As part of Johnson C. Smith University’s participation in events during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the University presented today with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBCI), a cyber summit titled UFuture: A Summit for Innovative Young Thinkers. The event drew over 300 students from nearly 20 area colleges and universities, who came prepared to ask questions about science, technology and finance in the global marketplace to a panel of elected officials and experts from the fields of business and technology.
The event, hosted by actors Hill Harper, Alfre Woodard and Nicole Ari Parker, featured Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald L. Carter, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute; Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. II, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Congressman James E. Clyburn, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Melody Barnes, chief executive officer of Melody Barnes Solutions, LLC.
Students from Voorhees College, Gardner-Webb University, Johnson & Wales University, Livingstone College, Winston-Salem State University and others joined Johnson C. Smith University students who tweeted their questions and asked questions live to the panel. Lauren Simmons, a senior student at Johnson C. Smith University, said the summit helped her become better informed about the political issues surrounding higher education and student loans. “It answered some of my questions about what President Obama intends to do regarding education,” she said. “Education issues alone will really help students get out to vote.”
During the summit, students heard from the White House in a letter sent by First Lady Michelle Obama and a tweet from the Obama campaign asking students to respond about what makes them optimistic about the future.
“The summit spoke to the desires of today’s young voters to engage in politics and seek answers to relevant issues that affect their future,” said Carter. “It falls directly in line with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s mission to educate today’s voters and train tomorrow’s political leaders.”
Over the past 12 years, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute has hosted many voter education events, including town hall meetings during the Democratic and Republican national conventions and three nationally televised presidential primary debates.
In addition to being streamed live on the internet, several national and local media covered UFuture, including the Black Entertainment Television, National Public Radio, NoMore DownLow-TV, The Charlotte Observer and Black Network Television.
The Congressional Black Caucus Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) social purpose organization. The Congressional Black Caucus Institute was constituted with a self-directed mandate to deliver timely and relevant voter information, to create voter education opportunities and to provide political leadership and training programs.