Building a Campus Climate that Addresses Anti-Blackness
Mainstream approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) idealize democratized and multicultural campus environments that serve as a marketplace of ideas. However, while campuses may intend to implement the best DEI frameworks in programming and throughout the institution, Black, Indigenous, and other students of color may suffer further marginalization and censorship.
Fundamental change begins with cultural leaders asking the right questions and expanding the conversation throughout college spaces. As campus leaders, how can student programmers and professional staff actively explore what this means for their school on all levels: partners, audience, the classroom and beyond? How can we educate and involve the campus community and draw from the most inclusive strategies?
Educator Melissa Denizard will discuss how college environments can constrict the imagination and learning potential of Black students through structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal anti-Blackness. She will provide fundamental strategies for creating more equitable campus programming that centers on the safety and wellbeing of their Black, Indigenous, and other students of color to build a truly more inclusive and compassionate campus for everyone.
Blackness is as Delicious as Gumbo: An Exploration of the Black Identity
What ties the Black diaspora together: culture or pain? Fusing lecture and seminar styles to provide young people with an innovative approach to learn political theory, this presentation aims to explore Black culture and the diasporic pain experienced by Black people by using Solange Knowles' albums, A Seat at the Table and When I Get Home as key contemporary pop cultural sources to analyze similar themes that have been echoed throughout the Black Radical Tradition.
That Ol' Time Cultural Appropriation: How whiteness Stole Country Music
Is cultural appropriation a key function of white supremacy and settler colonialism? Fusing lecture and seminar styles, this presentation aims to explore how country music–as demonstrated by Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road Remix–became a largely white genre that excludes Black people—the genre’s originators—and the larger systemic implications of this cultural heist. (Requires 2 hours.)
Transforming Struggle Into Opportunity: How I Use My Identity to Fuel my Social Justice Work
Along with providing a grounding for her political ideology and praxis, Black Feminism serves as a guiding light for Melissa’s perpetual self-reflection. In this talk, Melissa discusses her genesis in social justice, how she has connected theory to praxis, and how she has continuously and brilliantly utilized her identity as the beacon for her social justice work. Ultimately, Melissa urges listeners to consider the appropriation of the Combahee River Collective’s notion of identity politics and why we need to reclaim the phrase’s roots in the Black Radical Tradition.
Everything Is Capital: An Analysis of Capitalism's Role in the Movement for Black Lives
Can the use of capitalism provide an avenue for Black liberation? Fusing lecture and seminar styles to provide young people with an innovative approach to learn political theory, this presentation aims to explore the role that capitalism can play in the Black liberation struggle by using The Carters’ (more commonly known as Beyoncé and Jay-Z) Everything is Love album as a key contemporary pop cultural source to analyze similar themes that have been echoed throughout the Black radical tradition.