Black History Month video montage of photos from past keynote speakers

Black History Month at Quinnipiac

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Past Black History Month Events

Special Guest Lecture: Blair Taylor

Blair Taylor speaks at a microphone in front of an audience

Agents of hope and change

Blair Taylor, former chief executive officer of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, offered students, faculty and staff tangible ways to create positive social change.

‘A Diverse World of Opportunity’

Presented by: Blair Taylor

Blair Taylor delivered his address on January 31 in the Mount Carmel Auditorium.

Blair Taylor, former chief executive officer of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance,) a nonprofit launched by President Barack Obama that focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity, will lead a discussion on social change and the diverse world students are entering. Taylor discussed actionable tools to help students make a positive impact on our world today.

Taylor previously led all corporate social responsibility and government affairs functions while serving as the executive vice president of Starbucks Global Partner Resources and also served as chief community officer and president of the Starbucks Foundation, where he led Starbucks' efforts to help communities thrive globally in more than 60 countries.

While serving as CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, he was ranked among the NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for two consecutive years, a testament to his reputation for being able to forge relationships for the benefit of the community.

Film Screening: ‘The Feminist on Cell Block Y’

‘The Feminist on Cellblock Y’ screening

Circle of Perspectives: Film and Dialogue Series

In preparation for Black History Month keynote speaker Richard Edmond-Vargas, the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement screened "The Feminist on Cellblock Y" on Tuesday, February 5 in the Carl Hansen Student Center. The documentary, produced by CNN, follows a convicted felon as he builds a feminist movement behind bars at an all-male prison in Soledad, California.

Keynote Speaker: Richard Edmond-Vargas

Richard Edmond-Vargas speaks on a stage with a podium that reads Quinnipiac University in front of an audience

Freedom to question

Richard Edmond-Vargas inspired audience members to question concepts of patriarchy, especially as it relates to our incarceration system.

‘Cops, Gangstas, D.A.s and Thugs Share a Common Ancestor — Patriarchy’

Presented by: Richard Edmond-Vargas

Richard Edmond-Vargas delivered a Black History Month Keynote address Wednesday, February 6 in the Burt Kahn Court. 

Edmond-Vargas questions concepts of patriarchy while inspiring powerful conversation about topics in cellblock feminism, mass incarceration and restorative justice.

He was featured in the CNN documentary, “The Feminist on Cellblock Y" in April, which highlighted his unlikely but impactful work as an inmate teaching feminism in an all-male prison.

Edmond-Vargas is a co-founder of Initiate Justice, a non-profit that was founded while he was serving 10 years in California state prison for a crime that he committed as a teenager. He encourages others, especially those directly impacted by incarceration, to get involved in grassroots legislative efforts aimed at ending punitive justice systems and investing in people, communities and restorative means of reducing harm.

Keynote Speaker: Bettina Love

‘We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching’

Presented by: Bettina Love, PhD

Bettina Love, PhD, delivered a Black History Month keynote address on February 13 in the Mount Carmel Auditorium.

Love is an award-winning author and associate professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate hip-hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice.

Love lectures on a wide range of topics including: hip-hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth, hip-hop feminism, art-based education to foster youth civic engagement, and issues of diversity. In 2014, she was invited to the White House Research Conference on Girls to discuss her work focused on the lives of Black girls.

Love is one of the founding board members of The Kindezi School, an innovative school focused on small classrooms and art-based education. Finally, she is the author of the book, "Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South." She is working on her second book, "We Want to Do More Than Survive: A Pedagogy of Mattering."

Bettina Love speaks with a student as she gets her book signed

Changing the world

Bettina Love brought an urgent, high-energy message to Quinnipiac, encouraging students, faculty and community to open their eyes, hearts and minds about using hip hop music and culture to form social, cultural and political identities to create new ways of thinking about education and social justice.

Black Student Union Events

Black History Month Showcase

The Black Student Union hosted its annual Black History Month Showcase on February 1 in the Clarice L. Buckman Theater. The event featured a collection of artists and performers who paid homage to Black history and culture.

Apollo Night

Inspired by the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Apollo Night, held February 15, was an open forum where students showcased their talents or interests. All students were encouraged to participate in this free event — whether it was comedy, spoken word, song, dance or rap. The event also featured raffle prizes and free food.

School of Medicine Events

Soul Food and Jazz Night

The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine hosted Soul Food and Jazz Night on February 15, which showcased diversity and inclusion by sharing key cultural aspects of the Black community. This includes food, jazz music and highlighting the accomplishments of individuals in medicine and health care with the greater Quinnipiac community.

The event highlighted the role of Sunday Dinner, a cultural tradition in the Black community and provide a space for dialogue for members of the Quinnipiac community. This event helped expose the university community to jazz, a genre with origins in the Black community. This event also featured historical information and images of notable Black and African Americans.

Movie Screening: The Hate You Give

The School of Medicine hosted the film screening to raise awareness and stimulate conversations on racism. They hosted a conversation on how racism plays a role in health care delivery.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Gary V. Desir

Dr. Gary Desir discussed diversity and inclusion in the medical field and in academic medicine. Dr. Desir explored current issues regarding diversity — with a focus on recruitment of minority populations to medicine. He also addressed the topics of social justice in the 21st century, and involvement in service and advocacy both domestically and abroad.

Black History Month Soiree

This fun event provided a relaxing social atmosphere for students during Black History Month. There was music and food representative of varying aspects of Black culture.