The Cypher: Black Male Empowerment Conference encourages students to unleash their potential

On May 24, Durham College (DC) hosted The Cypher: Black Male Empowerment Conference for the second year in a row. More than 300 students from grades 8 to 10 learned about empowerment, mental health and eliminating barriers to success while also experiencing the college learning environment.

An initiative of the Durham District School Board (DDSB), The Cypher aims to provide students from the region an opportunity to learn about future academic pathways, employment opportunities, and positive transitions.

 DC president Don Lovisa, DDSB trustee Patrice Barnes and DDSB director Lisa Millar each addressed the room before guest speaker Ian Brown took the mic and used comedy and storytelling to encourage the audience of young people to unleash their potential, look to the future and become empowered by education and inspiration from their cultures, families, teachers, and communities.

The event’s agenda also included workshops about planning for the future and developing new skills, as well as a number of activities, networking opportunities and discussions with teachers, community leaders and mentors about the right supports to have a bright and healthy future.