The conference, hosted by UNC today and Saturday and carrying the theme "Building Tomorrow Today," is a showcase for undergraduate and graduate students who travel from as far away as York University in Canada and Utah State University to present their academic submissions in the form of research projects or short essays.
The event is sponsored by the UNC Institute of African-American Research and focuses on the African Diaspora -- the dispersal of African Americans from their homelands either by choice or by force.
A student monitor will present each of the 32 students who will then be given 15 minutes to present their submissions.
A member of the UNC faculty will provide feedback and criticism.
Randall Robinson, president of TransAfrica and author of "The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks," is slated to be the keynote speaker of the conference.
Robinson, an expert in the field of the African Diaspora and reparations, will speak at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Chancellor's Ballroom of the Carolina Inn.
Kim Allen of the Institute of African-American Research said the aim of this conference is to familiarize students with the process of presenting academic work.
"The goal is to help develop young rising scholars, to help them become familiar and experienced with the process of preparing work for an academic audience and receiving feedback," she said.
Allen also said the highlight of the weekend is the student presentations, which will begin at about 8 a.m. Saturday.
Allen said she expects several of the students' families to be in attendance, as well as several nonparticipating students from the UNC community.
She also said she hopes other students attend so they too can become familiar with presenting academic work, and will be encouraged to participate next year.
The undergraduate students will be competing for a $200 prize for the best submission, while a $400 prize is up for grabs for graduate students.
Luncheon tickets can be purchased at the following locations -- the Sonja H. Stone Black Cultural Center, N.C. Central Box Office, Millennium Music in Durham, Millennium Music in Raleigh and School Kids Records in Chapel Hill.
Tickets for the general public are $20 and $10 for students with a valid UNC ONE Card.
The University Editor can be reached at email@example.com.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.