Civil rights icon to speak at leadership conference

Abby Taylor

Online Content Editor

Civil rights icon John Lewis will be the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Leadership Conference.

Troy University and the city of Troy have been working together to host the conference.

“This conference provides valuable information to enhance the quality of leadership and civic participation of community leaders, area residents, and university students,” according to Troy’s website.

The conference, which celebrates African-American history month, will be held Feb. 2-3. The theme of the conference is “Change Agents: Civically Engaged, Academically Oriented, & Financially Capable.”

“On Friday night, we have Congressman John Lewis, who is a huge civil rights hero,” said Barbara Patterson, director of student involvement.

Lewis, the congressman for the 5th district of Georgia, will be giving the keynote address on Feb. 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Sartain Hall.

On Feb. 3, student sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Trojan Center Theatre and Bibb Graves room 129.

According to Patterson, all the speakers are young professionals giving the workshops.

The sessions will include “Financial Fitness,” “Emotionally Healthy Change Agents,” “Equipping Leaders to Handle Tough Assignments,” and “Discovering/Rediscovering the ‘Leader’ Within.”

Patterson said that Theo Moore, a Troy graduate and collections manager and educator at the Tuskegee University Legacy Museum, will be speaking at the session. Moore will be presenting “History is the Answer.”

“He’s (Moore) going to focus on history and what students can learn from history,” Patterson said.

Chad Sanders, a lawyer at Woods Law Group, LLC from New Orleans, will be presenting “The ABC’s of Academic Excellence.”

Patterson said that Khaalida Forbes will discuss emotional and mental health issues in her session “Emotionally Healthy Change Agents.”

“All of those sessions will be striving to have the most positive impact on students’ lives,” Patterson said.

SGA President Ashli Morris said she encourages students to attend the conference.

“This conference is not only about celebrating African-American History month, but about growing as a leader in a growing and diverse world,” Morris said.

“This conference will give students the opportunity to interact with leaders who will empower, encourage and even challenge us.”

The conference cost is $15 for students interested in attending. Students can register at with a $10 late fee.

“This is an extremely affordable workshop for any student to attend,” Patterson said. “It is one of these events students should not miss.”

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