Students of Color Symposium

Date: Saturday, February 17, 2024
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EST
Location: Lakeside Village
Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 16, 2024
Registration Passcode: SOCS2024

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The Students of Color Symposium (SOCS) is an educational initiative developed to support the ongoing diversity efforts of the University of Miami. The Symposium provides an opportunity to engage in dialogue on issues that affect the educational, personal and professional growth of students. The Symposium seeks to enhance students’ understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, ethical leadership, and social responsibility associated with living in our global society.

For Symposium Accomodations

We strive to be as inclusive as possible and welcome support services that include the needs of our students. For accommodations, including text-only materials, please call or email us at 305-284-2855 or

The TIME is Now: Advocacy in Today’s Times

Our theme this year is "The Time is Now" playing off the impactful role Time Magazine captures influential moments in time. Our students believe that we are positioned yet again for a moment in time we will never forget given the global social climate and upcoming election year. Our goal is to create a unique environment to foster effective knowledge and awareness on principles of advocacy including voting, creativity, and serving causes that passionately relate to their unique identities.

Symposium Overview | 2024

Welcome Remarks

To kick off the Symposium, participants will hear opening remarks from the Office of the President, Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Miami.

Session 1 | Timeless Advocacy Panel Discussion

This session brings multigenerational leaders together across various spaces of social impact to discuss how advocacy takes place within their area of work and how each participant can use their experiences and identities to find their lane for change.

Session 2 | Interactive Breakouts

The Power of the Vote 

We believe in the power of using our voices through voting! As we find ourselves in an upcoming election year, this interactive simulation is designed to prepare students to take the polls with confidence. In the session, students will learn about ways their vote could get denied, helpful tools for selecting a candidate, and ways to combat voter suppression. Get ready to activate your voting power!

Creative Advocacy | Using Art for Change

The story of many movements has often been told through the impressionable nature of art. Art has the power to define a moment in time and capture it in methods that take us right back to that particular time and make it come alive once more. In this interactive session participants will learn how they can channel creativity to create change and will feature art from local change makers.

Session 3 | Luncheon Keynote: Coming Soon!

Social Change Resource Expo

The Social Change Expo allows students to network and connect with internal and external organizations that advocate and serve their respective communities. The purpose of the expo is to expand our student’s toolkit and encourage them to utilize readily available resources within the following categories:

  • Climate Justice
  • Voting Rights
  • LGBTQ+
  • Mental Health
  • Social Justice
  • Immigration Rights
  • Creative Advocacy
  • Disability Awareness
  • And more!

Symposium Sponsors and Collaborators

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  • The Office of the President

    In 2020, President Julio Frenk announced steps the University of Miami will take in pursuit of racial justice on campus and beyond, specifically committing to funding the Students of Color Symposium each year.

  • Division of Student Affairs

    The Division of Student Affairs engages, supports, and develops students and the University community by providing exemplary services, programs, and facilities as we foster a caring and inclusive environment.

  • Department of Student Life

  • UM Counseling Center

    Along with excitement and new opportunities, college can bring on a new host of challenges and stressors that can interfere with academic success. Our mission is to provide high quality services for students from all backgrounds. From individual counseling to online resources, the Counseling Center is here for you.

  • UM Development and Alumni Engagement

    The mission of Development and Alumni Relations is to promote relationships with and seek financial support from the University’s key audiences, to serve the alumni, and to build the University’s brand to enhance its reputation and visibility.

  • UM Black Alumni Society

    The mission of the University of Miami Black Alumni Society is to facilitate a comprehensive network among University alumni, students, faculty, staff, family, and friends to advance the interests and needs of our community and promote the rich history of Black alumni at the University.

  • Toppel Career Center

    The Toppel Career Center helps you every step along your path to career success. Whether you’re looking to solidify your interests or skills, to get ready for a job or internship interview, or to make connections that will launch your career, Toppel is here to help.

  • Butler Center for Service & Leadership

    Created to serve as a catalyst to develop students who cultivate positive social change within their communities, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership offers a wide range of volunteer and advocacy-based service and leadership opportunities, programs, and initiatives for the UM community.

Student Committee

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  • Executive Chair

    Lia Mussie (she/her) | Executive Chair

    ECS and Political Science

    Class of 2024

    "I joined the SOCS24 committee for my second year because I am inspired by my fellow student change makers who are passionate about educating people about important issues facing our diverse communities."

    Sarah Petit (she/her) | Executive Chair

    Public Health (minors in Chemistry, Biology, and Sports Administration)

    Class of 2024

    "The theme to me emphasizes the urgency and significance of actively supporting causes that matter. In the world we live, where social, environmental, and political issues demand attention, waiting for the perfect moment is a luxury we can't afford. This theme emphasizes immediate action, reminding me that positive changes happen the moment we speak up, raise awareness, and contribute to the betterment of society. It supports advocating for what is right, and that each moment presents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and create a more just and equitable world."

