The 22nd Annual Black Solidarity Conference at Yale
Thursday, February 16th - Sunday, February 19th
“A New Dawn, A New Day: Promoting and Protecting Blackness in the Digital Age”
This year’s theme will lead participants on a creative exploration of multidimensional Blackness in the digital age. By engaging with the digital platforms we often frequent (such as social media, journalism, apps, and hashtags) we will dissect technology’s role in transforming narratives, raising awareness, and providing new levels of agency and accountability to Black people across the diaspora.
Thursday, February 16th
2 - 7 PM: Registration
Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St., New Haven
Meet us at the Afam House to check-in for conference! You will be given a folder full of Conference goodies and a wristband (that you must keep on for all of conference). We can't wait to see you! If you requested Yale Housing, this is also where you will be connected with your host for the weekend. We will have music and games for informal bonding and a chance to meet the awesome participants! If you pre-ordered a BSC T-shirt, you will also pick it up here!
6:30 - 9:30 PM: Blackness at HBO
Location: sss 114: Insecure screening & discussion
DOORS OPEN AT 6:30PM. Screening begins at 7PM. We recommend arriving early! Following a screening of an episode of Issa Rae’s new show “Insecure,” HBO actor Jay Ellis will speak and lead a conversation with the audience about their experiences as people of color and the ways in which HBO tries to convey diverse experiences in their productions.
Friday February 17th
9:45 - 10:30 Opening Ceremony
Location: SSS 114
The BSC Executive Board welcomes 700 participants to conference! Following a Meet the Board video, the BSC President says a short speech, and an outside speaker from the New Haven community may also say some remarks. The Vice President will provide an overview of the conference schedule and sends off the group to the first set of talks.
10:45 - 12PM Morning Talks
1. Afro-futurism and Black Science Fiction, Jaimie Boadnax, Rasheedah Philips, & Ytasha Womack | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 317
What is afrofuturism? How is it represented? This panel will look critically how black science fiction and afrofuturism are creating new, innovative forms of blackness.
2. Your Uniqueness is your Power: How to Launch a Tech Business, Brian Gerard | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 101
We are often told that our Blackness can deter us from our dreams. That it will make life harder, and that you will constantly need to work around it or hide it. This type of thinking creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where you end up hindering yourself. While building my first company, Bae, a social/dating app, I realized that being Black is one of my greatest advantages. Learn how to change your thinking and empower yourself.
3. Multimedia Black Arts Workshop, | William L. Harkness Hall (WLH), 100 Wall St., Room 119 [CANCELLED]
Come to this talk to delve into the different media through which black artists are making their voices heard and their experiences visible. For artists and non-artists alike, this workshop will be sure to highlight the beauty and complexity of 21st-century black art.
4. Blackness in Media and Advertising, Brandy Monk-Payton, Asha Boston, Sadira Furlow, & Jackie Gange | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 102
This panel will look at what role actors, directors, and executives play in creating media representations of blackness. Panelists will discuss what good representation of blackness looks like and the future of black media and advertising.
12:15-1:15PM Lunch: Ujima Group Discussion
BSC participants, prior to arriving at Yale, are divided into 33 “Ujima” groups of 20 students from different schools. During lunch on both Friday and Saturday, they break up into these specific groups to share ideas, discuss the morning presentations, and form closer relationships with each other.
1:30-2:45 Friday Afternoon Talks
1. Very Smart Brothas' Damon Young: Let’s Talk About It, Damon Young | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 317
Come hear Damon Young, Editor-In-Chief of Very Smart Brothas (an online black news source), talk about his experience as an editor, columnist, and essayist and journalism's power of creation in the image of blackness.
2. Navigating Networks: Building Social Capital to Discover Vocational Purpose, Haywood Perry & Triston Francis | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 211
How do I seem professional to potential recruiters online yet also maintain my own authenticity and personal brand? What steps can I take to build a supportive professional network? Come learn some tips from Yale faculty member, Haywood Perry and Morgan Stanley Representative, Tristan Francis, on the do’s and don’ts of finding your own vocational path.
