2021 NGLA Critical Conversations Series - Coming Soon

In December, NGLA will announce our Critical Conversations Series for the 2021 NGLA Virtual Conference from February 25 – 28, 2021.

Start getting ready - register today!


2020 NGLA Critical Conversations Series Speakers

NGLA is excited about our Critical Conversations Series speakers for the 2020 NGLA Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD from February 27 – March 1, 2020The Critical Conversations Series is intended to engage the audience with topics that are viewed as “critical” to fraternity and sorority life in today’s context. The program format is approximately 60 minutes of content with the remaining time available for in-session application of concepts. The Critical Conversations Series is on Friday, February 28, 2020 from 1:15pm - 2:45pm.



Why Mental Health Matters; Addressing Loneliness, Help Seeking, and Support in the Fraternal Community 
presented by Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre

Mental health issues are real, relevant and palpable in our chapters and on our campuses. We often lack a true understanding of how to support others and sometimes how to cope with the bad stuff in life. This program will provide a personal story and several action items associated with what you can do, how you can help and how tolerance, acceptance and love instead of punishment and ignoring is the way in. This program will make you laugh, think, and leave you feeling better.

Presenter Biography:

Dr. Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre (Mel-key-or-e) is a researcher, a speaker, a celebrated educator, and an experienced higher education professional. She has helped organizations and people grow for over 15 years. Colleen has been an educator and coach for the renowned programming company Phired Up Productions since she interned with the company while in grad school, which is when she helped co-author the first book on sorority recruitment. She has also worked to bring mental health issues to the forefront of communities and organizations through her work with Active Minds. In the last 10 years, Colleen has earned her doctorate, become a joy-filled mother of incredible children, and every day an even stronger advocate for human connection. Colleen is a wife, a friend, an organ donation enthusiast, and lives everyday in spite of herself because of amazing grace.


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Your WHY Matters NOW: How Purpose and Passion Inspire Greek Success 
presented by Justin Jones-Fosu

Did you know that BOTH the Why and Now of what you do matter to achieve meaningful Greek success? What would it look like for you and your members to be more focused, motivated, and committed to live out the values and create a memorable Greek experience?Justin will challenge you to identify/reconnect with your why (purpose) and live it out now (passion) in order to achieve meaningful and long-lasting Greek success. Too much focus on the “why” can lead to being stymied by indecision leading to little or no action. Too much focus on the “now” can lead to increasing impulsivity and bad decisions.

Presenter Biography:

Justin Jones-Fosu is a full-time husband and daddy that also happens to be an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and international speaker. He is the President and Chief Inspirational Officer of Justin Inspires International, LLC (www.justininspires.com) where he speaks 55-65 times a year for professionals, corporations, colleges, and organizations. His speaking has led him to speak for over 250+ organizations in 4 countries. He has presented in 45 of the 50 states (can you guess which states he hasn’t spoken in?)! Justin is also the founder of 52fourteen a company helping workplaces to develop better cultures of respect to increase employee engagement, peak performance, and customer service in the workplace. He is the author of three books, his latest book, Your WHY Matters NOW: How Some Achieve More and Others Don’t was released in January 2019. Justin was President of 3 campus organizations, on SGA Executive Board, and a fraternity leader. He obtained his MBA specializing in Leadership and Organizational Change. In 2008, Justin was named as one of EBONY Magazines “30 Young Leaders on the Rise” and was selected a “HOT ACT” by Campus Activities Magazine in 2015.If you only remember a few things about Justin, it’s that he is madly in love with his wife and loves being a daddy. He, his amazing wife, and his quote unquote high-energy children reside in the great city of Charlotte, North Carolina. He believes his family is more important than any accomplishments, recognition, or accolades!

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Throwing Safer Parties 
presented by Rob Steirn

Hosting social events at your organization comes with great risk. As a leader of your organization, you have the power to reduce the infinite amount of scenarios that can go wrong under your watch. At this collaborative educational session, you will learn tips and tricks to help develop your risk management strategy that may enable you to identify and resolve problems before they escalate. After this session, you will have a list of valuable tools that can be easily added to your current risk management procedures as you prepare to host your social functions.

Presenter Biography:

Rob Steirn is the founder and CEO of xSoteria. Prior to devoting his full time to increase student safety, Rob worked as a consultant at Ernst and Young and data analyst at Wayfair. 


Re-imaging Greek Life in a Multicultural Society: A Critical Conversation 
presented by Dr. Don Trahan

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is not limited to race and/or ethnicity. However, in contemporary society, when we think about DEI, this is typically the lens that we view these concepts. The question that remains unanswered is what about everything else? To put this into perspective, if you believe that you are creating a chapter that is diverse based on racial characteristics, you may lack diversity altogether. What you will find is that there are more within group differences than between group differences. The problem is, we don't see it based on what we can physically see on the surface-level. Join us as we elevate your way of thinking and position your chapter to look beyond traditional pitfalls of DEI and truly cultivate a chapter that is innovative and forward-thinking.

Presenter Biography:

Dr. Don Trahan, Jr. is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), national certified counselor (NCC), approved clinical supervisor (ACS), professor of counseling, and international consultant. He is recognized as a global leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion change management, with a demonstrated history of working in higher education and professional industries. As a research-driven practitioner, Dr. Trahan focuses his scholarly work on advocacy and culturally responsive leadership, which has led to the publication of several peer-reviewed articles, nationwide conference presentations, and international speaking engagements. His research and unique content delivery has enabled him to develop partnerships with organizations such as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the United States Department of Education, and the United States Department of Justice.

Dr. Trahan is a devoted advocate of social justice and educational equity, and he dedicates a significant amount of time to mentoring and community-based activities. Additionally, he is an active member of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.  Dr. Trahan holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of New Mexico; and he is currently pursuing a D.B.A. from the University of Maryland Global Campus.