  • Marketing and Outreach

    Lindsey Wanton (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach

    "Advocacy, to me, represents a dedicated commitment to positive social change.Especially in today's times, marked by unprecedented global challenges, the need for advocacy has never been more pronounced. It is a beacon of hope, driving positive change by confronting societal issues head-on."

    Michael Robinson (he/him) | Marketing and Outreach


    Class of 2025

    "The Students of Color Symposium theme, 'The Time is Now,' signifies to me a recognition of the pressing need to create spaces where the voices, experiences, and concerns of students of color are not only heard but actively valued and acted upon. It's a reminder that the time to address systemic inequalities, promote diversity, and support marginalized communities is immediate and cannot be delayed. The Time is Now for change, and I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing symposium."

    Asia B. (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach 

    Finance and Marketing 

    Class of 2025

    Celine P. (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach 

    Exercise Physiology

    Class of 2024

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee because i seen the great work that the committee did last year and wish to be a part of something like that this year. I hope to also get more people to go to SOCS this year as it was a wonderful experience last year."

    Nyasha N. (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach

    Motion Pictures - Business

    Class of 2026

    "This year's theme represents a prime opportunity to better educate students of color about how to be involved in advocacy work and the different types of advocacy that they can participate in. While students may consider themselves an advocate for various causes, SOCS can allow students to dive deeper into social issues and understand how to spark change in their community and across the world. I am extremely excited to work with this years' team! I hope to learn more about myself as an advocate and equip other students with the necessary tools for change."

    Sidra A. (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach

    Political Science and Sport Administration

    Class of 2026

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee because I heard from multiple people that it was an amazing experience. I wanted to gain more knowledge and be a part of making a change for other multicultural students on campus. I also just wanted to get more involved in MSA!"

    Trinity B. (she/her) | Marketing and Outreach

    Cinematic Arts

    Class of 2026 

    "SOCS immersed me in a space where multicultural students could be vulnerable about their challenges when we’re often not afforded that ability in regular environments at a PWI."

    Wilfred M. (he/him) | Marketing and Outreach

    Public Relations (minor in advertising and comms)

    Class of 2025

    "I joined SOCS to better the experiences of incoming students of color looking to feel welcomed to UM." 

  • Logistics

    Nina Ally (she/her) | Logistics

    Chemistry, International Studies

    Class of 2025

    "The SOCS24 theme embodies the pillars of advocacy that we should all hope to achieve as emerging leaders. In life, it is vital that we can stand on our own before helping others to stand, and to find our own voice before we use our platforms to elevate the voices of others. The SOCS24 theme captures the essence of that. To me, our theme cultivates fruitful, long-lasting change through self-affirmation and understanding our identities."

    Adriana R. (she/her) | Logistics


    Class of 2024

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee because I wanted to help equip students of color with all the tools necessary for success. I am very excited about this year's theme, advocacy. I believe that the main catalyst for change is an educated population that knows how to stand up for fairness and justice."

    Anisa M. (she/her) | Logistics

    Finance and Accounting

    Class of 2026 

    "I joined SOCS24 Committee because I want to help foster spaces for students of color to have those meaningful conversations. This year's SOCS theme is very timely, as so much continues to develop in our society and it aligns with our generational commitment to promote change. I am excited to grow as an advocate myself and provide my peers with the resources to do so as well through this symposium."

    Kendall B. (she/her) | Logistics 

    Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

    Class of 2027

    "I joined the SOCS 24 Committee because I aimed to actively contribute to educating and improving my community through hands-on involvement. In today's world, I believe it is crucial to celebrate the differences present on this campus, and SOCS has offered me a platform to advocate for these ideas while simultaneously fostering my own personal growth."

    Khalil B. (he/him) | Logistics 

    "When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. I believe that is never an issue that does not deserve a voice behind it. If you truly want to help, speak up. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the oppressor to press on."

    Victoria L. (she/her) | Logistics


    Class of 2027

    "I find that it is important for groups to be able to advocate for themselves. Advocating for yourself or someone else can be as simple as supporting a cause that is important to you. I feel like being an advocate you have to know who you are as a person and know what things are important to you in life."

  • Speakers and Sessions

    Giltrecia Head (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions


    Class of 2026

    "SOC24 provides focus to new directions for students representing races and ethnic identities that are far to often marginalized. This year's symposium is looking to amplify many voices and help us all understand the importance of advocating for a better future by helping to eradicate the harms of the past in this present-day."

    Emoni D. (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions

    Sport Administration

    Class of 2024 

    "I joined the SOCS24 committee because I was deeply moved by the 2023 symposium. The phrase 'the time is now' feels like a personal anthem that resonates with both urgency and potential. It is a reminder that this very moment, right here and right now, isn't just a fleeting instance but an opportunity that's ready to be embraced."

