February 15, 2016


BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College presents its annual Black History Month celebration on Thursday, February 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street in Buffalo. The program, sponsored by the college’s Academic Talent Search (ATS) Program, is free and open to the public.

Throughout the day, ATS will host workshops and there will be informational stations set up from various community organizations. Topics will include educational and career opportunities, financial literacy and mental health.

Benjamin Jealous, civil and human rights leader, former NAACP president, venture capitalist and author, will give the keynote address entitled “The Secret to Unleashing Inner Greatness.”

Jealous is the former president and CEO of the NAACP. He recently joined the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where he plans to continue his goal of growing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.

The youngest president in NAACP history, he began his career at age 18 opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality, and free multiple wrongfully incarcerated people. Under his leadership, the NAACP grew to be the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, experienced its first multi-year membership growth in 20 years, and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Prior to leading the NAACP, Jealous spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous was named by Forbes and Time Magazine to their “Top 40 under 40” lists and was named the Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum. His new book, Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading and Succeeding, features personal essays from prominent figures in the black community.

Jealous is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford Universities.

The Academic Talent Search Program of Canisius College is one of five federally funded Trio programs established under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. ATS serves approximately 600 youths recruited from area schools and community service organizations. The program provides educational, social and career support services, as well as co-curricular and cultural enrichment experiences. The Canisius College ATS program is proud to host inspirational role models who bring inspiring messages to the young people of Buffalo and encourage them to pursue their own dreams and goals.

For more information, contact the Academic Talent Search Program at Canisius College at (716) 888-3280.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.