VCCA Black Concerns Commission 2018 Symposium

United Through Diversity to Achieve Student Success

Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23 - Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, VA

Conference Program

The 2018 VCCA Black Concerns Commission Symposium will focus on diversity and how to address the needs of our multicultural learners to ensure student retention and success. It will also emphasize the importance of workplace diversity including the physical and emotional needs for all employees.

We will offer concurrent sessions that will seek to meet the needs of our VCCS diverse population with the following topics:

  • learning differences
  • social skills/soft skills
  • career preparedness
  • student achievement
  • student motivation
  • instructional design & assessment
  • physical and emotional health strategies for employees

Please join us starting on Thursday, March 22nd!

Keynote Speakers


Sharron Gatling is the Assistant Director of Diversity in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the College of William and Mary. Although she has been at the college for 17 years, her role shifted from educating parents and teachers on gifted education to educating faculty and staff on diversity, equity, and equal opportunity. She approaches her work by promoting inclusivity and an appreciation of cultural, generational, gender expressive, racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and educational diversity that influences campus climate; just to name a few.


Mathematician | Entrepreneur | Motivational Speaker

Christopher Powell is a mathematician, businessman, and motivational speaker. He is also living with cerebral palsy. Despite his condition, Christopher is living his dream. He is President of Reaching New Heights, LLC and Math Tutoring Experts, LLC. In addition, Chris serves as the Coordinator of the Mathematics Learning Center at a local community college, where he inspires students to reach beyond their limits. Chris is the perfect example of what being extraordinary is about — personal triumph, overcoming challenges, turning negatives into positives, and helping others.Chris shares his poignant experiences and enlightens his audiences with stories and anecdotes. He passionately speaks about the importance of achieving and appreciating small victories, having a positive mindset and finding the lessons in life’s challenges.

Through insights, humor and wisdom, Christopher encourages students and people from all walks of life to find the gifts within their challenges. He encourages others to make the most of what they’ve been given and to take action in a way that will inspire others.

Christopher combines lessons from his experiences of living with cerebral palsy and wisdom about being resilient in business and in life. His keynotes teach audiences to:

  • Develop well thought-out plans
  • Execute plans with determination
  • Develop a high level of resilience
  • Engage life with vigor


Join LEGACY OF WEYANOKE on a journey through the African Diaspora!

LEGACY OF WEYANOKE is a group specializing in traditional songs and stories from the African and Native American Heritage. This group is made up of people of mixed African American and Native American – or Red-Black – descent. They offer educational programs that foster an awareness of the history and culture of the two peoples. LEGACY OF WEYANOKE is its ambassadorial arm.