    Jazz S. (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions 


    Class of 2027

    "I really like the advocacy bit of the theme because it's an area I want to be more educated in. That's important since knowing all the ins and outs of voting reflects the world I am living in. So going away from the thought process f doing something because someone else does it, is what I like about this theme."

    Jonathan J. (he/him) | Speakers and Sessions

    Biology, Medical Anthropology 

    Class of 2026 

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee because I wanted to enhance my leadership skills and help serve my community. To me, the SOCS24 theme is about agency. Last year's mental health theme truly underscored the sentiments many low-income communities have been continuously expressing. I believe that this years' theme will bring clarity to the political landscape we have in our country and also improve everyone morale for civic and democratic engagement."

    Kayla R. (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions


    Class of 2026

    "I joined the SOCS committee to become more involved with MSA this year and because I love the theme of mental health last year."

    Marc S. (he/him) | Speakers and Sessions

    Music Industry 

    Class of 2025

    "I joined the SOCS24 Speakers and Sessions Committee so I could gain experience in event production while making an impact within my community. 2. Advocacy is standing up for you and your community regardless of the adversity, and to ensure the growth, well-being, and success within your said community."

    Summer N. (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions 

    Political Science and Broadcast Journalism Minors in Africana Studies and Business Law

    Class of 2027 

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee because I wanted to play an integral role in educating the students of the University of Miami by introducing the perspectives and life stories of talented and excelling people of color within and around the university community."

    Zuri G. (she/her) | Speakers and Sessions 

    Exercise Physiology

    Class of 2025

    "My experience last year with SOCS was super exciting, I love the impact we weee able to have on the student body regarding mental health. I know we can expand upon our reach with students from last year. I know we can bring more people in as we continue."

  • Guest Experience and Expo

    Maria Kaber (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Health Sciences

    Class of 2025

    "For me, the SOCS24 theme means change. There is a lot of uncertainty and injustice in the world, so being an advocate can help you and other people to stand up for what’s right and make strides towards greatness."

    Christina F. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Health Sciences

    Class of 2025 

    "The SOCS24 theme To me means being able to learn how to show up for myself in every aspect and capacity. To stand firm in my boundaries in a way that I deserve the best for myself."

    Gabrielle H. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Public Health and Global Health Studies

    Class of 2026

    "This years theme is meant to remind everyone that there is no time like the present, especially when it comes to advocating for ourself and those around us. We are looking to empower everyone to become self-advocates and champions for our community. I hope that our theme emphasizes the importance of working towards this in the present so that we can preserve our future."

    Isaiah F. (he/him) | Guest Experience and Expo

    "I decided to return to the planning committee for SOCS 2024 because of the positive impact last year’s conference had on the UM community. Thanks to the work of the amazing team we were able to curate a guest experience for students and host a safe space to discuss the important topic of mental health."

    Kiala M. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Health Science Pre-Med

    Class of 2025

    "I joined the SOCS24 committee because planning last year's SOCS was a truly enjoyable experience. Collaborating with incredible individuals was a highlight. The significance of the SOCS24 theme, to me, lies in the importance of advocating not only for oneself but also for others globally. Understanding advocacy is crucial for comprehending the world and those within it."

    Kiera B. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Psychology & Africana Studies

    Class of 2026

    "I joined the SOCS24 Committee to ensure that we uphold an environment where all participants feel welcomed, respected, and able to enjoy themselves. The purpose of this symposium is to create a space where students can learn how to represent themselves by being their own voice as well as ensuring that they understand their power to make change. As a member of the Guest Experience & Expo team, our goal is to create meaningful and appealing topics that keep the participants engaged. My main goal is to help make SOCS 24 a memorable experience. The SOCS24 theme is The Art of "Standing on Business" for those who know, know! When you are standing on business you are not only making sure that you clearly express yourself but you understand your capabilities to move a room when you walk in, catch the attention of the audience when you speak, and you inspire others to want to be as fearless and confident as you. This theme is empowering because it has the potential to spark a movement where people no longer feel intimidated in a room where they think others are more qualified than them. It also encourages the participants to normalize speaking highly of themselves which in this day and age is very much needed!"

    Norel S. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo


    Class of 2026

    "Becoming active and involved has been a goal of mine since stepping foot on this campus freshman year. With that being said, MSA has provided me with the opportunity to support efforts representing my community & identity, and through SOCS, I can do that as well. With their mission and topics of exploring diversity, multiculturalism, ethical leadership, and social responsibility, SOCS was the committee I knew I needed to be a part of."

    Simone T. (she/her) | Guest Experience and Expo

    Health Science

    Class of 2026

    "I chose to become a part of SOCS after personally witnessing the event last year, which left me inspired by the profound message and mission of the organization. I am eager to contribute to curating an event that perpetuates a sense of empowerment among multicultural students. The Empowering Advocacy theme resonates with me as it emphasizes not only having a voice for oneself but also utilizing that voice to advocate for others."