The MSI Summit

The Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit

January 25-26, 2024 in MGM

hosted by the

 Alabama Office of Minority Affairs

in partnership with the
Alabama Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence

The Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit

Alabama is on the cusp of a groundbreaking moment as we prepare to host the first-ever Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit. This monumental event will be hosted by the Alabama Office of Minority Affairs, in partnership with the Alabama Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence (AAICE). It represents a significant step forward in addressing the unique challenges faced by minority communities in our state. Central to this initiative is our profound recognition of Digital Equity and Broadband Connectivity as essential pillars for empowering MSIs. Our aim is to enable them to become catalysts of change and progress across diverse societal sectors.

on January 25 – 26, 2024 in Montgomery, AL

The MSI Summit is set to bring together a diverse and influential group of leaders, experts, and advocates who are deeply committed to advancing diversity, equity, and innovation in higher education and beyond. Our esteemed attendees include Presidents and Administrators from Minority Serving Institutions, Government Officials, Corporate Partners, Philanthropic Organizations, Technology Experts, Community Leaders, and many more. Together, we collaborate, share best practices, and drive positive change for minority-serving institutions and the communities they serve.

It's a bold undertaking, and we invite you to be a part of this remarkable journey.

Our diverse audience represents a wide range of professionals and leaders who play essential roles in shaping the future of minority-serving institutions, workforce development, and digital equity in Alabama and beyond. This comprehensive audience encompasses a wide range of stakeholders committed to advancing education, workforce development, digital equity, and community progress in Alabama and beyond.

View the Full Schedule

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center
201 Tallapoosa St,
Montgomery, Alabama


Google, Amazon, AHCE, Hectagon, ADPH, Aubix, NVIDIA, Disney, and more!


over 30+ Professional Speakers:
Subject Matter Experts, Government Officials, and More!

Date & Time

Thursday, January 25
2PM -7PM

Friday, January 26, 2024
8AM -4PM

The Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit“Envisioning a Connected, Empowered Future”
See the Agenda
Hotel & Logging
Meet the Speakers
Join us at Alabama's Inaugural Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Summit! - Governor's Luncheon Tables On Sale Now!.

Venue & Hotel

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa

At the Convention Center this hotel is home to the Montgomery Performing Arts Center and is within walking distance of Riverwalk Stadium. In the heart of downtown, across the street from the river and Union Station.

Our MSI Summit rate of $129 per night, ends on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Book Your Stay


Join leading minds at the MSI Summit addressing key areas: Digital Equity, Broadband Connectivity, Workforce Opportunities, Business Growth, Research Grants, and Telehealth-Telemedicine. Discover innovative solutions and transformative ideas from our diverse panel of experts.

Governor IveyGovernor Ivey
Governor Ivey
Governor IveyGovernor of Alabama
Kay Ellen Ivey, is the 54th Governor of Alabama in 2017, is committed to raising the quality of life for all Alabamians. A native of Camden in Wilcox County, she embarked on a career of public service to benefit her fellow Alabamians.
Stacia RobinsonStacia Robinson
Stacia Robinson
Stacia RobinsonDirector of the Alabama Office of Minority Affairs
From Air Force Captain to leading voice in communications and entrepreneurship, Stacia Robinson has been appointed to the Governor's Cabinet to be the Director of the Alabama Office of Minority Affairs. Currently serving as the Agency Principal of BeneChoice Companies, LLC, a benefits and financial choices company that invests in businesses and organizational development focusing on boosting employee loyalty and retention, the Denver, Colorado native is a dedicated servant of her community.
Kenneth W BoswellKenneth W Boswell
Kenneth W Boswell
Kenneth W BoswellDirector of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
Community development and economic development are a strong focus of Kenneth W. Boswell’s career in public service.
Boswell has served as director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs since May 2017, when Governor Kay Ivey asked him to put his skills and knowledge to work in her administration’s mission to move Alabama forward.

As ADECA Director, Boswell serves in the Governor’s Cabinet, oversees a staff of 150 and manages an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars. The agency has the broad responsibility of guiding dozens of grant programs with the purpose of creating jobs, strengthening the state’s economy, and improving the lives and welfare of its residents. Under Boswell’s direction, ADECA has taken on multiple roles including broadband expansion, electric vehicle infrastructure, and a successful 2020 Census count for Alabama.

Boswell was serving his fourth full term as mayor of Enterprise, Alabama when he was selected to lead ADECA.

