Economics theme of HU Black Family Conference

Hampton University's Black Family Conference has been a tradition since the spring of 1981.

This year's theme is "From Income to Wealth: Economic Development in the African American Community." Shawn Ricks, a graduate of Hampton University's business program, was the speaker of Wednesday night's event. She is senior adviser for minority outreach in the Black Family Conference, which consists of informational sessions and panel discussions. The first BFC was held spring of 1981 when President William R. Harvey was inaugurated into Hampton University.

This year the School of Business welcomed HU alumna Shawn Ricks as the opening speaker. Ricks is the acting director of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This year's theme is, "From Income to Wealth: Economic Development in the African American Community." The BFC is to inform and help people recognize and overcome issues that are current in our economy. Problems will be addressed and guest speakers will recommend solutions.

Ricks' stated that our economy should ensure long-term sustainable growth more than ever by the year 2014. There are currently 95 percent of the world's consumers are outside of the United States, reported the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Even though everything is getting better there are still issues to be focused on such as, needing more people for the trade policy field, more market competing, and educational services.

Over the next few days the Black Family Conference will come up with solutions to these issues so we can start improvements within the black community and our country. – Kacy Cummings

The 35th annual Conference on the Black Family kicked off Wednesday night in Ogden Hall. This year's conference is hosted by the school of business and the theme is "From Income to Wealth: Economic Development in the African American Community."

The opening ceremony started with an invocation by Rev. Dr. Travell Travis followed with a welcoming by the School of Business Dean, Sid Howard Credle. According to a New Journal and Guide account, Credle said research suggests that black families should spend less and save and invest more.

After a performance of "Wade in the Water" by the Hampton University Choir, President William R. Harvey spoke on the importance of "ensuring the university's relevance in changing society" before introducing Keynote Speaker Shawn Ricks. Ricks, a 1991 Hampton School of Business graduate, is a special adviser for minority outreach as well as an international trade administrator. Ricks spoke about her experiences as a Hamptonian and the importance of getting more minorities involved in foreign policy and international trade.

After Rick's speech, the Smith family was honored by Harvey for their outstanding involvement in the black community. The ceremony concluded with Harvey reminding the community to make sure "we do not become a statistic" and that in order to be great, you should serve others. – Simone Taylor

The writers are students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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