I lead by example. A leader is someone who is driven, someone for whom you want to work hard. My position on the SBSLC board has helped me pour into others who are becoming leaders.

Erin Clark '19 , Executive Staff (bottom right)

Race, Health and Gender/Public Health in Psychology | Houston, Texas

I try my best to provide positive energy and make sure that I’m doing my part. This organization has taught me that as a leader, you should ensure that you are as equipped to do what you expect of others in your organization.

Nia Roberts '18, Executive Staff (top left)

Public Health | Houston, Texas

Through SBSLC, I’ve learned to follow. We’ve all had to learn how to listen and follow first, before we have been able to properly lead. There are so many people involved behind the scenes in putting on SBSLC. You have to know how to work alongside them in order to lead.

Anika Felix '19 , Associate Staff (bottom center)

Biology/Spanish | Killeen, Texas

Working together and learning each individual’s strengths is so important in SBSLC. We work hard to juggle many moving pieces to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

ALarria Webb '20, Associate Staff (top left)

Psychology | Grand Prairie, Texas

In 1989, innovative collegians at Texas A&M University hosted a forum by which African American students in the southwest could assemble to address the problems and concerns that affected the Black community. The Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference (SBSLC) is held each January, uniting hundreds of students and advisors, nationally renowned speakers, and a variety of corporations from throughout the entire country.

The conference presents a number of creative workshops that focus on related topics and develop strong leadership skills. SBSLC is dedicated to addressing and developing solutions to major issues as well as bringing a spirit of unity among students and leaders of all levels. In 1999, the Advanced Leadership Institute was developed to provide seasoned student leaders with an in depth leadership experience. In 2001, that institute was renamed the Charles E. Williams II Advanced Leadership Institute.

Now in its 30th year, SBSLC has focused on themes such as “Utilizing the Light of the Past to Illuminate the Future,” “When Will Tomorrow Be Today,” and “The Revolution: Walk With Us.” At the conference, distinguished speakers have used these themes to portray the importance of minority leadership in society. SBSLC has provided such notable guests as author and educator Michael Eric Dyson, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes, and U.S. attorney and political analyst Angela Rye, to name a few.

The importance of combining knowledge with family, religion, culture, and community to be used as tools to become productive members of society is our mission as “Today’s Black Leaders: Our Hope for Tomorrow.” As members of the African American Community, we must use our strength and pride to take the initiative to educate our youth and to help them to focus on their futures. It is not for us to wait until tomorrow to rescue our young people from the dangers surrounding us; the time is now. The conference encompasses history, leadership and networking skills, and self-improvement techniques. In addition, the conference values clarification and uses corporate America to inspire and motivate the intellect of young Black collegians to be productive leaders of tomorrow.