Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business to Host the Inaugural “Failure: The Road to Success Conference” with Alumna Pinky Cole

A conversation for students to understand that failing isn’t necessarily a setback but can be a setup for success. 

Clark Atlanta University announced the first “Failure: The Road to Success Conference” sponsored by the School of Business. The conference is on March 1, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Thomas W. Cole, Jr. Science & Research Center’s Aldridge Auditorium.  

“Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never have success,” said Pam Richardson-Greenfield, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing-School of Business. “Experiencing failure is a part of everyone’s life. The sooner students realize and understand that they will encounter failure, the quicker they can adjust and apply the lessons learned (from their failure).  This conference aims to educate our students that no one is exempt from failure, that failure should be embraced as a valuable, learning experience, and the importance of sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly when chasing goals and dreams, as it can serve as motivation for others.   

The conference will feature three panelists: Simona Rabsatt Butler, Senior Director, Global Sourcing at VISA; alumnus Shannon Gordon, Human Capital Consultant Thought Leader at Deloitte; and alumnus Janis Middleton, EVP, Chief Inclusion Officer at Guided by Good. Alumna Pinky Cole, Founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan, will serve as the guest moderator.  

Cole, a 2009 graduate of Clark Atlanta University, recently released a book directly related to the topic of failure.  “If you had all the resources in the world, how would you make your dream happen?” asks Cole in I Hope You Fail: Ten Hater Statements Holding You Back from Getting Everything You Want (Harper Collins). “You may not get there tomorrow, but keep focused on that plan you drew out and have patience with yourself,” she states.  

To register for the conference, click here. 

Media interested in attending should contact Paula Owens at or 404-880-8521. 


About Clark Atlanta University  

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that compose the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing – “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit 

Paula Owens, Communications Manager