The National INROADS Alumni Association and Tavis Smiley Look at
If you are like me and you participated as an INROADS intern (for
me, it was in Pittsburgh, 1984-1988) and graduated from a college or
university in good standing, then you are considered an INROADS
alumnus. The mission of INROADS
is to place talented minority youth in business and industry and
prepare them for corporate and community leadership.
INROADS President & CEO
INROADS alumni constitute the greatest single resource on which
INROADS can depend. They are living examples of INROADS' success and
through their achievements, ensure the continuing relevance of the
INROADS mission. Alumni serve as ambassadors for INROADS in their
communities, professions and workplaces thereby, increasing INROADS'
visibility, reputation and marketability.
The theme of the recent National
INROADS Alumni Association (NIAA) 2002 Conference in Atlanta was
"What's Next? A New Time, A New Economy, A New NIAA."
Consistent with the conference theme, featured speaker Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley with
Thomas Brooks of Minority
Professional Network (MPN)
talked about how America is at a crossroads politically,
economically and socially in the light of the 9-11 attacks, the war
against terrorism, and the economic downturn. "How do we take
this defining moment," asked Smiley, "and redefine what America can
be, especially as it relates to African-Americans? We must
remember that, historically, every defining moment in the country was
not necessarily a defining moment for Americans of African descent.
For example, the Civil War was a defining moment, but the lives of the
black soldiers who fought in that war were not redefined in the
aftermath of the war."
Continued Smiley, "As we win the war on terrorism, we must not
forget about the war with respect to affirmative action, or drug
policy. We can't forget abut predatory lending or election
Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders (NIAA Board),
Tavis Smiley, Charles Story, and
Robert Greene (NIAA Chairman)
Overall, the conference was exceptional. INROADS alums can
look forward to next year's conference in Dallas in 2003.
For information on INROADS and what it takes for an undergraduate
student to become an intern, please visit
For more information on the National INROADS Alumni Association,
please visit http://www.niaa.org.
Thomas Brooks is the Vice-President of
Marketing and Senior Webzine Editor for Minority Professional Network,
LLC. Follow this link for