Release Date: 
Thursday, February 20, 2020

POSTPONED: Second annual Black Male Retention and Success conference at HFC

Henry Ford College main campus
Dr. Theodore Ransaw is the keynote speaker for the 2020 conference.
Dr. Theodore Ransaw is the keynote speaker for the 2020 conference.

NOTE: Due to coronavirus, this event has been postponed indefinitely.

HFC's Black Male & QUEENS Focus Group will host its 2nd Annual Black Male Retention and Success Conference on Saturday, April 18, 2020, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the ASCC (Bldg. L). We expect attendees from across the midwestern region to attend and discuss the important intersectional issues relating to the retention and success of Black students.

Conference Registration

Last year’s conference hosted 186 attendees, representing six states. We anticipate more guests this year.

Conference registration remains free for 2020. Sign up today.

Conference Schedule

The conference will be Saturday, April 18.

Conference registration begins at 7:00 a.m.

Declaration of Sacred Space and Libations will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m.

Speakers and other sessions will be announced closer to the date.

The conference will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Theodore S. Ransaw, Ph.D.

Dr. Theodore S. Ransaw is a scholar specializing in the fields of Education, Afro American Studies and Communication. He holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Cultural Education and International Studies. Dr. Ransaw also has a MA and a BA in Communication. He is an Education Specialist at Michigan State University.

Dr. Ransaw is a true innovator. He created an Afro American Hip-Hop Music and Culture class for UNLV’s Afro American Studies Program that includes lectures on all FOUR elements of Hip-Hop (graffiti, b-boying, d-jaying and rap). Dr. Ransaw created this class despite the fact that university officials and the county sheriff were attempting to ban this particular form of music. His class remains a part of the curriculum at UNLV to this day.

From this class grew another class: the world’s first Afro-American Masculinity class.

Dr. Ranshaw conducts training on closing the relationship/achievement gap for males of color, teaches classes on diversity, Black masculinity, Hip-hop music and culture, and oral communication. He has received numerous awards for service and leadership.

Dr. Ransaw’s personal goal is to redefine the meaning of masculinity in ways that are inclusive of not only educated Black and heterosexual males, but also women in ways that are culturally affirming without being threatening or misogynistic.

He believes that Black males can indeed be smart and popular. His most recent book is The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity.

Distinguished Guest

Lead facilitator of the College Preparatory Academy, Dr. Jeffrey Lee, will be our special guest.


Our recommended hotel for the conference is the Doubletree Hotel Dearborn. Mention the conference when you are making your room reservation.

Purpose of the conference, and who should attend

The main purpose of the 2020 conference will be to build upon the statewide conversations and network that began at last year’s inaugural convening. Indeed, the spirit of our first conference combined a distinguished group of scholar-activists dedicated to the creation of sustainable programs that are designed to positively impact the college experience, retention, and graduation rates of Black male students.

Based on our understanding of the complexity of college retention rates, specifically among Black male students, we purposely view that best practices for increasing retention and graduation are ideologically connected. Yet, we require uniquely separate praxis contingents regarding the organizational culture of the institution and cultural knowledge assets that each student brings to a campus.

Thus, the goals for the 2nd annual conference are to continue to interrogate the challenges that impede both the retention and success of Black male college students. The objective is to strive for articulation, development, and implementation of meaningful strategies and deliberate sustainable programs to address the challenges. The strategies and program solutions derived from this year’s conference may be applicable to other student retention processes.

The 2020 conference is designed for students and practitioners alike, because specific plenary sessions will address the needs of members of both groups.


Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell (Conference Chair)

Mr. Chardin Claybourne (Conference Chair)
(313) 845-9818