Spring Summit

14th Annual Male Success Alliance Spring Summit


Understanding Needs, Struggles, Hopes, and Kinfolk, Excluding No One

Friday, April 28, 2023
Check-in: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!
Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Student disAbility Resource Center
Kaiser Permanente
The Angell Foundation
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

K-12 Schools & Students

Undergraduate Students

All participants will receive free lunch and giveaways! Contact us: malesuccessalliance@csudh.edu

Keynote Speaker
Mahmoud Abdul Rauf

Mahmoud Abdul Rauf

A natural born leader and competitor, Abdul-Rauf, of Gulfport, Mississippi was formerly known as Chris Jackson before reverting to Islam in 1991. He is a Humanitarian, Activist, Author, Former NBA Player with impeccable skills admired by his peers and fans alike on the court and immense admiration and respect for the person he is off the court.

Mahmoud grew up with Tourettes syndrome (undiagnosed until the age of 17) and expresses he "Wouldn’t be the basketball player nor person he is off the court if it wasn’t for Tourette syndrome". It's also a driving force in supporting mental health causes and initiatives.

As an athlete he has set several freshman scoring records at Gulfport High School. He earned first-team All-America honors both years at LSU. He was taken with the third overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets. NBA Most Improved Player Award in 1993, appeared in the Slam Dunk Contest at the 1993 NBA All-Star Weekend, and was one of the league's most accurate free throw shooters. In 2020 LSU retired Abdul-Rauf’s Number 35 basketball jersey and in 2022 he was recognized by Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

In his unwavering faith in Islam Abdul Rauf preaches “The goal in life is to find your gift, the purpose in life is to give it away" which is why today Abdul Rauf spends his time traveling extensively in the U.S. and abroad doing speaking engagements and basketball training while also partnering with organizations that align with his faith on issues such as Education, Social Justice, Mental Health and Humanitarianism. Mahmoud says "The way we live has to produce a legacy of action which also mirror the importance of Coalition building which was a primary strategy of our beloved Prophet (PBUH)."

He has also just released his autobiography written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nick Chiles, In the Blink of an Eye, published by Kaepernick Publishing and 'STAND' Documentary set to premiere Jan 2023 on SHOWTIME.


8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Loker Student Union (LSU), Third Floor

9:00 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.
Opening remarks
LSU Ballroom 

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
LSU Ballroom 

10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.
High School and College Workshops – Track 1

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Lunch and Resource Fair
North Lawn

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
High School and College Workshops – Track 2 

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Closing remarks and performance by Nascir Tha Don
LSU Ballroom 


All workshops take place from 10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Registering for the event gives you access to all workshops. Use the Interactive Campus Map to find the location.

College Students 

Let’s get TECHnical

  • This workshop will explore the different pathways into the Tech industry as a male of color.
  • Facilitators: Erik Miller and Seth S. Smith  
  • Location: Innovation and Instruction 2250

Millionaires in the Making  

  • How are you getting to the Bag? This workshop will inform participants of financial literacy, planning, and strategy to put you on the path to become a 7-figure earner.
  • Facilitator: Wil Hayworth 
  • Location: Marvin Laster Recital Hall in LaCorte Hall

High School Students 

What in the Wellness?!

  • This workshop will demystify the topic of mental health by promoting awareness, self-care, and help seeking behavior for Males of Color. 
  • Facilitator: Aaron Bernard 
  • Location: Innovation and Instruction 3350

Reimagining Masculinity

  • This workshop will examine current cultural depictions of masculinity to better understand the harmful effects that rigid gender stereotypes have on students. In doing so, participants will be able to engage in critical self-reflection and imagine ways to disrupt gendered norms and expectations that exists in schools. 
  • Facilitator: JC Lugo 
  • Location: Loker Student Union, Ballroom C

If I Ruled the World

  • This theme will allow students to envision an ideal world and how to work towards creating it. By using Nas “If I Ruled the World” song as a framework to identify your skills as a leader and change maker. 
  • Facilitators: David A. Romero and Matt Sedillo  
  • Location: Innovation and Instruction 1300

Keeping It One Hundred: Navigation College as a Male of Color  

  • This MSA student led workshop will give students an “all you need to know” vantage point and roadmap to consider in order to persist as a Male of Color in College. 
  • Location: 5th Floor of Cain Library


Best Practices in Supporting Males of Color

  • This workshop will provide educators practical strategies in supporting Males of Color.
  • Facilitator: Dr. Derrick Brooms  
  • Location: Innovation and Instruction 2220
Workshop Facilitators


David A. Romero is a Mexican-American spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, CA. Romero is the author of My Name Is Romero (FlowerSong Press), a book reviewed by Gustavo Arellano (¡Ask a Mexican!), Curtis Marez (University Babylon), and founding member of Ozomatli, Ulises Bella. Romero has received honorariums from nearly a hundred colleges and universities in thirty-four different states in the USA and has performed live in Mexico, Italy, and France. Romero's work has been published in literary magazines in the United States, Mexico, England, Scotland, and Canada. Romero has opened for Latin Grammy winning bands Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia. Romero's work has been published in anthologies alongside poets laureate Joy Harjo, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Luis J. Rodriguez, Jack Hirschman, and Tongo Eisen-Martin. Romero has won the Uptown Slam at the historic Green Mill in Chicago; the birthplace of slam poetry. Romero offers a scholarship for high school seniors interested in spoken word and social justice: “The Romero Scholarship for Excellence in Spoken Word.” 


Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle." His work has drawn comparisons in print to Bertolt Brecht, Roque Dalton, Amiri Baraka, Alan Ginsberg, Carl Sandburg  and various other legends of the past. Sedillo was the recipient of the 2017 Joe Hill Labor Poetry award, a panelist at the 2020 Texas book festival, a participant in the 2012 San Francisco International Poetry Festival, the 2022 Elba Poetry Festival, and the recipient of the 2022 Dante's Laurel. Sedillo has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Axios, the Associated Press among other publications. Sedillo has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies, the Left Forum, the US Social Forum, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. Matt Sedillo is the author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019) and City on the Second Floor (FlowerSong Press, 2022). Both of which are taught at universities throughout the country. Sedillo is the current literary director of The Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. 


Seth S. Smith is a Trinbagonian-American writer and game designer who advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through art, entertainment, and technology.

As the DJ and music artist SNDSMTH, Seth incorporates various elements from many art forms and experiences to create an unforgettable eclectic vibe in any medium he expresses himself in.

Seth is the founder, curator, and moderator of @helloworldmixer, an inclusive social mixer for anyone who desires to support diverse representation and belonging in tech and entertainment.


Erik Miller is an accomplished Information Technology Project Manager with over a decade of experience. Born and raised in New Jersey, he developed a passion for technology at an early age and knew he wanted to pursue a career in the field. Erik attended Rutgers Business School and earned his MBA in Marketing & Business Strategy. This educational background, coupled with his practical experience, has provided him with a deep understanding of both the technical and business aspects of IT. Throughout his career, Erik has worked for top companies such as New York Life Insurance, Barstool Sports, and Riot Games. His expertise in project management and cybersecurity has been instrumental in the successful delivery of various IT projects. His ability to effectively communicate with stakeholders, manage project timelines, and ensure project deliverables are met on time and within budget has earned him a reputation for being a reliable and effective IT project manager. One of Erik's core values is his faith in Jesus Christ. He believes in the power of prayer and strives to live out his faith in all aspects of his life, including his professional career. He is known for his positive attitude, strong work ethic, and ability to inspire and motivate his team members. In his spare time, Erik enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and giving back to his community through volunteer work. He is a role model for aspiring IT professionals and continues to be a valuable asset to the industry. 


JC Lugo is a PhD student in the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies where his work explores the ways male students of color navigate intersecting discourses of race, gender, and sexuality within heteronormative schooling contexts. His work also explores the role of teacher education in helping educators critically understand the complex needs of students and communities of color. JC is a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a Project MALES Graduate Scholars Program Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. His work is grounded in his personal experiences as a first-generation college student-athlete from Southeast Los Angeles and his work as a high school teacher, basketball coach, and student affairs practitioner coordinating a male success initiative. JC also teaches and learns with students in the College of Education at CSU Dominguez Hills where he obtained a master’s degree.  


Aaron Bernard is a successful Performance, Life, Family and Executive Coach whose passion is uncovering Life’s Purpose, Fulfillment and Core Values. Aaron serves as a light to those in need. He empowers clients to reach their goals through healthy and sustainable inner-transformations.

Aaron earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Loma Linda University.  He also cultivated his skills at The Coach Training Institute (CTI) and is a member of the International Coaching Federations (ICF). As the Co-Founder of Arbor & York Executive Coaching and A. L. Bernard Coaching Services; Aaron has almost 19 years of professional experience.

Aaron has been featured as a Life Coach on OWNTV’s Family Or Fiancé, Season 1 and on Discovery+’s TV show: Profiled: The Black Man. He’s also the Co-Creator of his Mental Health Panel Series called: “What In The Wellness.” Aaron serves as a public speaker providing expert advice on communication, self-care, stress management, healthy relationships, health and wellness, building self-esteem, finding one’s purpose and life fulfillment. Aaron’s goal is to continue being at the forefront of greater inspiration as he advocates for his clients, being a listening ear and their voice of reason.


Dr. Derrick Brooms hails from the Southside of Chicago, is an award-winning educator and scholar, and serves as a youth worker as well. He is Professor of Africana Studies and Sociology and Fellow in the Center for the Study of Social Justice at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and serves as a Senior Research Associate for the California State University Young Males of Color Consortium. Through research, teaching, service, and community/collaborative work, Brooms is committed to educational equity, inclusion, and racial justice. Brooms’ research primarily centers on Black men’s and boys’ pathways to and through college and focuses on males of color and their aspirations, engagement, identity development, and relationships across the educational continuum. He is author of Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences (2017) and Empowering Men of Color on Campus: Building Student Community in Higher Education (2018) and his most recent book is Stakes is High: Trials, Lessons, and Triumphs in Young Black Men’s Educational Journeys (2021). 

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