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.
This one day conference encompasses a variety of workshop sessions by professionals, a morning plenary session, and features a nationally known luncheon keynote speaker. The recently added Think Tank/Action Steps Session showcases practical solutions that participants can draw from upon returning back to respective work environments.
The Networking Conference continues to grow and expand.
It is important to note that proceeds (if any) from the biennial conferences go towards funding scholarship awards for undergraduate students attending both colleges.