About the BFC

Black Family Conference

Joseph McMillian

About Our Founder

Dr. Joseph H. McMillan was the University of Louisville’s assistant provost for Academic Affairs and Minority Affairs when he founded the Black Family in America Conference more than 40
years ago.

“Dr. Mac,” as he was affectionately known, believed that, like charity, scholarship begins in the home. Prominent scholars,artists and writers flocked to Louisville at his invitation. They were thrilled for the opportunity to present their research, to debate and discuss their findings and observations with Black Family Conference participants thirsting for information to counter what Dr. Carter G. Woodson, in the early 20th Century, described as the “The Miseducation of the Negro.”

Dr. McMillan retired from U of L as professor emeritus in early childhood education. In retirement, he collaborated with the Louisville Urban League, the Jefferson County Public Schools, Rev. Louis Coleman and others to create such youth programs as Rising 5th Graders and the Street Academy. Dr. McMillan passed away in 2010. The annual conference on the Black Family in America, now in its 44th year, has been renamed to honor his legacy.

The Vision

The vision of the Black Family Conference at the University of Louisville is to help educate families to become more empowered, engaged, equipped and able to elevate every member to maximize their quality of life.

The Legacy 

The University of Louisville’s National Black Family Conference is a premier conference of its kind; with its focus on addressing the rich African American history as well as the, past and present, struggles and implications for the present and future. Named in honor of Dr. Joseph H. McMillan, the founder of the conference and UofL administrator for over 30 years. 


Previous Speakers Include:

Congresswoman Maxine Waters 

Hill Harper 

Rev. Al Sharpton

Dr. Cornel West

Sabrina Fulton

Roland Martin

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson 

Julianne Malveaux

Dr. Joyce Ladner