PULLMAN, Wash. — African American high school and college students are
registering for the VIBES/Visionaries Inspiring Black Empowered Students
Conference at Washington State University March 3-4.
WSU, the Black Women’s Caucus, and the university’s chapter of Phi Beta
Sigma Fraternity, Inc., sponsor the annual event, which features separate
programs for women and men.
This year’s conference theme is “From Followers to Leaders: Preparing for the
Challenges of Tomorrow.”
According to conference chair J.J. Oliver of the WSU admissions office, those
taking part in VIBES will “gain a variety of benefits: leadership skills, tips to
improve access to higher education and jobs, insights into the historical
perspectives of African American culture, information about health issues that
affect the African American community and enhancement of self-esteem.”
He said the event, held mainly in Todd Hall, traditionally draws many of its
student participants from King, Pierce, Thurston and Spokane counties. Others
come from elsewhere in Washington and some from Idaho.
On March 3, Bernice Buchanan, Spokane School District 81 diversity educator,
will deliver an address, “Reaching into the Past as We Soar Into the Future.”
She is a Mississippi native active in the 1960s civil rights movement. Her
daughter, Bernadett Buchanan, is the WSU Board of Regents’ student
On March 4, conference participant students will present a “Spoken Word Jam
Session” of profanity-free original poetry.
Also during the conference, Seattle educator Kipchoge Kirkland, a WSU
graduate and former WSU staff member, will talk about setting career goals and
other subjects. Conference attendees will hear a presentation by Carl Mack, a
Seattle mechanical engineer. His research developed the Black Heritage Day
Calendar. Shauna Weatherby, an obstetrics/gynecology nurse practitioner for
Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, will discuss health issues.
Other presentations will be made by Milton Lang, WSU College of Education
student recruitment director; Herb Delaney, WSU Office of Multicultural
Student Services community relations assistant director; and Jai Elliott, a WSU
graduate and former WSU staff member. Elliott is special assistant to the
provost at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Housing for participants and chaperones will be available in residence halls on
the Pullman campus.
For additional information or to register, see the WSU Conference and
Institutes’ Web site http://www.eus.wsu.edu/c&i/programs/VIBES00.htm and
the VIBES registration form
http://www.eus.wsu.edu/c&i/reg_forms/VIBES00Reg.htm, or telephone
800/942-4978 or 509/335-3530.