Claflin University will hold its 2014 Spring Convocation at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center’s Tullis Arena.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Linal Harris, vice president and chief diversity officer for U.S. Cellular.
Classes will be dismissed at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and will resume at 2 p.m. Attendance is mandatory.
The Convocation signals the beginning of the 2014 spring semester. The public is encouraged and invited to attend.
In his role at U.S. Cellular, Harris is responsible for leading a best-in-class diversity strategy that supports the company's overall business goal to deliver the world's best customer experience and establish U.S. Cellular as an employer of choice for top talent, particularly diverse talent. He also leads teams responsible for human resource solutions, insights and analytics, talent programs and strategies, and third- party vendor relations. Under Harris’ leadership, U.S. Cellular has received a number of awards for its leadership, continued support of diverse suppliers and work within diverse communities.
Since joining U.S. Cellular in 2005, Harris has held positions in customer service and human resources, and most recently served as senior director and chief diversity strategist at the company. He has more than 15 years of leadership, business operations and technology experience, and has held positions with a number of Fortune 500 companies that have provided him with a unique perspective on leadership, diversity and the impacts of globalization on achieving superior business results.
Outside of U.S. Cellular, Harris is a certified life coach, affiliated with Accomplishment Coaching, accredited by the International Coaching Federation. He works with a number of Chicago area organizations, including the Umoja Student Development Corporation and the Otis Wilson Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Board of UCAN in Chicago and as co-chair of the Black Creativity Program at the Museum of Science and Industry. Harris was named one of Chicago Urban Roundtable's 40 Game Changers under 40 in 2012 and received The Chicago Defender's 2013 Men of Excellence award.