Civil Rights Activist Angela Davis, UAPB Chancellor to speak during YMTF events

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will celebrate 40 years of presenting the Youth Motivation Task Force (YMTF) program February 24-26. Over the years, YMTF has become one of the most significant and exhilarating programs provided for UAPB students with the goal of encouraging them to take full advantage of the benefits available, give guidance on how to succeed in their careers, and look at life in the real world of work through the experiences of seasoned professionals.

With the theme, “L.A.W.S. for a Successful Career,” Shirley Cherry, Assistant Director of Career Services and campus coordinator for YMTF stated that she thought the theme was very appropriate because it gives the opportunity to focus on career development skills such as critical listening, thinking and writing – a need of employers nationwide. During the course of the program, students will have opportunities to interact with professionals through classroom visits, one-on-one interaction with students and other planned activities.

Sponsored by Christus Health, AT&T, Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, USDA-ARS (Mid-South), Eaton, Monsanto and Walgreen’s, the program begins on Sunday, February 24, with an invitation only opening banquet where UAPB Interim Chancellor Dr. Calvin Johnson will give the address.

The YMTF Assembly will feature Dr. Angela Davis, civil rights activist and author as the speaker. The free, public event will take place Tuesday, February 26 at 11:00 am in the John M. Ross Theatre of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center. Dr. Angela Davis is best known as a radical African American educator and activist for civil rights and other social issues. She is currently a tenured professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Additionally, Davis studied with political philosopher, Herbert Marcuse and has published books on race, class and gender. Having authored several books, notable ones include Women, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).

The YMTF program will conclude with a panel at 6:00 p.m. entitled, “How You Play the Game: Rules of Engagement” at the L. A. Davis, Sr. Student Union Lounge. Felecia Kennedy, Founder/President of F L Kennedy Group L.L.C. will facilitate the panel that will include: Kevin Blakely, AT&T; Carlette Carter, Client Relations Specialist for Pontoon Solutions; Kimel Hodges, AVP Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Opportunity with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas; and LaVara Henry, Chief, Hazardous Material & Storage Division, Material Management Directorate, Pine Bluff Arsenal.

With more than 25 employer participants (partners) registered to participate, they contribute to YMTF each year by providing financial support, serving on panels, conducting workshops, visiting classes or just chatting with students one-on-one about workplace expectations. Student liaisons have a very crucial role to play with the consultant and team they support. Many still enjoy mentoring relationships with their consultants from previous years.

The chairpersons for this year are: Kevin Blakely, Senior Technical Architect with AT&T, VeLois Bowers, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Christus Health and Felecia Collins-Wylie, Regional Human Resources Director for Sam’s Club. For more information about YMTF, call (870)575-8461.

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