Friday, April 27

1:00-6:00 PM: Registration and Check-In

1:30-3:00 PM: Walking Campus Tours

See what is new on campus, including a tour of the new Multicultural Center with Noha Elmohands, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs.

3:00 PM: Welcome

Join us to open the 2018 Symposium with welcome remarks from Kenyora Parham '10, Chair, Black Alumnae/i Symposium 2018 and Vice President, African American Alumnae/i Association and President of Simmons College, Helen G. Drinan '75LS, '78SM.

3:30 PM: Opening Plenary—Celebrating the Greatness Within Us

Julieanna Richardson, Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers, will frame our weekend by reflecting on the importance of documenting the achievements and accomplishments of African American leaders within our community. Her remarks will focus on the achievements and contributions of Dr. Dorothy Ferebee '20, physician and Civil Rights pioneer, Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD, trail blazing journalist, and end with an interview with Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas '63, '00HD about her experiences as and becoming the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Senegal.

4:45 PM: Reception and Gwen Ifill Archive Preview

Following the plenary, there will be a reception with light food and drinks. Attendees are invited to view some of Gwen Ifill's belongings that have been gifted to Simmons, as well as view the film that has been commissioned by Simmons about Ms. Ifill's life.

6:30 PM: Dinner in the City

Make plans for dinner on your own with old and new friends. Suggestions provided.

Saturday, April 28

8:00 AM-4:00 PM: Registration and Check-In

8:00 AM: Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM: Welcome from the Symposium Steering Committee

9:30 AM: Plenary—Healthcare Leaders Alumnae/i Panel

Engage with experts in the field in a dialogue on current health inequities and inequalities that are affecting the black community and the innovative ways that these issues are being addressed. This discussion will explore mental health, the intersectionality of racism and health, and the impact of environment versus genetics in health outcomes. Panelists: LaDonna Christian '12HSC, '16HSD, P'12 (Moderator), Millicent Gorham '76, '11HD, Cheryl Holder, MD, and Ngina Lythcott '67, '04HD.

11:00 AM: Keynote—Symone D. Sanders

Ms. Sanders is a communications strategist who rose to prominence during her tenure working with Bernie Sanders' campaign as the youngest presidential press secretary on record. She is now a political commentator for CNN and principal of the strategic communications group 360 Group LLC, and has been featured by NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker.

12:00 PM: Networking Lunch

Connect with fellow attendees during this networking lunch.

1:00 PM: Plenary—Civic Engagement Leaders Alumnae/i Panel

Interact with civically engaged leaders on a discussion of why Black women and women of color are needed in the political sphere. Let's discuss the challenges and opportunities that may be faced, yet are desperately needed during this time. Panelists: Pamela Moran Dashiell '75, Harriet Elam-Thomas '63, '00HD (moderator), Desirea Simmons '05, '06GS, and Carol Waller Pope '74.

2:30 PM: Workshop Breakout Sessions

  1. Entrepreneurship workshop—Faye Coleman, '68: Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country (and 322% increase since 1997!), yet we are still struggling to lead leadership roles in various industries. Learn from Dr. Faye Coleman '68, Founder and CEO of FEC Enterprises and Westover Health Institute, as she provides insider knowledge on the how to's of getting over your fears, learning from your mistakes, and moving past the "no's".
  2. Activism 101—"Who Is Responsible for the State of Our Youth?": Black youth have high rates of school failure and drop-outs, incarceration, and homicide. Join local community and youth leaders to discuss and address prevention and intervention strategies for our young people.
  3. Becoming a mentor—Chanelle Peters '04 and Sasha Dubois '08: Now more than ever, mentorship is a necessity to help support the next generation. Participate in this workshop to learn how to become a mentor from members of our community who are leading and facilitating these important connections through the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program and the Simmons Alumnae/i ALANA Mentoring Program.

3:45 PM: Group photo

4:15 PM: Roundtable Discussion—Where does the Black woman fit in today's feminist movement?

Facilitated by Julieanna Richardson and BAS Steering Committee

6:30 PM: Evening Affair—Dinner and Celebration

Join students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i for an evening that will celebrate the power of our presence as we celebrate the greatness within us. The event will feature dinner, dessert, dancing, and remarks by Chanelle Peters '04, President of the African American Alumnae/i Association, and Deborah C. Brittain '74SW, TS, Member of the Simmons Board of Trustees.

Sunday, April 29

9:30 AM-12:00 PM: Gospel Brunch and Awards Ceremony

To culminate the weekend, Simmons College Gospel Choir will serenade us with live music, as we present the Black Alumnae/i Symposium Awards: "Celebrating Our Greatness", "Distinguished Recent Alumni", "Gwen Ifill Trailblazer Award", and the "Quiet Leader Recognition Award". Following, a special presentation will be led by Leslie Morris, Founder of Women of the Dream, to present an award to Nas Taylor '19.

Register today!