Community

The University of Louisville is hosting the 42nd annual National Conference on The Black Family in America.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Project Progress: The Continuing Transformation of Black America,” and it will focus on helping families maximize their quality of life through education, engagement and empowerment.

Conference spokeswoman Betty Baye said that they hope to have meaningful discussions about the many issues facing the African-American community.

“I think we want to get behind the headlines, and get behind the news, and really try to understand and grapple with some of the tough issues of the transforming family,” Baye said.

She said the issues discussed at the conference will cover a broad range of topics that affect black families. These include the loss of father figures, police interactions and the portrayal of black athletes and celebrity role models in the media.

Baye hopes that not only will those in the black community attend, but also many teachers, social workers and other community organizers who regularly interact with the black community.

“People who are interested in the transitioning black family, I think, will get a lot out of this conference,” Baye said. “Because black children are interacting with all kinds of people right now and it will really help for us to try and understand one another better.”

The conference will open at the Cressman Center, 100 E. Main St. with an art exhibition titled “Freedom Seekers: The Early Lives of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass” by artist and University of Louisville professor Mark Priest. Other conference events will be held at the Crowne Plaza, 830 Phillips Lane. Registration ends on February 23.