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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Saturday marks the second year of the Young Men of Color Conference at Drake University.

“The message today is, ‘what’s the plan, here’s the plan.’ It’s to really get across to these kids that you have options. You have viable options, you have resources at your disposal, and if you choose to employ those resources, you will be a boss,” said Bo James, executive director of Hip-Hope Inc.

Two hundred fifty young men took part in the conference, which included workshops on technology, networking, financial planning, and leadership. James said it’s important to show young men of color that there are people who care about their future success and are there to support them.

James said one of the issues facing young men of color is that many of them don’t have one direction that guides them through life.

“There’s no consistent messaging, you know, when we look at everything from school to church to politics it’s dynamically different messages, when the truth lies in the consistency,” he said.

The conference also included workshops on subjects including art and engineering.