ALANA Conference Co-Founder Holmes Comes Home for Keynote
The 25th anniversary of the African, Latino, Asian and Native American Student Leadership Conference brought audience interaction and genuine astonishment from keynote speaker and co-founder Tyrone Holmes M '89.
"I had no idea it was going to become the outstanding conference it has become," said Holmes, a business and athletic consultant based in Arizona.
When Holmes was asked to be the keynote speaker, he had no idea that his "Minority Student Leadership Conference," as it was called in when Holmes first started the conference in 1986, had continued and flourished.
"It's a proud feeling to know I was [one of those to help] start this program," Holmes said.
Holmes helped get funding from Auxiliary Services for a leadership conference with a strong academic focus. Fast-forward 25 years: Holmes is happy that people found it important and valuable enough to continue it. He believes that people had to be dedicated to continue it, because "it is a tremendous amount of work."
Through the years the conference has evolved from one day of workshops to a week's worth of events typically featuring an acclaimed author, music, dance, food, film, workshops and speakers. Traditionally, students from more than 20 colleges around New York state attend.
During his keynote address, Holmes discussed care, competence and consistency — the "3 C's of Inclusion" — through audience interaction and small group work.
"As human beings we gravitate toward people more like ourselves," said Holmes, who is also a competitive cyclist and author.
Holmes gave the audience of students, faculty and various student groups 10 minutes to interact and sign each other's sheets if they did a particular task, such as speak in a language other than English, or find someone who grew up outside of New York, in order to learn new things about each other and meet new people, who might not have been like themselves.
"It's really empowering because people have more in common than they thought," Holmes said of his interactive exercises.
— Erin Marulli '13
ALANA Co-Founder Tyrone Holmes M '89, left, returned to campus as the conference's keynote speaker.
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