Inclusive Innovation Story Series 2021:
Celebration of Black Innovation

Call for Proposals

presented by Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship & JMU X-Labs

We invite you to become a storyteller at our inaugural event:
Celebration of Black Innovation!

Please submit applications by Feb 7th, 2021 by midnight | Live streamed gala event March 16, 2021

The Inclusive Innovation Story Series is an annual event that seeks to celebrate barrier-breaking, cutting edge, and visionary stories from under-represented groups of JMU students, faculty, staff and alumni through Tedx Style presentations and events.

Each year will highlight a different part of the JMU community that makes our campus a thriving and vibrant place to learn and work, while also allowing a space for honest conversations and common ground. It is the goal that participants and viewers alike will reflect on what “innovation” means to them, considering a broader meaning of the word that need not be mired in the tech-startup stereotype it so often is, while also learning from people whose lives and perspectives may vary from their own.

The I2S2 hopes to highlight unique voices that embody a forward-thinking celebration of the creative spirit that can be found in all disciplines. Stories will be pre-recorded with a premiere showcase event that will take place March 16th, 2021 in conjunction with the University Diversity Conference.

Call for Proposals

This year’s inaugural event will highlight stories of how Black innovation matters to you. We invite members of JMU’s Black/Africana population to share their story of innovation – however creativity relates to their lives, careers and journeys.

What We’re Looking For:

Tell us your stories of creativity and exploration. Share your “why”. What does your innovation give to you personally or to your community? How has this changed your daily life or the way to see the world around you? Be free in your style and candid with your experiences.

The Details:

Accepted stories will be featured on a live streamed gala event the evening of March 16th, 2021. You do not need to attend the event on March 16th, 2021 to qualify.

Final stories will be between 5-10 minutes in length. Accepted participants will be offered guidance to refine their message and presentation from GCFE staff and JMU X-Labs staff, if needed. Please see the attached videos if you are unfamiliar with the Ted Talk model. Recording space, lighting and recording equipment will also be provided, as well as post-production editing, as needed. To submit a story, please send an email to [email protected] with the following:

  • Your name
  • JMU Affiliation
  • Email address
  • Name of your story
  • Brief (50 word) summary of the talk that could be used for promotion of the event if selected

Please also submit a 2-5 minute video that briefly summarizes your story to the following DropBox:

This video can be recorded on your phone or laptop. Please ensure the title of your DropBox file is your full name and that the name you give in your email is the same you use for the DropBox file so we can match applicant to video.


Please submit applications by Feb 7th, 2021 by midnight

Participants will be notified of their selection by Feb 15th, 2021

Final stories should be submitted by March 1, 2021