A sampling of advice from the Conference for Black and Latino Men

Ozzie Jones '92 offers advice at a Bates-hosted conference for black and Latino male students. Photograph by Simone Schriger '14.

Ozzie Jones '92 offers advice at a Bates-hosted conference for black and Latino male students. Photograph by Simone Schriger '14.

A sampling of advice from the “Conference for Black & Latino Men from Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges”

Opening address by David Wall Rice

Rice is professor of psychology at Morehouse College and leader of that school’s Identity Orchestration Research Lab.

  • “Step outside the stereotypes and complicate the picture: Be your own man, utilize immediate democratic space, assume responsibility and accountability.”
  • “Be successful in meaningful, life-affirming, community-building ways.”
  • “Don’t just whistle Vivaldi,” a metaphor for embracing cultural preferences that please majority groups.

Alumni Panel

  • Robb Brown, Bates ’92, founder and principal owner of the Denver Retail Group real estate brokerage; member, African American Leadership Institute: “Find the opportunity where there appears not to be opportunity, and maximize the opportunity.”
  • Hajmil Carr, Bowdoin ’00, founder, Novaya Mortgage, largest mortgage company in New England; and Trueline Publishing, publisher of trade journals throughout the U.S. and Canada: “Are you a winner? Do you act like a winner? Show intellectual capacity.  Confidence is so critical.”
  • Jay Scott-Harris, Colby ’98, vice president and legal product specialist, Putnam Investments; writing coach and mentor for students through Citizen Schools of Boston: “Use your liberal arts education, which teaches you how to deal with a range of different subjects and how to communicate well — on paper, in person, electronically, every way you can.”

Faculty Panel

  • Joseph Atkins, visiting assistant professor of psychology and coordinator of multicultural student programs, Colby College: “Find a personal mentor, an adviser, and listen to them carefully.”
  • Tashia Bradley, associate dean of students at Colby: “Take an hour a week to do something you wouldn’t do in the course of your normal schedule. Broaden yourself.”
  • Marcus Bruce, a 1977 graduate of Bates who is now the college’s Benjamin E. Mays Professor of Religious Studies: “You have a calling,” he said. “Find it and build on it.”
  • Brian Purnell, assistant professor of Africana studies, Bowdoin College: “Be on time.  Sit in the front of the class.  Speak up in class. Pester your professors. Carve out time for academic life.  Start your work early.  Read a good newspaper every day.”

Concluding address by Ozzie Jones ’92

Jones is a stage and film writer and director.

“[Society] may not love the kids who haven’t gotten a chance, but they love the guys who have made it to Bates and places like it. Society wants you to succeed, and holding yourselves to a lower standard is not necessary, sufficient or acceptable.”