McKeesport native to help chair Black Male Summit at the University of Akron
A McKeesport native with family in the old Tube City is a student co-chairman for the seventh annual Black Male Summit Friday and Saturday at the University of Akron.
“I want to be a leader, in whatever I do, and help the next generation,” said Darnell Davis Jr., 21, a junior majoring in political science and criminal justice.
He helped line up such summit speakers as TV-radio personality Steve Harvey; motivational speaker and educator Terrell Strayhorn; and David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
The University of Akron is trying to build on the success of previous Black Male Summits. It attracted 1,400 registrants last year and Davis predicted a similar number for this year.
Wal-Mart is a summit sponsor and Michael J. Bender, an executive vice president of the retailer, is scheduled to introduce a forum on how community institutions can support black males.
Former CBS news anchor Russ Mitchell, now an anchor at Cleveland's WKYC-3, will moderate a forum featuring former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, now executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron; Akron public school Superintendent David James; Akron Urban League President Fred Wright; and Trabian Shorters, a former Knight Foundation vice president who founded BMe, whose aim is to help inspired black men build better communities.
Others scheduled to speak during the two-day event are filmmaker Janks Morton and MSNBC host Touré.
Davis attended McKeesport Area public schools through seventh grade, then moved with his mother to Penn Hills and attended the Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce Campus Middle College High School.
There he was involved in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Davis maintained family ties in McKeesport.
In 2008 he worked with his uncle Al Washington on Mon Valley for Obama, a grassroots effort to drum up support for the presidential run of then-Sen. Obama, D-Ill., in the McKeesport area.
“I was the youth coordinator,” Davis said “It introduced me to marketing, to talking to people. It taught me to set some goals (and) how to work toward those goals.”
At Akron he is diversity director for the Residence Hall Council and a candidate for the university's board of trustees.
“Darnell Davis was a wonderful young man,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said of one of the students he had in fifth grade the year he first ran for McKeesport city council, 2003.
“He taught me a lot,” Davis recalled.
“He was very sociable,” the mayor recalled. “He did very well in school. He took his academic work seriously.”
Cherepko said he has run into Davis on a couple occasions in recent years.
“I told him I was extremely proud of him,” he said. “Darnell has shown he has been making good choices in life. He respected adults and he respected himself.”
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.