Afrolatinidad in Dance Professions (Nicole Mendez)
Description: This presentation explores the struggles of Afro-Latinx people in dance professions such as Ingrid Silva. From the challenges faced seeking an opportunity to join the dance industry to the lack of diversity once they are in it, this presentation seeks to educate others on what it means to be an Afro Latinx dancer – discrimination and struggle, but also resilience and strength. Nicole Mendez is a dedicated La Fuerza Unida Co-leader who knows that there are still many issues that need to be addressed in the Latinx community and has made it her duty to do so even with workshops hosted throughout the day at school. Because one of the most overlooked ways of making a difference in the Latinx community is by inspiring change in the new generation.
Black Lives Matter: Movements Move, Activist Activate (Kei Williams)
Description: Black Lives Matter started from a love note to Black people and has gone on to become one of the most powerful movements of our time. Learn how this was possible and how you can join the fight towards a better and more just world!
Biography: Kei Williams is a queer transmasculine identified designer, writer, and public speaker. A founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the aim of Kei’s work is to transform global culture from the individual into a systemic analysis of structural racism. As lead-organizer on campaigns such as Safety Beyond Policing, Swipe It Forward, and Trans Liberation Tuesday, Kei uses their platform to bring in the voices of those most marginalized by society — those who are queer, gnc, and transgender, and those living with mental illness. Recently, Kei returned for year 2 of the Organizers-In-Residency program at Civic Hall. Passionate about their city – Kei invites you to check out the Black Gotham Experience, an immersive visual storytelling project that celebrates the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City since 1625.
Follow Kei on Twitter — @BlackBoiKei
Discussion of the N-word (Kayla Scott-McDowell)
Description: The N-Word is used by many individuals every day. It is used in music, everyday language, communications, etc. But did you know this is a derogatory term? During this session, we will explain the history of the N-word and how it impacts people of color on a daily basis. This workshop is meant to educate others about the N-word and how the N-word is used in many different places: especially in songs. It is NOT TO OFFEND someone. This open conversation will be tense to talk about. Be advised!
Biography: Kayla Scott-McDowell is an alumni of Bard High School Early College Queens. She graduated in 2020 and hopes to educate other on issues that are affecting the community.
I Am Not Your Negro (Documentary film, 2017)
Description: Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House. Click here for more information.
When They See Us (Film, 2019)
Description: Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story. Click here for more information.
Where and When I Enter: Leveraging the Law to Create Effective Change (Shareece McCauley)
Description: How can the law be leveraged to stop seemingly systematic problems? Shareece McCauley shares her journey working in Human Trafficking to answer this question. It starts in Thailand, where she transcribed survivors accounts of human trafficking into English. Through this work, she realized that human trafficking is an immensely personal, systematic, and political issue, involving people on the margins, often people of color. While at law school, Shareece spent time in Ghana doing legal work for women and children suffering from economic and sexual human trafficking often working to restore their legal identities. This workshop will explore what a legal identity is, what every person on the margin should have in their legal knapsack, and steps one can take to battle seemingly systematic problems.
Biography: Shareece McCauley is an attorney, community activist, and writer. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in 2010. At Simon’s Rock, Shareece was the Black Student Union founder and president, where she helped establish an accessible minority safe space, and safe transportation in and out of Simon’s Rock to the local town. She earned her J.D. at Wayne State University in Michigan, where she worked on the Free Legal Aid Clinic board and for the Michigan Supreme Court. She also became a proud legal observer. In 2019, Shareece started her civil and family law firm, Common Ground Connections Legal Solutions. Shareece’s primary passion is working to advance the rights of children and prisoners, some of the most marginalized groups in the world. At home, Shareece enjoys reading, playing various brain games, dancing, and being around her family (particularly her husband and her 15+ “circus” of nieces and nephews).
Yuli (Film, 2018)
Description: Spanish with English subtitles. This vibrant drama recounts one man’s journey to becoming the first POC dancer in the Royal Ballet. Click here for more information.
American Son (Film, 2019)
Description: An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son. Click here for more information.
Fruitvale Station (Film, 2013)
Description: The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. Click here for more information.