3. Beauty Tech Gurus on Changing the "Mainstream" Narrative, Jackie Aina, Ofunne Amaka, & Antonia Dean | Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 102
Just as there is a mainstream narrative we hear from the literature, we know there exists a mainstream image of personalities depicted in the media and online. This panel will look at how digital platforms have enabled us to challenge eurocentric beauty standards and hold the beauty industry accountable.Come hear some amazing women speak about how they challenge and reshape popular content.
4. The Power of Black Twitter, April Reign, Vann Newkirk, & Hanif Willis-Abdurraquib | William L. Harkness Hall (WLH), 100 Wall St., Room 119
Black Twitter: know it, you love it, you laugh and cry by it. Whether you actively use Twitter or not, odds are that any black person knows of this virtual world that caters to and is dominated by black voices. With hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite, #NationalDuragHistoryWeek, #BlackLivesMatter, it is clear that Black Twitter is a powerful tool for our community to have critical discussions as well as share messages of black joy and laughter. Come and examine the roots of Black Twitter's power and its potential uses to enact change.
3:00PM - 5:00PM Career Fair & Career Workshops
Career Fair with booths for 10+companies, organizations, and graduate programs @ Dwight Hall, 67 High St., New Haven
Companies, organization, and graduate programs send diverse representatives to share information with students about their work, summer internship opportunities, and post-graduate opportunities, as well as upcoming recruiting events.
Google Resume Workshop @ Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 102
Join Google in an engaging workshop centered on crafting a resume that stands out, and how to showcase your personal brand! You'll be able to leave this workshop with an understanding of how to highlight your academic achievements, leadership and work experience. You'll also have the opportunity to ask to a Google Recruiter top of mind questions (like - do you really need a cover letter?)
Goldman Sachs Workshop @ Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC), 63 High Street, Room 317
Ask 1000 random people the secret to a successful internship/job search and you’ll get at least half as many answers. Ask dozens of proven leaders the same question, however, and you’ll get just 3. In this session, we’ll be giving you the tested playbook on how to put your best foot forward. We’re skipping the things you already know in order to spend time on the things that will actually help you land the internship or job of your dreams. Are you ready to stand out from the stack?
4:00PM - 7:00PM Jopwell Activation featuring the New York Times
Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St.
Jopwell takes over the Afro-American Cultural Center and creates an interactive, digital environment for students to explore. Check out the NYT's Virtual Reality set and learn more about their new segment on race relations. This is also where you will claim your $25 Jopwell voucher for those of you who registered for BSC through the Jopwell portal!
Light Carribbean fare appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.
7:00PM - 9:00PM BSC Talent Show!
Come one, come all to BSC's Annual Talent Show! In a room full of excitement, you'll see your peers from across the nation perform a variety of amazing acts!
9:00PM - 1:00AM TOADS Concert featuring IAMSU!
Toad’s Place 300 York St., New Haven
Doors open at 9 PM, party goes til 1 AM! Concert from IAMSU! Full bar open for 21+. DJ Relly Rell to close the night!
Saturday, February 18th
8:00AM - 10:00 AM Complimentary Jopwell Breakfast at the Afam House featuring Jet.com
Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St.
Come enjoy a complimentary breakfast while learning more about Jet.com. Jet.com is changing the way the world shops. Founded on three simple values – trust, transparency and fairness – Jet finds innovative ways to pull costs out of the supply chain, creating more value for shoppers, retailers, and brands. Based in Hoboken, NJ—just ten minutes from Manhattan—our team of builders, thinkers, risk-takers, and dreamers is pushing the boundaries to create a world-class shopping experience. Also, Jopwell will be offering free, professional headshots!
10:45AM - 12:00PM Morning Talks
1. Give us the Facts: A Conversation with Black Journalists, Kimberley Foster, Soraya McDonald, & Terry Samuel
Journalism is a field that encompasses everything ranging from writing for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, to collating the celebrity drama that you and your friends talk about over lunch. As glamorous as this may seem, rarely do we get to hear about some of the difficulties faced by Black writers in navigating the field of journalism. This workshop will explore the extent to which race influences the type of writing that Black journalists produce, as well as the hindrances it creates within the field.
2. Students Leading the Way: A Discussion on Student Activism, Lex Barlowe & Jessica Brown
Student activism has been a tradition present in college-culture for decades. During this workshop, participants will have the chance to reflect on the various forms of activism on campus. You will hear about various methods of organizing, the stakes of student activism, and have an opportunity to share your own expeiences and contextualize student activism on other college campuses.
3. Black Representation in the Tech Industry, Clarence Agbi & Alicia Harris
Whilst people of color make up a vast majority of the world, they remain widely underrepresented in STEM fields in the United States. This workshop serves to depict Black representation in the Tech Industry through an exploration of organizations that strive to create pathways for professional success in the field of technology, software development and data analysis, and the executive realm of the private sector.
4. The Politics of Liberation, Deray McKesson
What are the Politics of Liberation? In this workshop, explore how which elements of past liberation movements are applicable to today and how we can morph it to meet our current position in time and space. What does it mean to imagine something better in our society. For example, there are certain social contracts that we all adhere to. What then, do we do when people violate these social contracts, if not policing and feeding into the incarceration system?
12:15PM - 1:15PM Lunch with Ujima Groups
1:30 - 2:45PM Afternoon Talks
1. Constructing Effective Civil Rights Activism in the Digital Age, Arziki Adamu
The current political climate presents several threats to our democracy, including the limit of civil liberties activists have fought for throughout our nation’s history. This workshop will utilize an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the most, and least, effective means of civil rights activism in the Digital Age. Using examples from current events, research studies, meta-data collection, and public relations techniques, participants will construct an activism model for students to take back to their campuses and utilize with their various organizations. Students will discuss the unique position of college students to engage their communities and affect political change.
2. How do You Find Your Voice Online?, Hannah Giorgis, Avery Ware, & Gabby Toi
For many people, blogs serve as creative outlets, whilst for others it provides a reason to read and an opportunity to write. In examining the intersectional relationship between race and things we dedicate our time to, this panel will unpack what it means to be black blogger in this digital age, and how blogging creates a space for narratives of blackness to be heard.
3. Navigating the Internet as a Black Woman, Feminista Jones
4. What is the Impact of Social Media on Our Mental Health?, Francoise Hamlin & Allyson Brathwaite-Gardner
Hear from two mental health professionals on their interest in entering the field and exciting research, including preliminary findings related to PTSD and trauma from the lived Black experience. This panel will lead into discussions of how social media and other sorts of technology may affect our emotional and mental well being as young people of color who constantly interface with often negative (or deathly) images of people who look like us.
3:00 - 4:15 PM Afternoon Activities
1. Political Activism and Discussion with Leaders and High School students from the New Haven, Dwight Hall 67 High St.
Get together for a phone banking workshop and to share thoughts, ideas, and action plans for creating a political landscape that benefits our communities. Leaders and activists from the New Haven community will be present to share their experiences and support! There will also be high school students from the area eager to get to know some Black college students and learn more about your different campuses. Come out and support!
Omni Hotel New Haven
5:30 - 6:30 PM VIP Reception
All BSC Board members, Volunteers, and Ujima Group Leaders are invited to a VIP reception with our keynote speaker at the Omni Hotel. We will have light appetizers and beverages. Black formal attire is requested!
7:00 -9:00 PM Keynote Dinner featuring Opal Tometti, #BlackLivesMatter Co-founder
Please arrive no later than 6:45PM. Doors will close at 7PM. Black formal attire is requested. Please join us for an evening of dinner, conversation, music, and a keynote speech from Opal Tometti, the co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.