Visit ConcordiaKente Summit for Collegiate Black Men

Kente Summit - November 4-5, 2016

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 4th at Macalester College and Saturday, November 5th at Hamline University.

The summit will begin on Friday evening at Macalester College with dinner and the El-Kati Lectureship with Jelani Cobb, writer, author and educator, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for African American Studies at University of Connecticut. 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 2016 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.

Register to Attend

The Kente Summit is open to all Minnesota College and University students.

Payment Information

Registration Fee: $50 per attendee*

*Please check with your school as most are able to cover the cost to attend.


Please contact Adrian Perryman at with any comments or questions.

Kente Summit Schedule of Events

Schedule: Friday, November 4

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

4:00 pm Registrant Check-In
5:00 pm Welcome from Kente Committee and Macalester
5:15 pm Call to Community
5:30 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Keynote with Dr. Jelani Cobb
8:00 pm Book Signing
9:00 pm “The Get Down” Kente Social with DJ Advance
The Loch, Campus Center
Schedule: Saturday, November 5

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

8:00 am Continental Breakfast and Check-In
8:45 am Kente Welcome
9:00 am Welcome from Hamline University President Dr. Fayneese Miller
9:20 am Keynote with Dr. Abdul Omari
10:15 am Concurrent Sessions I
11:30 am Luncheon
12:00 pm Keynote with Dr. Shakeer Abdullah
1:15 pm Brotherhood Talking Circles: Moving from Conversation to Action
2:45 pm Concurrent Sessions II
4:00 pm Keynote with Jason Sole
4:30 pm Closing Gathering

Speaker Bios

Karla Benson Rutten

karlabensonruttenKarla is the Title IX Coordinator & Director of Equity at Macalester College.  Her role is to educate the Macalester community about the importance of policies related to Title IX, civil rights, and affirmative action laws.  She works proactively with campus partners to ensure that Macalester is an inclusive, equitable, safe, and welcoming environment for everyone. Karla has 17 years of higher education experience in diversity, social justice, and sexual violence prevention program development, intercultural communication, facilitation and training, building community partnerships, and creating strong, diverse, and equitable communities.  Karla received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Iowa State University and her master’s degree in Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Malik Watkins

malikwatkinsMaLLy 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.

Danami Champion

danamichampionDanami 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

Ronald Atkinson II

Atkinson is a San Diego, CA native that is passionate about doing all he can to serve his community.  A scholar athlete in football, basketball, and track & field, he was offered both academic and football scholarships to Kansas’ Baker University.  Atkinson earned bachelor’s degrees in both Recreation and Exercise Science before entering the field of Student Affairs.  He recently concluded his masters studies in Higher Education Administrative Services at McKendree University located in Lebanon, IL.  He currently serves as a Program Coordinator for Fraternity & Sorority Life at The University of Minnesota where he serves as the primary advisor for the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).  Atkinson maintains active membership with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and works actively to advance the fraternity and sorority experience through his work with the Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors, Order of Omega, and locally with The University of Minnesota.

Lamar Hylton, Ph.D.

lamar hyltonDr. Hylton is a native of Columbus, OH and was educated in the Columbus Public Schools system.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music-Performance from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; his master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Ohio University in Athens, OH; and the doctor of philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State.  He currently serves as Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life in the Office for Student Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  In this role, he is responsible for providing leadership for student engagement policies and programs and supervises the Office for Student Engagement, Office for Fraternity & Sorority Life, Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and the Off-Campus Living Office.  Prior to this role, Dr. Hylton served as the Director of the Intercultural Center and Office of Multicultural Student Programs at the University of North Carolina – Asheville.  He is active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including serving as president of the Zeta Nu Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., an inaugural fellow in the Josie R. Johnson Leadership program with the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and a member of the 3-time Grammy award winning “Sounds of Blackness”.  Dr. Hylton is married to Rhonda Hylton, an educator, doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, and CEO of “Rhonda Hylton Writes” editing company.  They are the proud parents of a daughter, Emilee.

William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D.

william jelani cobbJelani Cobb is an American writer, author and educator.  He writes frequently about race, politics, history, and culture.  His most recent book is “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress.” He’s an associate professor of history, and the director of the Africana Studies Institute, at the University of Connecticut.  He won the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, for his columns on race, the police, and injustice.  He has been contributing to The New Yorker and since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015.  His essays and reviews have appeared in Essence Magazine, The Washington Post, The Progressive,, and other publications.  He has been a featured commentator on National Public Radio, the acclaimed documentary Beyond Beats & Rhymes, CNN, and a number of other national broadcast outlets.  He is the author of To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic and The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays, and has edited and contributed to several other books.  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jason Sole

jason soleJason has been a criminal justice educator at Metropolitan State University for over seven years and at Hamline University for more than a year.  He is a national keynote speaker and trainer.  Alongside his career, he chairs the Criminal Justice Reform Committee of the Minneapolis NAACP and is changing key policies that create disparate outcomes for people of color.  In addition, Sole was a 2013 Bush Fellow who focused on reducing the recidivism rate among juveniles throughout the state of Minnesota.  He is currently traveling the country discussing his memoir, From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances.

