TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The University of South Florida Office of Multicultural Affairs is hosting its ninth annual Intercultural Student Leadership Conference.

“ISLC is a high-energy, full-day conference that strives to help students harness and enhance their leadership ability, their cultural competencies, and affirm a sense of belonging within the USF community,” said Director of OMA, Stacey Pippen.

The conference takes place Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 150 students are already registered to attend the conference.

The conference focuses on making sure underrepresented students feel seen, get inspired, learn leadership skills, connect with others from similar backgrounds and realize they can achieve their dreams.

The conference features a powerful keynote speaker, educational breakout sessions, peer mentors, and a campus resource fair. The keynote speaker is psychologist, author and speaker, Dr. Nekeisha Hammond.

Dr. Hammond tells 8 On Your Side that her speech is focusing on empowering minority students to achieve their goals.

“The most important that I want people to take away is that there really is a sense of hope. It’s easy to see different things on social media, see the way people are treated, but when you develop that self-confidence to get through, it’s not the things people are saying won’t be hurtful to you, but to really build yourself up and to be focused so much on your goals is what I want people to understand,” Hammond said.

As a psychologist and minority woman, Dr. Hammond understands the struggles minority students endure.

“There’s a lot of different cultures and unfortunately there’s still a lot of racism, prejudice and discrimination, but helping these students understand who they are, how to navigate through the world that we currently live in is really critical,” Hammond said.

She hopes to inspire and help students push beyond their limits and be the best person they can be.

Students can still register for the conference, just click here.

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