Carlos E. Alemán, Ph.D.Carlos E. Alemán, Ph.D.
Carlos E. Alemán, Ph.D.
Carlos E. Alemán, Ph.D.Chief Executive Officer at ¡HICA!
Dr. Carlos E. Alemán is the CEO of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), Alabama’s leading community development and advocacy organization for Latino and immigrant families in Alabama. He is also the President of the Camino Loan Fund, HICA’s emerging CDFI. In August 2020, Dr. Alemán was elected to Homewood's City Council, becoming the first Latino elected to public office in Alabama. He serves on the boards of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, REV Birmingham, the Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund, and Red Mountain Park. A former faculty member at Michigan State, Agnes Scott College and Samford University, Dr. Alemán taught history and Latin American Studies. He is passionate about education, community development, and creating opportunities for others. An immigrant from Nicaragua, Dr. Alemán grew up in San Francisco. He received his BA from UC Santa Cruz and his PhD in History from Michigan State University.
Michelle A LemelleMichelle A Lemelle
Michelle A Lemelle
Michelle A Lemelle
Michelle Lemelle works as a Broadband Program Specialist and Federal Program Officer in the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI) within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). OMBI administers the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot (CMC) Program which funded 93 HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs with over $263M to improve internet access and adoption nationwide. Michelle also manages communications and engagements for OMBI coordinating outreach between HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs and industry stakeholders and NTIA staff. As a Federal Program Officer, Michelle manages a portfolio of nearly 20 CMC award recipients with a total funding of $53.

Before joining NTIA, Michelle worked at the Small Business Investor Alliance as the Member Services and Engagement Manager, coordinating outreach with SBIA stakeholders (private equity investors) and small businesses in need of financing. Prior to SBIA, worked at the National League of Cities, serving as their Conference Coordinator and Legislative Assistant covering a range of issues including Community and Economic Development, Transportation, Energy, IT and Communications. Michelle began her career working for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a dozen years.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Dr. Calvin Briggs Sr.Dr. Calvin Briggs Sr.
Dr. Calvin Briggs Sr.
Dr. Calvin Briggs Sr.
Dr. Calvin Briggs, a 1994 graduate and past trustee of Clark Atlanta University, is the Founder & CEO of the Southern Center for Broadening Participation in STEM. A veteran educator in mathematics & education leadership, with more than 23 years of experience, Dr. Briggs has instructed at the secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Dr. Briggs seeks to “Create New Possibilities in STEM college and career pathways for all Students, “specifically, minoritized, first-generation students. In his role with the Southern Center, Dr. Briggs seeks to “build capacity” across higher education institutions and their stakeholders, increasing student success at HBCU’s, MSIs, HSIs, and TCUs. The Southern Center is committed to closing the performance gap by advocating for targeted policy, funding, and visionary leadership.
David HooksDavid Hooks
David Hooks
David HooksExecutive Director
David Hooks is a senior business executive with a unique range of expertise in economic development, investment banking, real estate, public finance, and politics. Hooks currently serves as the Executive Director of The Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority. Hooks also serves on the State advisory boards of AHEC, the HBCU Authority, the East Alabama Regional Board of WIOA and the Gadsden State Cardinal Foundation. Prior to his current role David served as the Director of Innovation at The Edge of Chaos, a “thought and innovation” collaborative, established by the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. David has previously served in as Director of Capital Structure and Investment for Jefferson County, Alabama, Senior Manager of Industrial Recruitment for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and as Director of the Alabama Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs (ADECA) the Governor’s Cabinet position responsible for the economic growth and social well-being in Alabama. He has also served as City Councilman in two different Alabama Cities and as Chairman of the Finance and Administration Policy Committee (FAIR) with the National League of Cities. David Hooks has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a specialty in Municipal Finance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His undergraduate degree is from The University of Alabama and he is a graduate of The Public Finance Institute of the University of Michigan. Hooks is also a published author. His book, The Wisdom of Solomon Ancient Teachings for Modern Business, explores the Biblical teachings of ethics in business
Charisse D. StokesCharisse D. Stokes
Charisse D. Stokes
Charisse D. StokesThe Alabama Collective
Charisse D. Stokes is president of Tidal IT Solutions, LLC, an information technology consulting company in Montgomery, Alabama, a position she has held since 2017. In this role, she supports government and commercial industry clients providing tech, innovation and business development consulting services. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director for The Alabama Collective and TechMGM, organizations focused on exposing and enhancing tech and innovation initiatives. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Ceramic Engineering from Clemson University and a master of business administration in Finance from Auburn University Montgomery. She previously served in a variety of leadership roles in the United States Air Force and for small business information technology firms managing multiple, large scale IT projects worldwide.

She currently serves on the board of Alabama Power Company; in addition to roles on the Business Council of Alabama, Alabama STEM Advisory Council, Computer Science Task Force, and the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International, AUM College of Business, Trenholm State Community College Computer Information Systems and Saint James School Boards. As the past Director of the Education Foundation for the Montgomery AFCEA Chapter which provided STEM initiatives to the local community, she founded EduWerx, a nonprofit organization exposing minorities and young women to STEM.

