UNI to host Men of Excellence Conference May 31-June 2

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host the Educational Opportunity Association's (EOA) fourth annual Men of Excellence Conference Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2.

Inspired by former President Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, this conference targets young men from pre-college and collegiate programs. Attendees will work with TRIO/higher education professionals on personal and college planning along with life skill development.

"UNI was chosen to host the Men of Excellence Conference because UNI is becoming an institution of change," said Mickye Johnson, director of Classic Upward Bound at UNI. "One of our strategic plan goals addresses the need to improve and support diversity and inclusion: 'Provide a campus culture that reflects and values the evolving diversity of society and promotes inclusion.' We want to give these young men attending this conference additional skill sets that will assist them in the educational arena as well as in life."

During the conference, participants will have the opportunity to hear from dynamic keynote speakers along with vibrant faculty members that will help them along their journey. Each young man will receive mentorship from an elder that will use the acronym R.E.A.L (Responsibility, Education, Authentic, Leader) to assist in developing his skills. Participants will be charged with developing an action plan designed to give them time to reflect, as well as make goals, so that he leaves with a tangible skill set to implement into his life.

"I hope as an institution of higher education, we will learn that we have an opportunity to address one of the world's greatest challenges: understanding and valuing diversity," said Johnson. "I want the world to know that the University of Northern Iowa is trying to make a difference."

For more information about the Men of Excellence Conference, contact Johnson at 319-273-4772 or wilfred.johnson@uni.edu.


Mickye Johnson, director, Classic Upward Bound, 319-273-4772, wilfred.johnson@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu