BSSS 2020

Event Details

Saturday, April 11, 2020
9AM - 4PM

University Place Hotel

Portland, Oregon


Registration for the 2020 Black Student Success Summit  (BSSS) is open. If you're not already registered, why not register now? Click here to get started.

While online pre-registration closes at noon on April 11, 2020,  we will have onsite registration available on the day of the event.

Arrive early (before 9am) to register the day of the Summit. Find the registration desk on the 3rd floor in the Smith Memorial Center at Portland State University. 




Start TimeEnd TimeActivityLocation
8:00am9:00amBreakfast and RegistrationWillamette Falls
9:00am9:25amWelcomeWillamette Falls
9:25am9:30amTransition to Sessions 
9:30am10:30amSession 1: Reality Check: Are you prepared to graduate?Columbia Falls
10:30am10:35amTransition to Sessions 
10:35am11:35amSession 2: Prepare for the Future: What are your options?Columbia Falls
11:35am11:40amTransition to Lunch 
11:40am12:40pmLunch & EntertainmentWillamette Falls
12:00pm3:30pmCollege FairCoos Bay
12:30pm1:30pmSession 3: Caucus DiscussionsColumbia Falls & Trillium Lake 
1:30pm3:30pmCareer ExpoWillamette Falls
1:30pm1:35pmTransition to Sessions 
1:35pm2:35pmSession 4: Information SessionsColumbia Falls
3:40pm4:00pmClosing / RaffleWillamette Falls 

Keynote Speaker

Ronnie Wright

Born and raised in Portland, Ore…  a child of the 60’s. Why is this key…? My parents were afro hippies with soul power and a love for God, creativity and music lol… Thus, I have a spiritual center for love and a huge passion to be creative in music and design.

Music is my first love. I grew up singing in my father’s community choir. I wanted to be the drummer! :[  Lol… I am a singer, songwriter, producer. I’ve been blessed to release a collaborative, featuring some of Portland’s best soul singers. The album is entitled Bespeak Love for those who are interested. Lol.. We were blessed to reached #1 on the UK soul charts in 2015.

I was a doodler who should’ve been studying in grade school. Fortunately, I found Bassist College of Design, where I studied apparel design. Fun times, but I sucked at sewing! On April 1, 1994, I was fortunate to get an apparel design role, working for Peter Moore, at Adidas. I thought someone was playing a giant joke on me. I kept looking over my shoulder throughout the day. Lol… anyways, I left Adi in 2001. My next stop took me to Santa Barbara, where I worked for GBMI. After GBMI came And1. That was a quick stop due to a phone call from the swoosh.

I’ve been blessed to mentor and be mentored by phenomenal talented creatives… looking forward to the future.

Be a sponge

Feature Presentation

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum

Founded by Khalid el-Hakim, the Black History 101 Mobile Museum is an award winning collection of over 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. Khalid has been called the "Schomburg of the Hip-Hop generation" because of his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement.  The Black History 101 Mobile Museum has traveled to 28 states and over 300 institutions including colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, conferences, libraries, museums, festivals, religious institutions, and cultural events.

Over the past two years, Khalid and his Mobile Museum have joined forces with BEAM in creating a deep-rooted movement in the Portland school districts.  They have designing and implemented (2) culturally specific Conferences “Middle Passage to Education Conference (MP2Ed)” that is providing an orientation to high school for Black and Biracial Middle School students and their parents.

They are now expanding the MP2Ed, into a 6 week their current BSTRONG Rites of Passage Pilot Program. The curriculum is culturally sustaining content not generally covered in school, that nurtures cultural knowledge and pride. Namely, in addition to learning general Black history via artifacts, students will also dialogue in depth about the 15 Black awardees of the Nobel Peace Prize and complete projects that highlight Black achievements. Students will each be given a portfolio of materials covered in the workshops with space for journaling that they will use to create a personal roadmap for their academic career.


HBCU - Its a Different World

Curious about attending a HBCU- Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this session, HBCU alumni will share HBCU history and legacy, as well as, a little about their personal college campus experiences and how those experiences helped to prepare them for success in their fields of study.

