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Ebony Tie Affair Youth Symposium
In this photo: Ebony Tie Affair Youth Symposium
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2019 Ebony Tie Affair Youth Symposium

8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center

This year’s Ebony Tie Affair Youth Symposium (ETAYS) will be held Saturday, November 23, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Abdul-Malik Muhammad, an educator and advocate for young people who has more than 25 years of experience with facilitating youth groups.  We will engage young males, grades 6 – 12, in a variety of group activities focused on financial literacy, decision making, and a Circle of Brothers, focused on engaging the participants in a discussion about the challenges they face.  A continental breakfast, lunch, and  incentives will be provided.  To complete an application, please visit https://form.jotform.com/92336984593169.


In the mid-1990s, prominent businessmen across a wide array of sectors in Delaware founded the Ebony Tie Affair (ETA), which has become the signature event celebrating the contributions of African-American men throughout the Delaware Valley. James H. Gilliam, Jr., one of the leading black entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the United States, articulated the original vision for the event: a night of fellowship the Monday before every Thanksgiving that would remind each of us, “we are not alone — nor are we disappearing islands — in fact, we are prospering in even greater numbers.”

Today, in its 23rd year, the Ebony Tie Affair is not only singular in importance and prominence for every influential African- American male in the region, it is also the only event of its kind in the nation. Significant guests from across America make it a point to attend. Sponsored only by its participants, the night is filled with good food, great fellowship, the rededication to their commitment to excellence and service as the price of the blessings they have all received, and the shared responsibility of representative leadership for African-Americans throughout the Diaspora.

In that vein, the Saturday before each year’s event, Delaware State University and the men of the ETA host a yearly workshop for promising young African-Americans in our region. The highlight of that series is usually when ETA men walk their younger colleagues through their own personal journey. You can watch the connections happen as the participants find themselves in those stories and are strengthened in their resolve to be better — great in fact — and to serve others. Throughout ETA’s history, hundreds of these young men have participated in these forums, many of whom have become ETA men themselves.