Black Alumnae/i Symposium Schedule of Events

All events will take place at Simmons unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, April 28, 2023

2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Welcome to the 2023 Black Alumnae/i Symposium! Check-in here to pick up your name badge, Simmons swag, and other event materials to prep you for the weekend ahead.

Location: MCB Lobby

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Campus Tours

Join a Simmons University Campus Ambassador for a tour of our beautiful campus! On this tour, you will have a chance to see recent renovations including the new Science Center and Library!

Location: MCB Lobby

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Receive a warm welcome from Symposium committee member Kenyora Parham '10, AAAA President as you mix and mingle with other attendees over refreshments and a special student performance.

Location: Gwen Ifill Wing/Communication Lounge

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


Enjoy reconnecting with friends at the following recommended (off-campus) restaurants providing an exclusive offer to attendees or at another city establishment of your choosing.

Recommended restaurants: The Pearl South Bay, Suya Joint, Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, Park 54 Restaurant

Saturday, April 29, 2023

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


If you didn't check-in on Friday, swing by to grab a program, swag, and other weekend materials.

Location: MCB Lobby

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Morning Wellness Walk

Let's start the morning on the right foot and recharge our mind, body, and soul over a shared wellness walk.

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Bagels, bananas, and blueberries...oh my! A continental breakfast will be offered to fuel you for the fruitful day ahead.

Location: LKP, MCB

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Richelle Smith '21MSW, Chair of the 2023 Black Alumnae/i Symposium and Kenyora (Johnson) Parham '10, President of the African American Alumnae/i Association will set the stage for "The Power of Our Presence: Our Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration."

Location: LKP, MCB

9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

State of the University

Hear the most up to date report on the University's current priorities and initiatives from President Lynn Perry Wooten and other leadership team members as they highlight key details relevant to the Black student and alumnae/i experience.

Location: LKP, MCB

10:15 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Song Performance

Raise your voice with us as we are led by two students from the Women of the Dream, Sasha Oglesby and Anaya Thompson, in a musical selection.

Location: LKP, MCB

10:20 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Keynote Speaker on "Taking Back Our Power"

Lean in as we hear from Dr. Adunni Slackman Anderson '73 - Leader, Activist, Educator, and Lifelong Learner - who will share her own story of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration. Dr. Adunni will highlight her work in education and her own experience as a Black Simmons alumna. This session will include a Q&A segment.

Location: LKP, MCB

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Behind the Veil - Simmons Black Oral History Project and the State of Africana Studies

Examine the Simmons Black Oral History Project, which seeks to document the lives and experiences of Black Simmons alumnae/i, including what it means to be a Black student and how the history has informed the current state of the Africana Studies program.

Location: LKP, MCB

12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Group Photo

Location: 300 The Fenway Entrance

12:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Location: Fens, MCB

12:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Shop Black Business - A Vendor Fair

Shop and support these Black and alum(na) entrepreneurs offering their passion, products, and service at this vendor fair. See check-in handout on participating businesses.

Location: Common Grounds, MCB

1:45 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

#1: Resilience of the Firsts: First Generation Students - Beating the Odds: Discuss and celebrate the success of first-generation college students, faculty, staff, and alums. We hope you join us in advancing an asset-based national narrative on first-generation student experiences and outcomes to encourage our community to understand the systemic barriers plaguing higher education and the support necessary for this essential and resilient population to thrive.

Location: A-153

#2: Resilience of the Graduate Student & Faculty Experience: Our association has been committed to expanding the reach of the Black experience at Simmons and this includes our graduate community. Please join as we hear stories from both current and past graduate students across various programs.

Location: A-151

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Plenary Session

Resistance: The Power of the Sister Circle: Sister Circle is about creating spaces that evoke a sense of belonging and community, especially amongst Black collegiate women as they navigate in predominantly white spaces. This session aims to discuss the impact of our sisterhood and what it has had on our legacy. Led by the leadership of the BSO, let's continue to build bridges between multi-generational roles in our community.

Location: A-152

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Break/Free Time

Take a break, enjoy some downtime, explore campus or the area on your own, or start getting ready for the celebratory night ahead!

5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

An Evening Affair - "Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Africana Studies at Simmons"

Let's celebrate our history, our friendship, our accomplishments and the 50th Anniversary of Africana Studies at Simmons! This evening affair will include a cocktail hour, remarks from Simmons first African American president Lynn Perry Wooten and other honored speakers, a delicious dinner, dancing the night away, and more. Business casual attire recommended. A drink ticket will be included; and an opportunity to purchase additional drink tickets will be provided.

Location: LKP

Sunday, April 30, 2023

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Honor and celebrate the astonishing accomplishments of the 2023 award recipients as we indulge in a bountiful brunch and reflect on the beauty of how our community is built. Another special treat will include a special ceremony and dedication to a special distinguished guest. The weekend will culminate with powerful, inspirational messages, soul stirring music, and other closing remarks that will leave you recharged to show the world how when Simmons leads, the world works better. This Brunch is co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Alumnae/i Association.

Location: LKP