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A panel of Lafayette students who attended the fifth annual Black Solidarity Conference in October at Yale University will discuss the topic “Black Reformation in the New Millennium” during a brown bag at noon Friday, November 5, in the Interfaith Chapel, Hogg Hall.

  • The McDonogh Report celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the Lafayette community.

Sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office, the event is free and open to the public. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

Fourteen Lafayette students attended the Black Solidarity Conference, which included workshops on topics such as black leadership and activism. The contingent was led by Landon Adams, a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio, who organized the trip along with Tiffany Blakey, a junior from Philadelphia, Pa., and Justin Kidwell, a senior from Baltimore, Md. Adams is president of the Brothers of Lafayette, an organization of black students promoting unity through campus and community activities.

The conference focused on issues raised by Black Solidarity Day, a concept born in a Douglas Turner Ward play, A Day of Absence, which examined the social, political and economic consequences that would result if all black people were to disappear from American society. The day is usually celebrated on the Monday before Election Day to remind the nation, and African-Americans in particular, of the continued struggle and collective power of black people.

“The best thing I got out of the conference was being in company of other black student leaders with the same mind and focus,” Adams says. “One issue raised was that we have come a long way, and we need to celebrate that, but at the same time, we need to be conscious that we have a long way to go. One topic we discussed dealt with being a part of the bigger picture. Specifically, a leadership workshop stressed how we as black leaders can incorporate the black experience into the bigger picture of our institutions. We need to be involved in all aspects of the campus, establishing membership on different committees, attending various meetings, working together and coordinating events.”

The conference made a significant impression on Adams and the Lafayette students that attended.

“It was a wonderful experience,” he says. “I expect this will be one of the memorable experiences I’ll take from my collegiate life. I believe this was the first group to go from Lafayette, and I look forward to going again. It’s very helpful to communicate with other black student leaders and bring back the strategies that they are using, which in turn enhances the community at large.”

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