Jason Jackson

jason jacksonJason Jackson serves as the assistant director for the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) for Queer and Trans Life at the University of Minnesota where his work centers on educational efforts for staff, faculty and students and outreach across the University of Minnesota.  Jason received his undergraduate degree in Communications Studies and Masters of Arts in Higher Education Administration the University of Minnesota.  While a student at the U of M, Jason served as an intern for GSC and co-founded the student group Tongues Untied for LGBT People of Color.  Currently Jason instructs a course on Personal Leadership at the U of M.  Over the past six years Jason has been involved with Twin Cities Black Pride and the Twin Cities Ball Scene.

Darryl Peal

darrylpealDarryl A. Peal is the Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business & Community Economic Development and Technology Empowerment Center.  The mission of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development (BCED) is to contribute to the economic growth, development and prosperity of Minnesota’s urban communities.  BCED is a social enterprise whose purpose is to leverage the assets and resources of the University to create programs and services that provide innovative solutions to real-world social-economic problems that impact urban communities.

Previously, Mr. Peal served as President & CEO of the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council.  He has also served as Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services Equal Opportunity Division/State EEO Coordinator; Director of Minority Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan University; Assistant Vice-President of Diversity Initiatives for the United Way of Central Ohio; and Assistant Dean of Students at Otterbein College.  Additionally, he served as the Dean of Students and served as a Member of the President’s Cabinet at Central State University located in Wilberforce, Ohio.  Darryl is also an entrepreneur and is the owner of Randall-Peal & Associates, an educational consulting company.

Peal, a native of Springfield, Ohio, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Sciences degree from Ohio University.

Abdul M. Omari, Ph.D.

Abdul Omari holds a B.A. in global studies, a master’s of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a PhD in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota.

Abdul’s research is focused on the perceptions of mentoring and the role of Cultural Intelligence within mentoring relationships. For several years, he has taught leadership courses for undergraduate students. Abdul is the founder of AMO Enterprise, which helps people better connect in individual and team settings through leadership seminars, keynotes, and mentoring.

Abdul is devoted to civic and public service. He is an elected member of the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota, serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA Greater Twin Cities, AchieveMpls, and Civic Eagle. Abdul was featured in Minnesota Business Magazine’s “Young Entrepreneurs” August 2016 issue. Omari is a proud native of Minneapolis, Minnesota with immigrant parents from Kenya and Jordan.

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.

Amadou Fofana

Amadou Fofana is from The Gambia, a country which lies in the western most part of Africa surrounded by Senegal and the Atlantic Ocean. Amadou migrated to the United States after his parents moved her for new opportunities and growth. He has spent some time in the Bronx, New York, and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, but Madison, Wisconsin is his second home. Amadou finished his undergraduate degree in Nursing with a Psychology minor from Edgewood College. He went on to work in a mental health clinic but found his true calling in higher education. Amadou later worked as an enrollment specialist at a community college and then return to his alma mater to work as a counselor in their financial aid office, then as Assistant Director for Student Activities and Orientation. In Summer 2016, Amadou moved to Minnesota to serve as a Hall Director at the University of St. Thomas where he is enrolled full time graduate student in the Leadership in Student Affairs program. Amongst these obligations, he also finds time to serve with his brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, tutor African American boys with the organization FLYY (Forward Learning Youth and Young Adults), and serve as a dance instructor.

Alexis Goffe

Alexis Goffe currently serves as Dean of Students at Paladin Career and Technical High School. He has worked with the Healing Justice Program at the American Friends Service Committee, JaMinn Link and as an Admissions Reader for Macalester College. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Alexis received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Macalester College and his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas

Alex Leonard

Alex Leonard is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2002, he received a B.A in Fine Arts and Art Education from Hamline University. He has spent the better part of 15 years working with youth in a variety of positions in both school and after school settings. Alex is currently a Dean of Students at Patrick Henry High School, where he also co-teaches an identity development class for Black male students and is the schools Equity Lead. In addition to these roles he coaches football, is a visual and Spoken Word/Hip Hop artist, who has dabbled in theatre as well. His most recent endeavor is the creation of the Ujima Collective, a group of likeminded individuals who are available for consulting work, workshop facilitations and youth programming in the field of education and youth work. Alex will be completing his Masters in School Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in Fall 2017. He spends most of his free time with his wife (Danyika) and two children (Masai and Niara).

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.

Jesse Mongrue

Jesse Mongrue is a history and policy scholar on U.S./Liberia’s political, cultural and social connections.  His most recent book addresses the role of civil society, good governance and democratic reform in Africa.  Jesse is also a third year doctoral candidate at the University of Saint Thomas, Minnesota. Mr. Mongrue is originally from Liberia but lives in Vadnais Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul, Minnesota along with his wife and four children.

Yassin Omar

Yassin Omar is from Hopkins, Minnesota. In 2013, he received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Hamline University. Yassin is currently Executive Assistant and Policy Aide to the General Counsel at the Minnesota Governor’s Office.  In this role, he assists the Governor’s Chief Legal Officer with policy research, legal fact finding, and administrative duties.  Prior to that, Yassin assisted Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith with constituent correspondence and event management projects for two years. Outside of his work, Yassin is a Committee Member at Norway House’s Peace Initiative, a nonprofit organization located in Minneapolis.  The Peace Initiative leads semi-annual events that feature prominent speakers, panels, and interactive experiences on relevant global issues that inspire civic engagement.