Second Annual Black History Month Gala and Diversity Leadership Awards set for Feb. 9

Second Annual Black History Month Gala and Diversity Leadership Awards set for Feb. 9

The Office of Institutional Diversity will host the Second Annual Black History Month Gala and Diversity Leadership Awards on Saturday, Feb. 9. The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in the Schulze Grand Atrium in downtown Minneapolis.

This year’s theme is Looking Back with Pleasure: Honoring the Gifts and Talents. Come experience the powerful gifts of song and amazing theatrical talents of T. Mychael Rambo, Thomasina Petrus and Aimee Bryant as they take us back with pleasure through history using music and narration.

A two-time St. Thomas alumnus, Steffan Johnson, will serve as keynote speaker for the gala. He first earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and international business with a minor in Japanese. Johnson went on to work for 3M as a supply chain and logistics analyst. Over time, he worked as an IT consultant with Ultimus Inc. in Cary, N.C. While at Ultimus, Johnson was able to design, develop, deploy and manage the intranet/internet Web-based business process solutions for Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, General Electric, Siemens, Lockheed Martin and many others. Johnson returned to St. Thomas to earn his M.B.A. from the Opus College of Business and build his own consulting business – S.R. Johnson & Associates. In May 2007, Johnson graduated with his M.B.A. and is currently CEO of Stratus Medical Group.

The event is open to the public. Tickets for general admission are $40 per person, and student admission is $15. (Student attendees will be asked to show their respective college/university ID cards.) Corporate/group tables (which seat 10) are available for $400. All paid admissions include dinner and entertainment. There are a limited number of tickets and tables. You are encouraged to purchase tickets by Friday, Feb. 1. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

To purchase tickets, please complete the ticket order form and submit with payment to the address listed on the form. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the University of St. Thomas. (Write OID BHMG in the memo section of the check or money order.) We accept Visa, Master Card, and Discover. (We do not accept American Express.) Please complete all relevant credit card information on the ticket order form. All credit card transactions will be processed through the University of St. Thomas Business Office (the official university-authorized merchant), which safeguards your confidential information.

This year’s Gala will feature the Diversity Leadership Awards. Three awards will be presented: Diversity Leadership Staff Award, Diversity Leadership Teaching/Research Award, and Diversity Leadership Academic or Service Unit Award. The awards affirm the rich diversity of St. Thomas students, alumni, faculty and staff; furthermore, the awards recognize and reward the many personal efforts, unique contributions and initiatives that support Institutional Diversity goals.

Funds raised from the annual Black History Month Heritage Gala and Diversity Awards Program will benefit other important diversity priorities in the Office of Institutional Diversity.

I encourage you to visit for more information about the Black History Month Heritage Gala and Diversity Leadership Awards and the Office of Institutional Diversity. Do not hesitate to contact me at