Her greatest joy is spending time with her son, Dylan.

Michael D White IIMichael D White II
Michael D White II
Michael D White IIChief Business Development Officer
Michael, Co-Founder & Chief Business Development Officer at Indelible, led the firm's growth to $70M revenue in 2022. A strategic thinker, he oversees diverse teams and supports government initiatives at all levels, emphasizing service to under-served communities.
Nick MooreNick Moore
Nick Moore
Nick MooreDirector of Governor's Office of Education and Workforce Transformation
Nick Moore serves as the director of the Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation (GOEWT) under the leadership of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. Moore is focused on aligning Alabama’s education and workforce programs, implementing Alabama’s state longitudinal database system, establishing Alabama’s non-degree credential quality and transparency system, and curating a competency-based education and skills-based hiring system in Alabama.

Under Nick’s leadership, the GOEWT is working to establish a learning and employment record, a skills-based job description generator, and a human-centered public workforce system designed to assist Alabamians with overcoming benefits cliffs and other barriers to entering the workforce.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University Extension School and a Master of Public Policy from Cornell University.

Moore is a native of Enterprise, Alabama. He served as a Teach for America corps member in Lowndes County, Alabama where he had the privilege of teaching secondary social studies, government, and economics at Central High School. After completing his tenure in Lowndes County, Nick received a Teach for America Capitol Hill Fellowship. During and after his fellowship, he covered education, health care, and workforce development in the Office of Representative Martha Roby (AL-02). Nick later served as Senator Luther Strange’s Legislative Assistant for healthcare, education, and labor. Nick and his wife, Emily, live in Montgomery, Alabama.

Cassius JohnsonCassius Johnson
Cassius Johnson
Cassius Johnson
Cassius Johnson is co-founder of Perceptist, a social impact consulting firm that provides solutions to non- and for-profit social impact leaders on strategy, innovative operational systems, and change management. Cassius is a purpose-driven strategic leader who finds great joy and meaning in developing strategies that advance solutions that improve the life outcomes for the most vulnerable people and communities in our society. He has developed his diverse skills through a career that includes leadership roles in government, philanthropy, and nonprofit and for-profit national organizations focused on increasing impact in education and transition to the workforce
Cassius has worked in philanthropy and public policy. He held the position of Director of Government Affairs and Policy at Year Up, Inc. He was also a program officer at the Carnegie Corporation of New York conducting grant making to advance national education reform and new school designs. Prior to that he was Associate Vice President at Jobs for the Future where he worked for almost eight years, launching the organization’s DC operations and directing national and federal policy activities. In 2010, Cassius testified before the United States Senate HELP Committee. He began his policy career in the Texas State Legislature where he was Chief of Staff for a member of the House of Representatives.
Cassius has a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Barbara Jordan Scholar. He is a graduate of the inaugural Black Modern Elder Academy. He resides in Florida and is actively involved in numerous community organizations and issues. He was named one of the Palm Beach County 100 Most-Influential People for 2023 and 2024.
Stacy K VaughnStacy K Vaughn
Stacy K Vaughn
Stacy K VaughnChief Officer at D-Unity Group
Ms. Stacy K. Vaughn is an accomplished business leader in GovCon industry. She is Managing Partner of D-Unity Group LLC & Bid2Win, both companies she has founded. With over 20+ years of experience as a Business ownership, Federal contractor for the Department of Defense and a former Government Service (GS) Employee, Mrs. Vaughn has a wealth of knowledge in compliance, contracts and teaming opportunities.

Great speakers with dynamic topics. Join with us!

The MSI Summit aims to foster collaboration, advance diversity and equity, drive innovation, bridge the digital divide, support economic growth, enhance student opportunities, strengthen philanthropic support, inform public policy, and build lasting partnerships, making it a catalyst for transformative change in education, workforce development, and digital equity.

The MSI Summit is filled with opportunities for attendees to engage in immersive experiences that highlight global innovation and minority community initiatives.

Courtney Alexander
Courtney AlexanderSenior Public Sector Team Leader, Google
General Admission $285
  • Google AI Lounge
  • Kickoff Reception
  • Opening & Closing Plenary
  • Governor’s Luncheon
  • NTIA’s Dedicated Breakout Room
includes a full two-day MSI Summit experience with Kickoff Reception, Breakfast, Lunch, and more!
Register Now!


Dive into the MSI Summit's rich agenda of Plenaries, Breakout Sessions, and Tracks covering digital equity, workforce development, business growth, research, and telehealth-telemedicine. Engage in transformative dialogues and collaborative workshops.


Our MSI Summit is proudly supported by a diverse array of sponsors and partners, each contributing their unique expertise and resources. Their invaluable support and collaboration are essential in driving our mission to empower minority communities through education, innovation, and connectivity.