Campus Life, Featured, News

Conference blends diversity, leadership with comedy

Canes L.E.A.D (Learn, Empower, Aspire, Discover), a one-day leadership conference, featured worksops and interactive sessions. The event took place on Saturday in the SAC ballrooms. Victoria McKaba // Staff Photographer

Canes L.E.A.D (Learn, Empower, Aspire, Discover), a one-day leadership conference, featured worksops and interactive sessions. The event took place on Saturday in the SAC ballrooms. Victoria McKaba // Staff Photographer

Aspiring leaders gathered Saturday morning at the Student Activities Center for Canes LEAD, a one-day leadership conference featuring workshops, speeches, Adele sing-alongs and salsa dancing.

Canes LEAD (Learn, Empower, Aspire, Discover) brought together students and administration to encourage community activism and diversity.

Workshop topics included gender roles in society, effective communication and key leadership steps found in dancing.

Keynote speaker and comedian Stan Pearson II, who was chosen for his unorthodox style of presentation, tied basic salsa steps to leadership concepts, using the acronym S.A.L.S.A. – supporting, acting, learning, striving and accepting. Participants learned the basics of Los Angeles-style salsa dancing, which stressed Pearson’s point that good leadership requires a strong foundation.

Canes LEAD Planning Committee co-chair Imani Callan saw Pearson as a perfect candidate for this year’s conference.

“I liked him because he is very relatable,” Callan said. “He presents real-life concepts to you in a way that’s funny but also tells you how it is. Especially for kids our age, we don’t want to be lectured at.”

Pearson also used popular songs and comical anecdotes to stress the importance of being the best version of oneself. He said that being creative, consistent, persistent, and your own best friend makes the process easier.

“We lose more than we win because we celebrate our losses more than our victories,” Pearson said.

Students found Pearson’s real-life applications of his concepts to be helpful in further understanding the tenets of leadership.

“My favorite moment would be learning how to salsa dance,” sophomore Ivann Anderson said. “It was great to pretty much express myself with people who I did not know. It was a great networking opportunity. It’s good to express yourself.”

LEAD was hosted by the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and the Multicultural Student Affairs office. According to Canes LEAD Planning Committee co-chair Randall Seenandan, the union of these two offices made perfect sense.

“A lot of leadership styles include topics in diversity, and a lot of diversity topics involve a lot of leadership styles, so it was an easy marriage like that,” he said.

The event was held in the fall semester rather than in the spring to give students a better kickoff for this year’s leadership development events, according to the director of the Butler Center, Andrew Wiemer.

Canes LEAD aimed to make participants better aware of what they need most in order to be successful in life. Wiemer believes that acknowledging the world’s diversity is vital.

“No matter where you go in life or whatever you’re doing, you need to have a strong understanding of the people you are working with, the individuals you are interacting with on a regular basis, and that you have a strong sense of diversity in your own life in order to be successful,” Wiemer said.

Pearson thinks that the main takeaway from Canes LEAD should be that leadership requires the will to constantly improve.

“Be a better version of yourself the next day,” he said. “Leaders learn every day.”

 

 

September 21, 2014

Reporters

Sherman Hewitt


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.