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Black Alumnae/i Symposium 2018

More than 150 participated in a weekend focused on celebration, inspiration and the power of giving back.

Alumnae/i, faculty, staff and students gathered on campus April 27-29 for this year’s Black Alumnae/i Symposium, “The Power of Our Presence: Celebrating the Greatness Within Us.” The event is held every five years, hosted by the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement and the African American Alumnae/i Association.

CNN political commentator and guest speaker Symone D. Sanders.

The weekend of speakers, panel discussions, awards and networking including a keynote speech by CNN political commentator Symone D. Sanders, the youngest press secretary on record for a presidential campaign. Other highlights of the Symposium included:

• Julieanna Richardson, founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers, reflected on the contributions of Dr. Dorothy Ferebee ’20, Gwen Ifill ’77, ’93HD. She also interviewed Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas ’63, ’00HD.

• Leading health-care professionals and experts explored current health-care inequities, particularly those affecting black communities, and innovative ways those issues are being addressed. Panelists included School of Nursing Associate Professor of Practice LaDonna Christian ’12HSC, ’16HSD, P’12 (Moderator); Millicent Gorham ’76, ’11HD; Cheryl Holder, MD; and Ngina Lythcott ’67, ’04HD.

• A panel on civic engagement featuring Ambassador Elam-Thomas ’63, ’00HD; the Hon. Pamela M. Dashiell ’75, associate justice of the Boston Municipal Court; Carol Waller Pope ’74, former member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority; and Desiraé Simmons ’05, ’06GS, a community engagement professional at the University of Michigan.

Julieanna Richardson, Founder of The HistoryMakers; Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas ’63, ’00HD; and Elizabeth B. Rawlins ’67GS, ’03HD, EM, former associate dean and professor emeritus.

The weekend’s events also included a preview of the college’s Gwen Ifill Archive and an awards ceremony which included presenting the Gwen Ifill Trailblazer Award to Juliette Mayers ’01MBA, president and CEO of Inspiration Zone, a strategic consulting and brand management firm.