revolution?, The Modernist Party, The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Post-1945, Callaloo, American Literature, Souls, Black Renaissance Noire, Black Camera, Publishing Blackness, and the exhibition catalog for the 2013 AfriCOBRA exhibit at the DuSable Museum. She has recently completed a manuscript entitled Black Post-Blackness: the Black Arts Movement and 21st Century Black Aesthetics. Her works in progress include What is African American Literature? and a coedited volume Global Black Consciousness. She is on the editorial board of the Society for Textual Scholarship, the James Baldwin Review, and the Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature. She is the faculty director of Cornell’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research program.

Her most recent essays include: “The Counterliteracy of Postmelancholy”, “Black Aesthetics Unbound”, and “Baraka’s Jam Session: On the Limits of Any Attempt to Collect Black Aesthetics Unbound.”

T. Mychael Rambo

Emmy Award winning actor, vocalist, arts educator and community organizer; T. Mychael has made an indelible mark here in the Twin Cities performing principle roles at such theaters as: Penumbra, the Guthrie, Ordway Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Mixed Blood, Park Square Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Children’s Theatre and Minnesota Opera among others. Nationally and internationally his stage credits include Carnegie Hall and performances abroad in Africa, Europe and South America. He has appeared in local and national television commercials, feature films (including: The Cure, Justice, Crossing the Bridge, Wooley Boys) HBO mini-series (Laurel Avenue, Equinox), and other television programming. T. Mychael is an accomplished residency artist (COMPAS, Young Audiences, MN State Arts Board, VocalEssence) and an affiliate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota.

As a recording artist, Rambo has released two popular CD’s: “Simply” – a collection of jazz standards; and “The Gift; A Christmas With Love” – a selection of original and holiday classics. T. Mychael had the great honor of singing the National Anthem for both President Barak Obama and former President Jimmy Carter.

Ta-coumba T. Aiken

Ta-coumba T. Aiken is a Twin Cities artist, arts administrator, educator and community activist who focuses on public art and collaborative projects. His “rhythm paintings” on paper and canvas are loose and lively. He has participated in the creation of over 300 murals and public art sculptures with themes ranging from local history to the artist’s own style of rhythmic pattern and spirit writing. The artist has served on the boards of the Minneapolis Arts Commission, the African American Cultural Arts Center, Forecast Public Arts, and the St. Paul Art Collective and has acted as an advisor on the arts for both the City of St. Paul and the City of Minneapolis. He has been the recipient of awards including a Pollock–Krasner Foundation Fellowship and a Bush Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship. His painting entitled, “Forever Saint Paul” was awarded the Guinness Book World Record for the most Lite-Brite pegs ever used (596,000+) to create a painting. This piece is permanently located in the Saint Paul Union Depot. His works can be found in public and private collections including those of the Walker Art Center, The McKnight Foundation, General Mills, Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, and Maya Angelou.

Shakeer Abdullah, Ph.D.

Shakeer Abdullah earned his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, his M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in the Administration of Higher Education from Auburn University.  His education includes extensive international study including travel to Lumbadzi, Malawi and participation in programs at the University of Cairo (Cairo, Egypt) and Lancaster University (Lancaster, England). He currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota.  In this position he supports the Chief Diversity Officer and provides vision and guidance to the student-driven units while offering a creative voice on pre-college access, recruitment, retention, academic success, and graduation.  In addition to those duties, he also offers a commitment to our campus relations, community initiatives, external relations, and alumni development.

Prior to the U of M, he served as director of the Multicultural Center at Auburn University-2008 to 2013. He also taught part-time on Auburn’s faculty and at Columbus State University (Columbus, Georgia).  Previously, Dr. Abdullah served as the director of Student Affairs and Multicultural Affairs at Capital University Law School between 2006 and 2008. His previous appointments include servings as a program coordinator of New Diversity Initiatives at Ohio State University and working as an admission counselor at Wittenberg.

James C. Burroughs

James C. Burroughs has over 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, non-profit management, and employment law. He has led equity and diversity efforts for educational institutions, public entities, and the private sector. Burroughs has worked with various consulting groups over the last two decades, providing expertise on issues including diversity in hiring, executive training on diversity and inclusion, and human resources management. In these roles, Burroughs has worked with businesses including Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies throughout the world.

Burroughs also served for nearly seven years as the Executive Director of Equity and Diversity for Minneapolis Public Schools, where he oversaw the implementation of the schools’ efforts on diversity and equity, including their integration plan, inclusion training, and diversity partnerships with businesses and institutions (supplier diversity). Previously, Burroughs worked in law. He was an Associate at Dorsey & Whitney LLP where he also assisted the firm in hiring and retaining more diverse lawyers as a member of the firm’s hiring committee. James also co-chaired the Twin Cities Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and worked with minority lawyers and large law firms to increase racial diversity in the legal profession in Minnesota. James also served as an adjunct faculty member at Hamline (now Mitchell Hamline) University School of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School.

