DSU Selected to be Part of Nov 3-5 Opportunity Nation in NYC



DSU President Harry L. Williams will participate in a panel discussion on how students can succeed in their pursuits to earn a degree.


Delaware State University has been selected among 12 colleges and universities to participate in the 2011 Opportunity Nation Summit that will be held Nov. 3-5 at Columbia University in New York City.
DSU is the only Historically Black College or University among the schools chosen to be a part of the Opportunity Nation Summit, which is focusing on the challenges of economic mobility and opportunity, and providing a forum for new perspectives on the problems and possible solutions. The University was selected because of its Inspire Scholarship Program and its community service component.
DSU President Harry L. Williams will serve as part of the Leadership Coalition for the Summit and will participate in a Nov. 4 panel discussion entitled “From Access to Completion: Starting Early, Staying in School, and Earning a Credential.” He will be joined on the panel by Wendy Kopp of Teach for America, John Pepper of the Walt Disney Company, and Robert Balfanz of the Center for Social Organization of Schools at John Hopkins University.
Each school was asked to select a state of Delaware leader and a student who are active in community service to be a part of the summit as an Opportunity Leader and an Opportunity Scholar.
DSU selected Bebe Ross Coker, an educator, playwright and activist who has served on many boards and commissions throughout the state, to attend the Summit for DSU as its Opportunity Leader. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell recently recognized her longstanding community service by awarding Ms. Coker the Order of the First State, the highest honor a Delaware governor can bestow.
DSU also selected Raequan Jones, a freshman political science major, who was chosen by the University to attend the summit as its Opportunity Scholar. Mr. Jones has been active in community service as a youth, including his involvement in the Wilmington Metropolitan Urban League.
Both Ms. Coker and Mr. Jones will be involved in a variety of workshops, seminars and activities throughout the summit.
The Opportunity Nation Summit – convened by TIME Magazine, United Way Worldwide, the AARP and its Foundation, and the Ford Foundation – is a campaign to promote opportunity, social mobility, and access to the American Dream. In being a part of the 36-member Leadership Coalition and serving as a summit panelist, Dr. Williams will be part of a diverse group of influential leaders such as Dr. Cornel West of Princeton University, broadcaster Travis Smiley, actor/activist Hill Harper, Rush Communication CEO Russell Simmons, tennis star Serena Williams, commentator Dr. Fareed Zakaria and many more.
“At the summit we will hear from leaders in business, education, the non-profit sector, faith communities, and government,” said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation. “These people are opportunity generators who are creating change every day. We want to bring them together to answer a basic question: what can we do to restore opportunity in America?”
Dr. Williams said he is excited to be a part of this unique initiative.
“I look forward to sharing my perspective as a member of the Leadership Council of Opportunity Nation on what students need to do to be successful in college,” said Dr. Williams. “Coalitions like this are critical at this time in our country as we together connect our young people to what matters and what it takes to live meaningful lives.”
The DSU president added that he will also be able to showcase the DSU Inspire Scholarship Program, which has at its core the culture of giving back. He noted that the University is organizing a statewide Inspired Day of Service in March 2012 as part of Opportunity Nation's national outreach.