JRL Conference: A continuance of leadership growth

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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The John Robert Lewis Leadership Conference was held on the campus of Troy University on Friday and Saturday.

The Leadership Conference is hosted annually by Troy University and the City of Troy. The year 2024 marked the 21st Leadership Conference.

Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, said this year’s theme of “The Art of Empowerment: Leadership Though the Ages” promised to be one of the best ever.

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From all accounts, the John Robert Lewis Leadership Conference was a great experience for the many who attended.

Dr. Duane Gunn, Director of Operations, Leadership Institute at Troy University, put into words what the JRL Leadership Conference meant to him and, in all probability, to the many others who attended over the weekend.

“Participating in the John Robert Lewis Leadership Conference was a great experience,” Gunn said. “From the leadership of Conference Chairperson Gwen Moseley and the advisory board to the participants and guest speakers, this annual event always provides an outstanding opportunity to learn about leadership.”

Gunn said exploring leadership through the lens of John Robert Lewis allows others to understand what the phrase ‘good trouble’ means.

“‘Good Trouble’ means standing by your morals, values and beliefs in the face of adversity regardless of what may physically or emotionally happen to you,” Gunn said. “John Lewis epitomized these traits and being able to bring these forward to the next generation was both an honor and a privilege.”

Response to both the opening and closing programs and the general session was overwhelming said Shelia Jackson, Troy Tourism director.

The focus of the 2024 Congressman John Robert Leadership Conference was The Art of Empowerment: Leadership Through the Ages.

Rodney Bullard, CEO of the Same House in Atlanta was the conference speaker on Friday night at Troy University’s Trojan Center Theater.

At, Saturday noon, Michelle Summers, educator, advocate and activist, spoke to a packed house in the Lamar P. Higgins Ballrooms.

Bullard’s message was one of togetherness.

“The mission of The Same House is to bring people together, “Bullard said.

“Regardless of our differences, we know that at the end of the day we live in ‘the same house – and the problems that impact you impact me,” Bullard said.

Michelle Summers’ message was one of encouragement and the challenge of moving forward with the guidance that comes from the reading of the Word.

Summers challenged the attendees.

“What are you doing with what God has given you?” Summers asked? “One’s living should not be a thing. Black, white or polka dot. Open the Word of God and check into the power zone!”