Minnesota AG Keith Ellison to Speak at Celebration of Black Excellence

Suffolk University’s Annual Celebration of Black Excellence, centered this year around the theme of “Inclusion, Resilience, Hope,” will honor 11 alumni, faculty, students, and staff who champion racial equity and inclusion through their work, research, and lives. 

This year’s virtual event will feature keynote speaker Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Ellison will address systemic issues of racial inequality— such as disparities in the criminal justice system, voting rights, housing, education, healthcare, and access to economic opportunity— and paths to progress “guided by the values of generosity and inclusion.” 

A Q & A with Ellison will follow his remarks. 

About Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison is the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota. In his current role as the state’s Attorney General, Ellison says that: “his job is to help Minnesotans afford their lives and live with dignity, safety, and respect.”

From 2007 to 2019, Ellison represented Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he championed consumer, worker, environmental, and civil- and human-rights protections for Minnesotans. He served for 12 years on the House Financial Services Committee, where he helped oversee the financial services industry, the housing industry, and Wall Street, among others. Among his legislative accomplishments are passing provisions to protect credit-card holders from abusive practices and protect the rights of renters and tenants. While in Congress, he founded the Congressional Antitrust Caucus and the Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus. He also served as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which he helped build to more than 100 members.

Before being elected to Congress, Attorney General Ellison served four years in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Prior to entering elective office, he spent 16 years as an attorney specializing in civil-rights and defense law, including five years as executive director of the Legal Rights Center. As the leader of this public-interest law firm, he oversaw a team of attorneys focused on delivering justice for Minnesotans who had nowhere else to turn. He was also a noted community activist.

Racial Equity Champion Honorees

Suffolk University alumni Crystal T. Chandler BA'15, Founder and Media Producer, The Crystal Lens Productions, LLC; Mohamed A. Djingo BA'13, MPA'16, Counsellor, Niger Permanent Mission to the United Nations; Tamela E. Bailey JD'04, Senior Counsel, National Grid. Suffolk University faculty members Tryan L. McMickens M.Ed.'07, Associate Professor, Education; Brenda J. Bond-Fortier, Professor, Institute for Public Service; Kim M. McLaurin, Associate Dean, Suffolk Law Experiential Programs. Current Suffolk University students Sabrina Succes, College of Arts & Sciences; Niru Dhawan, Sawyer Business School; Dayana Donisca, Suffolk University Law School. Suffolk staff members Joyce C. Miller BS'97, Associate Director, Advancement Services; Joyya P. Smith, Vice President, Diversity, Access and Inclusion.


This virtual event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Register here

Media Contact

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs