Leadership conference promotes opportunity for building diverse relationships among races

Olivia Nobles

Staff Writer

The city of Troy and Troy University will host its 18th annual Leadership Conference, courtesy of the Troy Institute for Leadership Development, on Feb. 1 and 2.

This event is in celebration of Black History Month, and the theme is “Leaders Embracing New Relationships, Destinations, and Opportunities.” 

Leandro Guimaraes Froes, an international relations graduate student from Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, attended the conference in 2018. 

“The whole experience was incredibly motivational,” Froes said. “I was a leadership minor at Troy during my undergraduate program, so I was familiar with the concepts I heard about during the conference, but hearing them in new ways is really helpful.”

Keynote sessions include topics such as STEM Education and Effective Communication, and some lectures will be divided between students and teachers to more closely cater to the needs of the audience.

Speakers at the conference include Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock and Dr. Quinton Ross, and lectures will incorporate themes of African American history and Christian faith into a message of leadership and encouragement.

The Institute for Leadership Development sponsors this conference annually, alongside the annual Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Alabama Lions High School Leadership Forum conferences which are also held at Troy University. 

Dr. John Kline, a professor of leadership and director of the Institute for Leadership Development, highlights the importance of developing the quality of leadership in the Troy community. 

“We emphasize servant leadership, which is leading for the purpose of helping others and the community,” Kline said. “The community could be as small as a family or as large as a nation.” 

Kline stressed that this event is open to individuals of all genders and races, and he expressed a desire for a highly diverse population to be in attendance. 

Kline cited “the service of helping relationships among races” as one of the ideal outcomes of the event. 

“The key thing that I want students to take away is an opportunity to engage and build relationships with other individuals,” said Derrick Brewster, associate dean of student services.

The conference is open to everyone, including members of the Pike County community and neighboring counties, but registration with a student I.D. reduces the $30 registration fee to $15. 

The registration package includes admittance to both the Friday evening and Saturday sessions, and it includes a boxed lunch on Saturday. 

Anyone interested in attending the conference can register online at troy.edu/leadershipconference, or participants can pay a slightly increased registration fee at the door on the days of the conference. 

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