Networking in Higher Education Conference: Building Bridges for a Better Tomorrow

This conference seeks to engage the community in meaningful dialogue relative to issues facing underrepresented educators, professionals, parents and students at all levels. We believe the provision for career advancement, through networking and training, serves to empower all to become advocates for the betterment of our educational systems.

Conference History

In June of 2003, the Association of Faculty and Staff of African Descent (AFSAD) from Buffalo State College in conjunction with the University at Buffalo Minority Faculty and Staff Association (MFSA) launched the first biennial professional development conference aimed at addressing the myriad of issues facing secondary and higher education. A key factor for this collaboration was to highlight the importance of creating relationships that expand beyond our respective communities for the betterment of students at all levels.

Past conferences focused on issues surrounding diversity, college recruitment and retention, and the millennial student.  We “bridged out” to the K through 16 educational arena; addressing various topics and issues including the widening gap between the high school and college entrance rate especially for the male student population.

Available proceeds from our biennial conference help fund scholarship awards for undergraduate students attending both colleges.

Registration Deadline:
June 10, 2019

Ninth Biennial Conference Theme:
“Defining 21st Century Activism Through Education”

Friday, June 21, 2019  •  8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Millennium Hotel Buffalo  •  2040 Walden Ave., Buffalo, NY 14225

Register Now

Our one-day conference encompasses a variety of workshop sessions by professionals, a morning plenary session, and features a keynote presentation by a nationally known speaker. The recently added Think Tank/Action Steps Session showcases practical solutions that you can utilize upon returning to your respective work environment. Your registration fee includes a continental breakfast and a buffet-style lunch.

  • Professionals: $130 per person
  • Students: $65 per person
  • Lunch/Keynote: $65 per person

Registration Deadline: June 10, 2019

Cancellation and Refund Policy: To cancel your registration, contact Kevin Ragland at Cancellations must be made by May 3, 2019 to receive a refund less a $50.00 cancellation fee.

Thumbnail image of Register Now (PDF linked below image) | Full content in image: REGISTER NOW Fri., June 21, 2019 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Millennium Hotel Buffalo Networking in Higher Education Conference: Building Bridges for a Better Tomorrow. Defining 21st Century Activism Through Education. One Day Conference Featuring: Morning Plenary Panel, Workshops, Continental Breakfast & Lunch. Conference Fee: $135.00 (Professionals); $65.00 (Students); $65.00 (Luncheon Only). Proceeds to benefit scholarships for undergraduate students. Conference Sponsors: University at Buffalo Minority Faculty and Staff Association (MFSA); Buffalo State College Association of Faculty & Staff of African Descent (AFSAD); University at Buffalo Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence; Cultural Voice Box. Keynote Speaker: Jasmine Rand.

Keynote Speaker

Jasmine Rand is probably best known as the attorney of the Trayvon Martin family and from her countless appearances in the media concerning this world-famous case.

Rand is not only a professor, national legal analyst, international legal consultant, lecturer, columnist and civil rights leader, she is also the founding attorney of Rand Law, L.L.C., a Miami-based civil litigation firm. She excels in civil rights and human rights, catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases, and is currently involved in police brutality cases throughout the nation from the LAPD to the NYPD.

In addition to networks such as CNN, MSNBC, HLN and Fox, Rand also appears on numerous international networks in Jamaica, Colombia and Japan.

Jasmine Rand.

Jasmine Rand, Esquire

More About Jasmine Rand

Jasmine Rand is the founding attorney of Rand Law, L.L.C., a Miami-based civil litigation firm specializing in civil rights, catastrophic personal injury, rape, and wrongful death. Known for her representation of the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown families, Rand excels in the civil rights arena, and has been involved in police brutality cases throughout the nation from the LAPD to the NYPD. In addition to her dynamic legal practice, Rand is an adjunct law professor at the University of Miami, School of Law, and is annual teaching faculty in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. Rand frequently appears in her capacity as an attorney and professor as a national legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, and HLN, and numerous international television networks and has broadcast in Jamaica, Colombia, and Japan. In 2012 Rand received the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law’s national Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award, “For fulfilling the legal profession’s highest ideal in advancing equal justice for all.” In 2013 Rand was recognized by the United States of America’s National Bar Association as one of the Nation’s Best Advocates Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in the United States. In 2017 and 2018 Rand was selected by Super Lawyers as a Florida Rising Star, representing the top 2.5% of attorneys in the United States.

