6 Days, 5 Nights, 4 Cities, 3 Speeches, 2 Schools, 1 Interview

Last week was an adventure. While I was able to build in some family time, you never know what might happen to change the schedule.

Saturday we arrived in DC so that Lydia could spend time with Godparents and Godsisters. As a group we went to see Wonder Woman (A+ — go see it!)

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Sunday was a day on the National Mall. Lots of learning opportunities for all of us.

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I was one of two speakers on Monday for the Millennium Leadership Initiative, a program that is geared toward senior level administrators interested in the presidency. I, along with Scott Jaschik from Inside Higher Education, spoke about hot topics. I focused on our experience with the November Senate debate which was a precursor for what we’ve seen on many campuses this year in terms of speech.

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Before the speech we were given a tour of the Capitol by Congressman Cedric Richmond’s staff. The most interesting point for me was seeing the House chambers. There are bust-like sculptures along the top of a wide range of historical figures (like Moses and Napoleon.) I’ll have to study this more.

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And later that afternoon we toured Howard. Benjamin has decided that’s where he wants to go to college (would be in the class of 2031!)

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Past Dillard president Samuel DuBois Cook died recently, and his funeral was in Atlanta Tuesday morning. So I left DC that morning to participate (I was one of a number of speakers on the program, which included Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Otis Moss II and Rev. Joseph Lowery).

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And then I flew right back to DC and went to George Mason University which was hosting the Fund for American Studies program. Over 300 college students from across the country participated, and I was part of an opening night lecture on speech on campus with an attorney from FIRE. Great conversation. One Dillard student, Mariah Hickman, is a participant.

The family headed back to New Orleans. I took a train to Baltimore to speak at the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brothers Leadership Academy. I was part of the team that started the program in 1998 so this was the 20th class of the academy. I deal with the risk management issue of hazing when I participate. I took the train back to DC that night.

Early on Thursday morning I took a flight to New York to be interviewed by Stanley Nelson, the documentary filmmaker who did the recent HBCU film, “Tell Them We Are Rising.” He is working on a New York Times Op- Doc and invited me to participate. I spent about an hour there, then back to the airport and finally home.

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I finished the week Friday night attending the 100 Black Men of America gala where I received the Trailblazer in Education Award. That was a great honor to be with a group of recipients including Civil Rights legend Rev. C. T. Vivian.

So much for summer being “slow”…

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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