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April 17, 2015
PRIDE hosts eighth annual Men to Men Summit at HCC
WELDON, N.C. – The PReparing Men for Intellectual, AcaDemic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring and Leadership Program hosted the eighth annual Men to Men Summit at The Centre at Halifax Community College (HCC) on April 15. “Stay the Course: The Journey Towards Male Empowerment” was the theme for this year’s event, which was attended by more than 400 students and guests. The keynote speaker was Charles Holt, a gifted Broadway actor and dynamic inspirational speaker.

Holt started off by saying that, growing up in a small Southern community, he received lots of encouragement from his grandmother and mother and that he had dreams of being a football star. However, after college, he worked for a couple of companies, getting fired from the last one.

“By this time, I was looking for some kind of direction,” explained Holt, who had a strained relationship with his father. He left for New York City with $400 in his pocket.

“The South was the only thing I knew,” he added. Moving to New York was the biggest step he had ever taken. The city offered an invitation to come and live life to its fullest potential. He wanted to be on Broadway. His first show was Jesus Christ Superstar. He toured with the show for six months. While on tour, he called his father and forgave him—the two had had a rough relationship.

Holt’s next show was Smokey Joe’s Café and then he was off to Europe for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Next came The Lion King. Then, Holt went to Los Angeles and starred in several shows.

“I moved to Los Angeles to become famous,” he said. “The thing about moving to Los Angeles was that I think I was trying to search for something else other than stardom. I was really trying to find out who I was, why I was here and why did I come at this particular time.” He remembered what his grandmother had taught him through songs that she enjoyed. “It seemed as if, even though I was very successful, I was chasing after something. What I found out was that I was chasing after me.”

It was at that point that Holt asked himself why he was here. He knew he mattered. “If we matter, then we begin to understand that we’ve come here for a purpose,” Holt said. “We’ve already established that community is much more than our individual selves.”

Holt added that change can only come if we are willing to make that change and make things better. “Brothers, it’s time to work,” Holt stressed. He asked how many are willing to work and make a change. “When you declare this, the declaration becomes part of who you are.”

A number of activities took place during the summit including breakout sessions and a luncheon. Sessions included:
  • Law Enforcement Panel with Chief Deputy Bruce Temple of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Chuck Hasty, Weldon Police Chief Mark Macon and Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith
  • My Brother’s Perception of Me with Dr. Stevie L. Lawrence II
  • Empower Me with Charles Holt
Special recognitions were also handed out during the summit. Awards of appreciation were presented to the law enforcement panelists and Reginald Hux, PRIDE learning coach.

This event was funded by the U.S. Department of Education PBI Formula Grant and the North Carolina Community College System 3M Grant.
Keynote speaker Charles Holt
Awards of appreciation
Awards of appreciation were presented by HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr., left, to the law enforcement panelists including Halifax County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bruce Temple attending on behalf of Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp, Weldon Police Chief Mark Macon, Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Chuck Hasty and Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith. 
Lovett and Hux
Director of Title III, Sponsored & Special Projects Daniel Lovett, left, presented an award of appreciation to Reginald Hux, PRIDE learning coach.
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239