Keynote Speaker: Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough was his high school salutatorian and student body president in 1985, and went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University in Ohio, and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and finally Albany State University in 2000 where he became the Vice President for Student Affairs at the age of 32. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012 he became the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. Kimbrough also has been noted for his active use of social media in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and in the book Follow The Leader: Lessons in Social Media Success from Higher Ed CEOs. He was cited in 2010 by Bachelors Degree.org as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter, by Education Dive as one of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right (@HipHopPrez), and in 2015 he was named by The Best Schools.org as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents.

A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Georgia, Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the Southern Region Assistant Vice President. Dr. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities, with specific expertise regarding historically Black, Latin and Asian groups. He is the author of the book, Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities.

Dr. Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 To Watch. In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z, and Tyler Perry. In February of 2013 he was named to NBC News/The Griot.com’s 100 African Americans making history today, joining another impressive group including Kerry Washington, Mellody Hobson, and Kendrick Lamar. Kimbrough was named male HBCU President of the Year for 2014 by HBCU Digest.

Dr. Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, attorney and director of the Dillard University pre-law program, are the proud parents of two children: Lydia Nicole, 11, and Benjamin Barack, 8.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Amer F. Ahmed

Amer is an individual with an eclectic personal and professional experience. As an intercultural diversity consultant, college administrator, facilitator, poet and Hip Hop activist, he channels his diverse experiences into work geared towards effective change serving to create mutual benefit for all. Born in Springfield, Ohio to Indian Muslim immigrants, Amer has dedicated his life to engaging and facilitating diversity across human difference. His studies in Anthropology and Black Studies have been enhanced by powerful study abroad experiences in South Africa and Nepal. Amer’s education, world experiences and his Indian-Muslim-American upbringing helps him understand the need for respect and dignity of all people.

Amer has served as Director of Intercultural Programs at Loras College in Dubuque, IA and Concordia College in Moorhead, MN before moving on to University of Michigan and later to Swarthmore College. His professional experience provides him with unique perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion policies and practices in Higher Education and numerous other professional contexts. Amer is also a prominent national speaker invited to numerous campuses, conferences and institutes to speak on his diverse and unique areas of expertise. He also has been featured on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris Perry” show and in “Cracking the Codes,” a documentary film on racism directed by Dr. Shakti Butler. Among his many areas of expertise, Amer has most prominently been engaged as a unique resource to address issues related to Islam, Islamophobia and interfaith issues.

Throughout his career, Amer has consistently addressed all forms of marginality that impact how individuals experience institutions and issues of social justice that continue to face traditionally marginalized communities. In addition, he bridges this work with the field of Intercultural Communication emphasizing developmental approaches to Intercultural sensitivity. Such approaches have been useful in his work on Organizational, Leadership and Student Development and Assessment as well as in Workshop facilitation and Public speaking. Amer is continuing this work as Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Faculty at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication and a member of SpeakOut: Institute for Democratic Education.

Amer’s is deeply rooted and committed to the empowerment of young people with unique approaches that seek to unlock their creative potential. Through engagement in new and social media, arts and facilitation, Amer is committed to lifting voices of the youth to create transformative change in the world.