James Ryan, President of the University of Virginia, will join conference attendees for a Q&A on Thursday, August 2, from 2:45–4:00 pm in the University of Virginia School of Law Caplin Auditorium. President Ryan was a recipient of the University of Virginia School of Law’s Dillard Scholarship, which was founded by Anthony M. Pilaro (UVA class of 1957, UVA Law class of 1960), the original benefactor for the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
Wednesday evening will feature a keynote address by Susan Bro, Founder of the Heather Heyer Foundation, which follows a welcome from Ron Brown Scholar Marquise McGraw (RBS 2002), President of the Ron Brown Scholar Alumni Association (RBSAA) and an Economist for the Office of Research in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and Ron Brown Scholar Brennan Gould (RBS 2001), President & CEO of the Charlottesville Community Foundation. Thursday’s program will begin with welcome remarks from Risa L. Goluboff, Dean of the University of Virginia School of Law, and Michael A. Mallory, President & CEO of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, followed by a keynote address titled “Overcoming the Pitfalls of Black Excellence” from Dr. Joseph Williams, an Associate Professor in the Counselor Education Program at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Dr. L. D. Britt, Henry Ford Professor and Edward J. Brickhouse Chairman at Eastern Virginia Medical School, member of the UVA Board of Visitors, and member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program’s Board of Trustees, will give Thursday’s lunchtime keynote, “The Greatest Challenge Facing this Nation Today: Health Disparities.”
Throughout the day Thursday and Friday, Ron Brown Scholars will present breakout sessions including “Making TV: a Play by Play on Creating Your Own Show” with Crystal Boyd (RBS 2006), who is developing the TV show Downtown Girls with Warner Brothers Studio and Executive Producer Elizabeth Banks, and “Running Shoes: A Quick Guide to Political Engagement” with Chaz Beasley (RBS 2004) of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Scholars will also have the option of serving on a College Prep Panel for local students presented by the Guided Pathway Support Program (GPS), a recently formed college access initiative from the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Outings will include a visit to James Madison’s Montpelier on Friday and a day trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture on Saturday.
The Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in 1996 by Anthony M. Pilaro to honor the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown’s legacy of service through a selective scholarship and leadership program for college-bound African Americans. The Program has grown to include three interconnected initiatives:
• The signature Ron Brown scholarship, a selective four-year, $40,000 scholarship awarded to high school seniors;
• The Ron Brown Leaders Network, a job and internship placement support for Ron Brown students and alumni; and
• The Guided Pathway Support Program (GPS), an initiative to guide and empower African American high school juniors, seniors, their parents, and their counselors through the college preparation and selection process.
All three initiatives advance the Program’s vision of cultivating the next generation of transformational leaders who positively impact their communities and blaze new paths in their chosen careers. The Ron Brown Scholar Program is led by President & CEO Michael A. Mallory and Vice President Vanessa M. Evans-Grevious.