I would not hire you either….But

HR Professionals
Land that job

(City, Summer Programs)
Paying for College

Micah McCrary-Dennis facilitates the Mentor'S¢hip Scholarship Scavenger Hunt, which uses 21st Century Mobile App Technology.The Mobile App Technology matches students with goals and field-specific mentors and rewards those student interactions by allowing them to accumulate scholarship earnings in real time. Using augmented reality is a fun way for students to engage in the scholarship process.

UNCF and Portland Portfolio Project

UNCF is the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minorities.
In this workshop, you will learn how UNCF and Portland Portfolio project can assist you with you application for college admission and financial aid. Additionally, Portland Portfolio is a Jordan Wings Strategic Partner. Participation in the Portland Portfolio program can make you eligible for nomination for the coveted FULL-ride Jordan Wings scholarship.


There are Multiple Pathways to success

Traci Simmons
PCC Cert programs
Take Charge of Your Own Worklife

If you want to be in charge of your own business, or are passionate about entrepreneurship, then this workshop is for you.
In this workshop, you will learn how to think like a Entrepreneur and create your own business. Our Presenters will provide you with the basics of establishing a business, creative sales strategies, how to find the resources you need to be successful, and the challenges of starting a business. Our Presenters: Stoopid Burger LLC, Shadow Guard Security LLC, Hana’s Authentic Snowballs (this section is NOT complete)

Financing Grad School

In this session, we outline the pros and cons of an advanced degree and discuss the option available. We will also review the typical admissions process for graduate programs, explore scholarships and funding options, how to choose the right graduate program, share tips for becoming the best applicant possible, and learn about what your experience could be as a graduate student.


101 Black History Mobile Museum

The Mission Black History Mobile Museum is to raise the consciousness of the human family, by sharing artifacts that celebrate the contributions, achievements, and experiences of African Americans. Khalid says, “I want people to walk away as inspired as I’ve been as a student and collector of this history.”



Yes. All attendees, both students and adult chaperones, must register to attend.

Unfortunately, we are unable to have a waitlist for the summit, but you can register in-person before the event begins at 9AM on Saturday. Please arrive early as registration is capped at our capacity plus 30 percent, which takes into account the number of no-show attendees on the day of the summit.

Only registered students will be guaranteed admittance to the summit. If an unregistered student shows up on the day of the summit, they will be required to wait in the will call area until all registered students have been processed. In the event that there is still space available after all the registered students have been admitted, unregistered students will be admitted in the order that they arrived. After we have reached capacity, any remaining unregistered students are required to leave the campus for liability purposes.


The summit is an all-day event, from approximately 8:00am to 4:00pm.

We cannot facilitate late arrivals. Our registration and check-in tables open at 8:00 am sharp and close promptly at 9:15 am when the speakers begin. IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:15 AM, EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT.

Cost, Location, and Programming

The summit is FREE to attend.

The student summit is located at University Place Hotel, 310 SW Lincoln Street Portland in Portland. Individual student workshops are held in various conference rooms; students are escorted by summit volunteers to and from these rooms.

Yes. We encourage you to take public transit to the event. Public Transit info here.

We encourage you to take public transit to the event. But in the case you have to drive, there is parking near the venue. Parking info here.

No. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided for you.

It's up to you. We suggest that students review the sessions online to make their selections before the first session begins.

There are no reserved seats. All workshops are first come, first serve.

For Adult Chaperones

Yes, but you need to complete the group registration form. You can fill it out online, on the bus or at our check in station the day of the event.

No. Our goal is to offer a safe learning environment for all of our students and encourage them to ask questions and share insights in front of their peers. We have found that students can feel embarrassed or afraid to ask difficult questions or discuss certain topics when adults are in the room. However, we do provide adults the opportunity to talk with our experts outside the presence of their students.

Yes, please complete the registration form on the bus to decrease the wait time at check-in. If you are unable to fill out the registration form in advance, you can do so at our check-in station.

We greatly appreciate attendees or adult chaperones registering themselves and/or their students. Having attendees or chaperones directly enter their information increases accuracy, so we politely ask that you register attendees individually.

If you would like to get involved, please email us at

Yes, we want to get to know everyone. We encourage you to register online so that we can print your name badge.

No. This is a very customized college-to-career conference. We want students to identify the career profession that most interests them, make a connection, and start planning next steps. We encourage you (teachers, parents, chaparones), to talk to students about this unique opportunity and encourage your students to talk to someone face-to-face so that they can gain more insight and knowledge about their dream career.