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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Feb. 27-March 1: 43rd Annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference

The theme of this year’s conference is “Dreaming of Wakanda: Black Consciousness, Liberation, and Solidarity.”

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-26-2019

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Mankato, Minn. – The 43rd annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference will be held Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 27-March 1 at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Conference registration is closed, but media interested in covering the conference may contact Kenneth A. Reid, director of the Center for African American Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-6207 or by email at

The theme of this year’s conference is “Dreaming of Wakanda: Black Consciousness, Liberation, and Solidarity.” According to a conference preview, the 2019 Pan African Conference “will imagine new possibilities for economic justice, emancipatory education, and political solidarity. Inspired by the imaginary city featured in the film Black Panther, we will consider pan Africanism as a political project for healing, sustaining, and loving ourselves.”

The Pan African Conference is committed to developing and enhancing the leadership skills in collegiate black young adults, as well as provide opportunities for academic scholars, professionals, and community members to discuss issues that affect descendants of Africa on a local, national and international level.

The conference opens with a diversity career and internship fair Wednesday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A complete conference schedule is available here. Information on the conference speakers is available here.

The conference’s opening ceremony keynote address will be delivered by Phillip Agnew, an artist and organizer, Thursday, Feb. 28 from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. According to a bio provided in the conference preview, Agnew co-founded the Dream Defenders in 2012 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. The Dream Defenders, creators of the Freedom Papers, is an organization committed to bringing social change by creating a sustainable network of youth and student leaders to take action and create real change in their communities.

Michael T. Fagin, the conference’s founder, will be the lunch speaker Thursday, Feb. 28 from 12:30-1 p.m.

Other speakers during the conference include (in alphabetical order): Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, co-executive director of Highlander Research and Education Center; Ericka Huggins, Black Panther leader; and Leslie Redmond, Minneapolis NAACP president.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,227 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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