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Celebrating Black History Month: Online College Community Conversation - Supporting BIPOC Communities Under A New Federal Administration


Alicia Richardson, Associate ProfessorAssociate Professor Alicia Richardson, of the Division of Liberal Arts, will be hosting an upcoming online College discussion that she, Student Activities Advisor Ben DeAngelis, and Human Services major/Student Government Association President Jennifer Malave intend as a way to shine a light on how to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities under the new federal administration. The online discussion will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. (Join the College Community Conversation online via Microsoft Teams.)

Ms. Richardson explained more about this important discussion recently.

What will this discussion cover?

This is us coming together to discuss how things have changed, what has changed, what changes underneath this new administration might look like, and what should be at the top of the list. We want to generate ideas about things we want to see and make sure we are pushing and advocating for the change that we think is important.

Why is it important for the College to host this discussion?

I think it’s important that we begin to see our students and their needs as part of a larger conversation. These conversations should be the conversations we are having inside and outside of the classroom and for people to be thinking out loud about what they believe is important and then moving from conversation to action. Conversation is a powerful tool when it comes to discussing race and culture and diversity, but it can’t stop there. That’s just the beginning. It’s about what we can do individually and then as a community to make sure that these opportunities for growth are brought to the attention of our society and our government.

Since we are a campus that is dedicated to racial and social justice, these are the kinds of discussions that we have to have; not just the conversation, but the action we have to take as a result as well.

If we think about creating policies that support diversity, equity, and inclusion through action and community work, then we will do it right. We want our students to feel that they are seen on campus. We need to make it a priority that we include them in conversations about the things that matter to them.

Can you explain how the conversation will flow?

We want to make sure that everyone who wants to speak has an opportunity to do so. We will create topics of interest and questions for us to think about and answer, allowing the conversation to flow in the direction that suits our goal . We want to make sure everyone feels heard and has an opportunity to speak if they would like to.

More online programs and activities are planned throughout the month in celebration of Black History Month.

Alicia Richardson, Associate Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts, is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. She has been with SUNY Schenectady since she joined the Faculty in 2010 and teaches a variety of English and literature courses.

Black History Month events are sponsored by the Office of Student Activities; African American, Latinx, Asian, Native American (ALANA) Club; Student Government Association (SGA); Student Activities Board; Rhythms Literary Club; and the Intercultural Affairs Committee.