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IU Communications

Patrick Smith
Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development

Kim Morris-Newson
Office of Community and School Partnerships

Last modified: Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gary mayor speaking at annual Men and Women of Color Leadership Conference at IU Bloomington

Oct. 25, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Ind., will address the annual Men and Women of Color Leadership Conference at Indiana University Bloomington on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27.

Wilson, Karen_Freeman

Karen Freeman-Wilson

Print-Quality Photo

Joining the mayor as a keynote presenter will be national speaker and author Joshua Fredenburg. The fourth annual conference will take place at the IU School of Education and the Willkie Auditorium.

The theme for this year's student-founded conference is "Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Developing Leaders With a Moral Compass." The theme focuses on the ethics and values of leadership and what qualities one should consider when developing into a leader. Participants will be inspired to take action once they have returned to their respective campuses.

Patrick Smith, executive director of IU's Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development, decided to collaborate with the College of Arts and Science's Themester initiative in developing this year's event. The collaboration enables the conference to involve faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences who will bring an interdisciplinary approach to the topics being presented.

"The committee has done a wonderful job identifying speakers who will use their own unique set of experiences to enlighten everyone on issues that have an impact upon leadership," Smith said. "The committee has also seen fit to include sessions that complement the conference's emphasis toward academic excellence, leadership development and career preparation, as well as promoting diversity education and political awareness."

In addition to IU, other participating schools include Ball State University, Butler University, Franklin College, Ivy Tech Community College and Murray State University.

More about the speakers:

Karen Freeman-Wilson

In November 2011, Freeman-Wilson became the first woman to lead the "Steel City" and the first African-American female mayor in the state of Indiana.

Along with her husband, Carmen Wilson, and their daughter Jordan, Freeman-Wilson resides in her native Gary, where she was valedictorian of her graduating class at Roosevelt High School. She is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

She is the immediate past CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and executive director of the National Drug Court Institute based in Washington, D.C. As a twice-elected Gary city judge, she helped pioneer the drug court movement in Indiana.

Joshua Fredenburg

Fredenburg is a national speaker, author, leadership expert and Generation Y television commentator who speaks on current issues. He has appeared as a guest on Black Entertainment Television, "The Wayne Brady Show" and many other radio and television programs throughout the country. He has served as a dynamic keynote speaker in 42 states for lectures, leadership conferences, retreats and trainings at high schools, colleges and corporate events.

In addition to his successful speaking and television career, Fredenburg has published four books and has developed the annual national Circle of Change Leadership Conference, which has prepared student leaders in college for executive-level leadership positions after graduation.

More about the conference:

The conference will begin with a series of workshops at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Willkie Auditorium (Quadrangle C), 150 N. Rose Ave., followed by breakout sessions at the IU School of Education from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. The Friday keynote speech featuring Freeman-Wilson will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Willkie Auditorium and will be followed by a networking reception and graduate school fair. The conference will continue the next morning at 9:30 a.m. in Willkie Auditorium.

A portion of the conference has been oriented toward high school students. This year's High School Empowerment Symposium will take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. Between 125 and 150 students -- primarily those in the seventh to the 10th grades from the Monroe County Community School Corp. -- will attend the event, which is being presented by the IU Office of Community and School Partnerships and sponsored in part by the IU Student Association, the IU student chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Women of Color Leadership Institute and the IU Alumni Association.

Shawn K. Woods, a motivational speaker, trainer, coach and entrepreneur from Chicago, will keynote the Empowerment Symposium.

Other conference supporters and co-sponsors include the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, the School of Education, Residential Programs and Services, 21st Century Scholars Program, School of Public Health, Ivy Tech, the City of Bloomington, Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau and corporate sponsor Target.

For more information, contact the Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development at 812-855-3540.