In addition to her dynamic legal practice, Rand is an active professor and has performed legal analyst work throughout the world. Rand has guest lectured at Harvard Law on Stand Your Ground laws, at Universite Mohammed V law school in Rabat, Morocco, and the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica and in Trinidad and Tobago. Rand is annual teaching faculty in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law where she teaches curriculum she has written on civil rights. In January 2014 Rand traveled to the Kingdom of Morocco to assist the King and Supreme Court Justices on implementing international human rights standards throughout its judicial system. Rand is represented by APB Speakers Bureau and founded the I Am The Change World Tour, where she speaks alongside Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson to law schools, universities, and communities, about the power of international collective action to hold nation-states accountable for human rights violations.

Utilizing media to bring attention to civil rights issues, Rand has been featured as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, on shows such as, Nancy Grace, the O’Reilly Factor, Hard Ball with Chris Mathews, Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, and has appeared in Spanish on Telemundo, NTN24 out of Bogota, Colombia, has appeared on the Fuji evening news in Japan, and has done radio appearances in Australia. In February 2013, CNN published Rand’s article, No More of Our Childrens’ Blood on Our Hands, encouraging an end to senseless gun violence against children. Ms. Rand writes regularly for the Huffington Post on human rights issues and legal matters, and she has recently published articles entitled White on White Crime, Illegal Aliens, and From Strange Fruit to Fruitvale Station.

An active member of the National Bar Association, Rand served as Deputy Chief of Staff to its President-Elect, as the Young Lawyers Division Activism Chair, and received Presidential Awards in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. In 2012 Rand founded a summer internship program with the NBA Young Lawyers Division to help combat unemployment and provide African American law students with job opportunities; the inaugural class placed nearly forty students in paid positions. Rand also founded and served as the National Bar Association Chair for the Human Trafficking Task Force. The National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) founded by President Kennedy, invited Rand to help establish its Young Lawyers’ Committee in honor of its fiftieth anniversary.

Rand worked for Parks & Crump, L.L.C. as the head of the firm’s Civil Rights Division and Managing Attorney in its Fort Lauderdale office, for Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s litigation department in Atlanta, Georgia, and for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project on human trafficking cases and immigrant justice issues. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she simultaneously earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in African American Studies and one in Political Science, and a Spanish minor. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University College of Law, where she earned membership on the Mock Trial Team and the Business Review Journal.


8:45 a.m. Welcome Dr. Suzanne Rosenblith Ballroom
9 to
10:15 a.m.
Morning Plenary Panel

Racism Fatigue in America
Mr. John Elmore, Esq.
Ms. Rahwah Ghirmatzion
Pastor George Nicholas
Dr. Steve Peraza

Dr. Karen Clinton-Jones
10:30 to
11:30 a.m.
Session I Concurrent Workshops

Defining 21st Century Activism: A Multifaceted Approach to Advocating for Social Justice Issues

Ms. Jasmine Rand, Esq.


Activism, The Reality, Depth and Meaning for Higher Education Professionals

Dr. Danielle Johnson
Ms. Geovaira Hernandez

Roosevelt A

Negotiating Career Change: A Black Women’s Tool Kit for Pursuing Your Authentic Purpose

Dr. Tara Jabbaar-Gyambrah

Roosevelt B

Student Retention using Andragogy Theory and Affirmation Stories

Ms. Deborah Porter

Roosevelt C

11:45 a.m. to
1:30 p.m.
Luncheon Keynote Address
Ms. Jasmine Rand, Esq. Ballroom
1:45 to
2:45 p.m.
Session II Concurrent Workshops

Understanding the Academic Motivation, Behaviors and Perceptions of Generation Z College Students: Implications for Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Mr. Jonathan Hulbert


Not Overreacting: Understanding, Identifying and Addressing Microaggressions in Academia

Dr. Lisa Cunningham Colleen Raimond

Roosevelt A

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in The Urban College Classroom: A Demonstration

Dr. James Ramsey

Roosevelt B

3 to
4 p.m.
Session III Concurrent Workshops

SUNY Erie Diversity Academy: Hate Has No Home Here

Ms. Tracy Archie
Ms. Marlene Arno
Ms. Tracey Cleveland
Dr. Marianne Partee


“Human Rights, The Power of Persuasion and the Art of Protest”: A Unit on the Art of Persuasion to Prepare High Schoolers for Activism

Ms. Nicole Miller
Ms. Melissa Meola Shanahan

Roosevelt A

Curriculum Counts! Building an Inclusive Curriculum for All

Mr. Marcus Deveso

Roosevelt B

4 to
4:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks and Raffle   Ballroom


Thank you to our sponsors!

University at Buffalo's Minority and Faculty Staff Association (MFSA)

Buffalo State Association of Faculty & Staff of African Descent (AFSAD)

University at Buffalo Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence

University at Buffalo Vice Provost for Educational Affairs

Cultural Voice Box

Questions? Contact Us

Dr. Lorna Perez

For registration/payment:
Kevin Ragland