Mentoring &
Leadership Conference

Thursday March 7 – Monday, March 11 2024

About the Conference

The Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Mentoring and Leadership Conference (MLC) is three days of professional developmental workshops, career exploration panels, networking opportunities with a key professionals and leaders across a range of sectors, and cultural and recreational outings for JRF Scholars. It also provides a unique opportunity for JRF sponsors to directly engage with Scholars.

ell 4341

Conference Speakers

Each day, the Mentoring and Leadership Conference begins with a plenary session for all conference participants. The session features keynote speakers who provide insight into their personal and professional paths to success, while also expanding on the conference theme.

Sparking Purpose, Igniting Change

JRF will host its annual Mentoring and Leadership Conference (MLC), from Thursday, March 7th through Monday, March 11th, at The Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The 2024 MLC theme, “Sparking Purpose, Igniting Change,” emboldens JRF Scholars to affirm an active role in the community while understanding the power of their voices in enacting the change that will have a lasting effect on the world.

This year’s conference is designed with the promise of exposing JRF Scholars to a collective community of changemakers and leaders from a range of industries. At MLC, key leaders will explore and discuss the most pressing issues of our time while also sharing the tools and critical new skills that enable Scholars to contribute and be successful in a global society, while also continuing to perpetuate the legacy of our namesake Jackie Robinson.

jackie robinson foundation 2020 mentoring & leadership conference NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 01: Jackie Robinson Foundation 2020 Mentoring & Leadership Conference Day 3 at Marriot Marquis on March 01, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Jackie Robinson Foundation)


The audience is comprised of JRF’s 233 college scholarship students attending 113 different colleges and universities across the country. The attendees have strong academic acumen, demonstrated leadership skills, and are pursuing careers in a variety of professional fields.

Students studying in a classroom setting.


Plenary sessions feature a presentation by a keynote speaker to all conference participants. Speakers provide insight into their personal and professional paths to success, while also expanding on the conference theme. Previous keynote speakers include: Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League; Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Adviser, Morgan Stanley; Sheila C. Johnson, CEO, Salamander Hospitality, LLC, and, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on stage at the MLW Conference 2023 Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on stage at the Mentoring & Leadership Conference 2023

Conference Components

The Jackie Robinson Foundation equips each JRF Scholar with a comprehensive set of 42 Strategies for Success and leadership skills. This curriculum begins to train students to meet challenges through the combination of practical and academic approaches. This blend allows JRF Scholars to develop a greater proficiency and awareness of the necessity of these life skills, in both their personal and professional lives. Scholars attend curriculum workshops covering topics designed to address issues students commonly face on campus and as they transition from the classroom to the workplace.


  • Building Your Personal Brand and Networking in A Digital Age Case Study Interviewing
  • Case Study Interviewing
  • Financial Literacy: Credit Building, Personal Finances, and Investment Strategies
  • Health and Wellness: Nutrition on a Budget
  • Identifying and Applying to Academic and Stem Research Opportunities
  • Leveraging and Maximizing College Resources
  • Leveraging and Maximizing College Resources
  • Mental Health and Wellness: Building Resilience
  • Maximizing Your Internship Experience
  • Navigating the Workplace: Corporate Unspoken Rules
  • Public Speaking 101
  • Preparing and Applying to Post Graduate School
  • Preparing for Life After College
  • Resume Review

Future of Work Industry Panels

Industry Panels expose Scholars to the various professions and career opportunities available in a specific industry. The session, a moderated discussion with an impressive roster of executives and business professionals followed by Q&A, allows Scholars to interact with industry leaders, learn about career paths and improve their networking skills.

This year’s panels will focus on the “future of work”. We define the future of work as the many forces of change impacting three deeply connected dimensions of an organization: work (what we do), the workforce (who), and the workplace (where work is happening). Essentially, the future of work is created and influenced by current socio-economic changes and affected by forces and trends for the new world of work and each industry will be impacted differently. This year’s panels will focus on:

  • Business, Finance, Economics
  • Education, Non-Profit and Public Policy
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Media, Arts, and Entertainment
  • Science and Research

Global Chat Sessions

It has never been more crucial for us to be aware of society’s most pressing issues happening within the U.S and the world. From the revolutionization of entire industries because of artificial intelligence, to the impact of the global economy, and world leaders’ commitment to sustainability, 2024 is predicted to be a pivotal year for innovation and development. Hear from subject matter experts as they talk further about some of these issues and how we all can prepare for some of these transformative shifts that will occur globally.

Global Chat Topics

  • Global Technology: Implications and
  • Impact of Artificial Intelligence
  • Global Economics: The Current Financial Climate
  • Global Sustainability

Jack Talks

JRF Scholars are among an incredibly talented pool of college students who will become our country’s next generation of leaders. Like TED Talks, Jack Talks are engaging, Scholar-led sessions in which JRF Scholars can discuss, create, advocate for, and present their big idea in a 6-8-minute presentation. Presentations address a political or social issue with tactics for change; highlight strategies for personal or professional growth; or provide strategies to develop or enhance community building.

Sponsor Lunches

Sponsor lunches provide an opportunity for direct engagement with JRF Scholars through the coordination of a visit to your organization’s headquarters or take Scholars to a local New York City restaurant.

Regional Meetings

An original conference component, the regional meetings are intimate gatherings facilitated by mentors that provide Scholars with a safe space to share their personal successes and challenges of the previous year with their peers. JRF also makes professional counselors available to provide additional advice and support.

Scholar Recognition Awards Dinner

JRF Scholars are not only excelling academically, they are also making significant changes and impacting lives in their communities. The Scholars’ Awards Ceremony serves to honor individuals for their outstanding academic achievements, exemplary civic engagement, and unwavering commitment as ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy.