The Durham Success Summit returns for its third edition on September 18, 2021 determined to deliver professional development opportunities for young men of color. The Durham Success Summit is helping to level the playing field by empowering college-aged men, 18-24 years old, to take the critical first steps in their unique paths to success.
In 2021, professional advancement should not remain out of reach for young men of color. We know that we can do better, and we know that we must do better. This is going to require creativity, though. At the Durham Success Summit, we are proud to lead the charge, providing opportunities for growth and development in order to set our participants up for long-term success.
The Durham Success Summit is a unique opportunity for us to change our communities from the inside-out, championing those who are ready and eager to succeed. We are forging bonds that will lead to fundamentally different outcomes for all our participants.
In short, we are picking up where the schools have left off. We are standing up for the rounded, complete educations that are so elusive for our communities. This is a unique take on education and development – one that considers the gaps that plague traditional programs and hold young Black men back.
"I think it gives people like myself and others a space to be themselves. We don't always fit into these social norms that we like to make about society. Some of us have different ways of being creative, of thinking. This space is for that."
Joshua Nicholson, 2019 and 2020 Summit Participant
Catawba College Student
"For these young men we have the privilege of talking to, I want them to be able to begin to see change and hope that they are no longer judged by the color of their skin. I enjoy the action plan so that they feel like they can see change in their community as a result of this event."
- Nolan Smith, Board Member and Speaker
Duke Men's Basketball
"Growing up in Durham, I always imagined a back to school event that actually got me energized about the school year. It's important to me that young people feel heard and that they feel like they have the resources and spaces they need to be successful. We're bringing the entire community out."
- Derek Rhodes
Founder of Durham Success Summit
The story of the Durham Success Summit begins with Durham native Derek Rhodes, who believes anyone, with the right tools at their disposal, can become a success. Derek is a passionate advocate for local civic engagement, who started to develop his vision for a community development program while still an intern in Washington, D.C eight years ago. Derek has since turned the vision into a personal mission, leveraging his business acumen, community relationships, and event organizational skills, to create The Durham Success Summit. .
We hold ourselves accountable to our summit attendees, to the staff and volunteers who put their time and energy into its success, to ourselves as organizers, and to the well-being of future generations. That said, we are committed to being accessible to participants long after the Summit ends. This continuity is important because there are inevitable pitfalls along the way to success that can be mitigated or avoided with the right counsel.
The Durham Success Summit Advisory Council was created to assist DSS and its partners in delivering a world-class event to radically enhance the career and personal development opportunities for men of color.
Council members share their strategic insights, expertise, and passion for building a better world for African American males, starting here in Durham, North Carolina.
Every dollar raised goes directly to support programming for our deserving 200+ Summit participants. Your donation will support our annual summit experience, quarterly follow-up workshops, and exclusive opportunities we curate with our local and national network of partners. With your contribution and support, the Durham Success Summit will be offered at no cost to participants. All donations are tax-deductible and corporate gift matching verification can be provided.