Lamman Rucker

Lamman Rucker, of 'Greenleaf' on OWN, will host this year's Bayou Soul Youth Literary Conference.

The seventh annual Bayou Soul Youth Literary Conference will kick off virtually on Nov. 18.

The conference runs through Nov. 20.

Supported by Baton Rouge Community College, the BRCC Foundation and the East Baton Rouge Parish ReCast Coalition, the annual conference, which normally takes place on the BRCC Mid City Campus, will proceed in a digital format this year.

Admission is free by registering at bswliteraryconference.com.

The Annual Bayou Soul Youth Literary Conference creates opportunities that extend to high school students all over the world and aims to promote reading, literacy and education with the intention to bring youth closer to the arts, apart from offering valuable information about college and trades.

This year’s theme, "Healing through Storytelling," accurately sets the stage not only for today's times due to the coronavirus pandemic and social injustice, but for the type of content viewers will see at this year’s conference.

Attendees will have a chance to sit in on such panels as "Spiritual Mental Health and Wellness in the Age of COVID and Equality," "Filmmaker’s Corner" and "Writing through Trauma." The conference also will include behind-the-scenes footage from the film, "Voices from the Bayou," film and never seen before footage of conference veterans, actors Danny Glover and Lance Gross.

The conference's founder, Clarence Nero, welcomes back its ambassador, actor Lamman Rucker, to host this year’s event with live Zoom sessions, prerecorded material, master classes and breakout sessions with renowned celebrities, speakers, and authors like Anita Johnson and Monique Kelley, American Idol star Jordan Dorsey, Broadway singer Skye Turner, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and entrepreneur and motivational speaker Ashley K. Shift.

Returning to this year’s conference are Louisiana reality stars Toya Johnson and Reginae Carter. Two-time Oscar winner Willie D. Burton also will participate with producer Dorez Douglas.

Also, high school students can participate in the annual Maya Angelou Oratorical Contest, where the winner will be awarded a scholarship. The award will be presented by members of the family of Maya Angelou; her son Guy Johnson and niece Sabunmi Woods.