James C. Burroughs is a board member of the Sabathani Community Center, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Memorial Blood Centers (Advisory Board), Robert Jones Urban Research and Outreach- Engagement Center (Advisory Board). Burroughs lives in Brooklyn Park with his three-year-old daughter. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Morehouse College and his Juris Doctorate at Georgetown University Law Center.

Danami Champion

Danami Champion is a Soul/Hip-Hop artist, Graphic Designer, and Video editor, striving to be a blessing to others spiritually, emotionally, and materially. In 2012, he performed at SXSW during a nine city high school tour with McNally Smith College of Music educating students on creating a life in music. He was named a recipient of the 2014 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians; the first Hip-Hop artist to receive this award

Donte Collins

Donte Collins is a poet. Named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Saint Paul, Minnesota, they are the author of “Autopsy” (Button Poetry, 2017) and winner of the 2016 Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. Collins is the recipient of the 2016 Mitchell Prize in Poetry and is currently a junior at Augsburg College. They are an alum of TruArtSpeaks, a non-profit arts organization based out of the Twin Cities cultivating literacy, leadership and social justice through the study and application of Hip Hop culture.

Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson serves as the Director of the Lealtad-Suzuki Center at Macalester College. Jason received his undergraduate degree in Communications Studies and Masters of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota. While a student at the U of M, Jason served as an intern for the GLBTA Programs Office for a year in half. During his internship he co-founded the student group Tongues Untied for LGBT People of Color, crafted many workshops centered on intersectionality, and mentored LGBT students.

Dr. Fayneese Miller

Dr. Fayneese Miller is the 20th president of Hamline University. She is the first African American president in the history of Hamline and its second female president. Dr. Miller has 30 years of academic and higher education leadership experience, including most recently as dean of the College of Education and Social Services and professor of leadership and developmental sciences at the University of Vermont (UVM). Previously she was associate professor of education and human development and a past director of the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America at Brown University, and she developed and chaired the first Ethnic Studies Program at Brown.

Dr. Miller is a social psychologist specializing in the psychosocial development of youth, with special emphasis on such topics as alienation, social identity, and cross-racial friendships. Her research has been funded by such organizations as the Eli Lilly Foundation, National Science Foundation, Paul Newman Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her work includes a study on perceptions of racial/ethnic bias for the Rhode Island Supreme Court and a project on schoolbased truancy courts for the Rhode Island Family Court. Dr. Miller serves on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Truancy Prevention Association Board. In collaboration with NTPA, she completed a benchbook on truancy for family court judges. She recently completed a book entitled Transforming Learning Environments: Strategies for the Next Generation. A second book, focused on anti-social behavior of children and youth, co-authored with Dr. George Leibowitz, is being prepared for publication.

President Miller holds a PhD and an MS from Texas Christian University in experimental psychology, and a BA in psychology from Hampton University. Her post-doctoral work in applied social psychology was completed at Yale University.

Craig Morris

Craig Morris is the Chief Diversity Officer at Metropolitan State University, seeking ways to increase the quality of teaching and to identify new ways to engage and motivate adult learners. He previously served as a Director of the Academic Affairs and Global Programs office at the University of Wisconsin System Administration and has more than 30 years of experience in Labor Relations, EEO/compliance, and operations leadership in the fields of education, telecommunications, and aviation management. He joined Metropolitan State in 2015.

Craig also served six years with the U.S. Air Force as a pilot with more than 6,600 hours in the air in a variety of multi-engine, and turbojet aircraft, including hot air balloons. He has served as an elected or appointed official for nearly 18 years and was Minnesota’s first African-American mayor.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Business Economics from the University of St. Thomas, and a master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness from Stritch University. He also attended the Hamline School of Law for mediation training and is a qualified “neutral” under the Minnesota Supreme Court Rule 114.

Chadwick “Niles” Phillips

Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is a renaissance man within the world of the arts.  He won the “Who’s Next”/HOT 97 Talent Search in 2006 which enabled him to release a single on Major Label/Koch Records. He also has worked in film for BET, CBS, MTV and NYC Fashion week.  He was the host of the legendary “Poet’s Groove” open mic for two and a half years. He is the founder of the curriculum “Hip-Hop, History and The Arts” that he teaches at schools all around the Twin Cities. He also is the Founder/CEO of The Avant Garde, LLC which is a renaissance music, arts & entertainment Production Company geared towards providing a platform for highly seasoned artists of all avenues throughout the Twin Cities metropolis.

Malik Watkins

MaLLy is an independent hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. MaLLy continues to rise in the world of music with a strong discography boasting three critically acclaimed albums—The Passion, The Last Great…, and The Colors of Black. He has toured nationally with Atmosphere on their “Welcome to Minnesota” tour in 2012, and with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014. His wordplay, tonal variety and universal subject matter are highlights of MaLLy’s content which appeals to a broad spectrum of listeners. He continues to perform, participate in community-oriented organizations dedicated to the arts such as Giant Steps, Kulture Klub Collaborative, and is working on a new album titled The Journey To A Smile.