2018 Black Alumnae/i Symposium

On April 27-29, 2018, more than 150 alumnae/i, faculty, staff, and students gathered on campus to attend the 2018 Black Alumnae/i Symposium entitled The Power of Our Presence: Celebrating the Greatness Within Us.

Group shot from a previous Black Alumnae/i Symposium

Program Highlights Included

  • Updates from Simmons with University Leadership
  • Julieanna Richardson, founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers, reflected on the contributions of Dr. Dorothy Ferebee ’20, Gwen Ifill ’77, ‘93HD, and interviewed Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas ’63, ‘00HD.
  • Leading healthcare professionals and experts, LaDonna Christian ’12HSC, ’16HSD, P’12 (Moderator), Millicent Gorham ’76, ’11HD, Cheryl Holder, MD, and Ngina Lythcott ’67, ’04HD, led a panel on current healthcare inequities, particularly those affecting black communities, and the innovative ways those issues are being addressed.
  • A keynote speech by CNN political commentator Symone D. Sanders, the youngest press secretary for a presidential candidate on record.
  • A civic engagement panel featuring, Fmr. Amb. Harriet Elam-Thomas, Hon. Pamela Moran 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.
  • Saturday’s Evening Affair with remarks from Deborah C. Brittain ’74SW, TS (some dancing too!)
  • Gospel Brunch with beautiful singing by Bryanna Brown ’19, a moving Awards Ceremony, and a powerful presentation by the students from Women of the Dream of the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Alumnae/i Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2018 Black Alumnae/i Symposium award winners!

  • Celebrating Our Greatness: Maicharia Weir Lytle '05SM 
  • Distinguished Recent Alumni: Jalessah Jackson'17GS
  • Gwen Ifill Trailblazer Award: Juliette Mayers '01SM
  • Quiet Leader Recognition Award: Jeannette Mayes Miller '59