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Tampa, FL - African American and Latino males remain historically underrepresented throughout higher education, and their persistence and retention rates are significantly lower than other student populations. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address the disparities, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) established the Black, Brown and College Bound Summit 15 years ago. Today, BBCB has established itself as the preeminent forum addressing the unique barriers that impede the success of this student population, bringing together national leaders and scholars in economics, business, education and social culture. After a two-year hiatus, BBCB returns in person to the Tampa Convention Center March 2-5, 2022. This year’s theme is Black and Brown Men Matter: Education, Success and Justice and will feature presentations on the critical importance of postsecondary education and solutions to social justice issues like poverty, access to education, racial injustice, the criminal justice system, policing and other equity concerns.

NFL Hall of Fame athlete and University of Florida graduate Emmitt Smith will serve as the keynote speaker at the Dr. Sylvia Marion Carley luncheon on March 4. Smith first rose to prominence through an illustrious football career, which included three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and the honor of being the only player to have won a Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. In 2006, Smith’s cross-over appeal became even more apparent when he and partner, Cheryl Burke, were crowned winners of the hit reality show, “Dancing with the Stars.” Today, Smith serves as President & CEO of Emmitt Smith Enterprises, Inc. which directs the marketing and management of the Emmitt Smith brand and the company’s two core businesses, EJ Smith Construction and E Smith Legacy, a real estate company.

“Our goal is to provide the resources and support to help these young men graduate and become productive, contributing members of their communities,” said Dr. Ken Atwater, president of HCC. “BBCB provides a platform where attendees can discuss the unique

issues facing this population and make lasting connections with successful minority males in their respective industries.”

Additional speakers include former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, mayor of San Antonio, and presidential candidate Julian Castro who will present the Opening Plenary session at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022. Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and New York Times best-selling author and leading scholar on race, Ibram X. Kendi, will deliver remarks at the Closing Plenary session at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 5.

An estimated 300 students from almost two dozen different states will participate in the 15th Annual BBCB Summit, which has seen more than 5,000 participants since 2006. For a full lineup of speakers and events, visit For credentials, contact Murv Seymour at 727.272.2268 or email This year’s event is following CDC guidelines for COVID safety. Summit participants will receive a COVID kit with a mask, sanitizer and

details for safety guidelines.

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