Nuggets of Free: Why We Fight for Uncensored Spaces with/for Girls of Color (Michelan Le’Monier, Nicosie Christophe, Christina Akinsanya, Hanifah Johnson, Chelsea Allison, Kenya Lewis)
Description: How Can Adults Create and Support Safer, Uncensored, Creative Spaces for Girls/Young Women of Color? Attendees will learn strategies and techniques for collaborative art-making with girls/young women of color who are systems involved, have experienced school push-out, and who may be part of the school to-prison or abuse-to-prison pipelines. Attendees will be given context about the need for truly uncensored spaces for GOC to express themselves, and the value in trusting and believing girls’ narratives, and lived experiences. viBeCompany is viBe’s pre-professional group of young adult artists who receive ongoing training, paid performance opportunities, and who devise original theater for viBe’s invited performances. viBeCompany produces and performs one full length show each year. This year, our cohort began their project in person and due to COVID-19, participants had to decide whether they wanted to continue at all. They continued programming to communicate their own journey with self-discovery and self awareness through their virtual play, “Abrupt: God Is A Black Woman”, from which viBeCompany will perform scenes from for you today!
Biography: Toya Lillard is a theater director, artist, activist and educator. A native Houstonian, Toya graduated from Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts. She has directed plays, developed curricula, led advocacy efforts and implemented innovative teaching artist training programs both in and out of our city’s schools. Prior to joining viBe, Toya served as Director of School Programs for The New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, where she helped to develop its nationally recognized School Partnership Program. In addition to leading viBe Theater Experience, Toya is also part-time faculty at The New School, where she teaches Global Dramatic Literature, Devised Theatre, and Portfolio 1. Toya is also an adjunct professor at CUNY CityTech, where she teaches Black Theater. Toya holds a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Toya serves on the Board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and is an Affiliate Representative on the Board of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance.
West African Dance Class (Andrea Markus)
Description: In this high-energy dance workshop, participants will learn a specific West African djembe dance, the traditional purpose of the dance, and the region and tribe from which the dance comes. Students will learn basic dance vocabulary and about making connections to self and others through music and dance, and movement exploration/improvisation.
Biography: Andrea Markus (Kingston, Jamaica) received her MA in Dance Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. She also studied dance at Ballet School New York, Ithaca College, Dance New Amsterdam and The Limon Institute. Andrea has traveled to Guinea, West Africa to study dance and drumming with members of the national companies Les Ballets Africains de Guinea and Ballet Djoliba. She has performed with the Alpha Omega 1-7 Theatrical Dance Company, performing dance works by George Faison, Eleo Pomare, and more. Andrea has also danced and co directed Magbana Drum & Dance NYC, a West African-based performance group of percussionists and dancers. She has taught dance to students in grades preK-12 as a teaching artist for ArtsConnection, Ballet Hispanico, Dancewave, and Alvin Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs. She is currently a faculty member of Marymount Manhattan’s Department of Dance, New York University’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and the Ailey School.
13th (Documentary film, 2016)
Description: An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. Click here to learn more.
AfroLatinidad in our Communities (Sandy Nurse)
Description: During this workshop, participants will hear the story of an Afro-Latina who will explain the struggles and daily life of being a community organizer in Brooklyn and running a campaign for City Council. Participants will learn about how the pandemic changed the way organizing is done. This workshop will merge race and civic engagement.
Biography: Sandy Nurse is a community organizer running for New York City Council in District 37. Sandy is an Afro-Latina, born in Panama to an immigrant father and raised by a single mother. She comes from a multicultural family with siblings who were born and raised in Puerto Rico. She is a proud Auntie to 10 nieces and nephews. Sandy is the founder of BK ROT, a co-founder of the Mayday Space, a direct action organizer, and a carpenter. She has spent nearly a decade working to create the alternative institutions we need for positive social change while confronting power.
Equity Code of Conduct Workshop/Racial Equity: Is There One Definition? (Francesca Cantor, Jayden Cruz)
Description: We are Jayden and Francesca from the Equity and Code of Conduct Committee of the BLM Task Force, and we’re writing an equity-focused code of conduct for BHSECQ! Come and talk about inequity at BHSEC, and share ideas on how to fix it! We will be incorporating your feedback into the final code, so this is a great way to make your voice heard.
Biography: We are Francesca and Jayden, two members of the Equity and Code of Conduct Committee of the Black Lives Matter Task Force. As members of this committee, it is our job to fix the problems that exist around racial equity at Bard, but in order to fix those problems, we have to find them first.
How to be an Antiracist: Book Discussion (Orly Berkowitz-Henkin, Rivers Curry, Eva Madell)
Description: Attendees will come having read the first chapter of Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist (which we will provide a pdf of). During the session, event leaders will facilitate a conversation about the chapter.
Biography: Eva Madell and Orly Berkowitz-Henkin are Year 2’s at BHSEC in Queens, and Rivers Curry is a first year at BHSEC in Queens. All three were members of the summer version of How to be an Antiracist Book Club and currently participate in the club during the school year.
Political Action In Relation to BLM (Eleanor Baron, Sari Klainberg)
Description: In this workshop, we discuss how you can take action through politics to support the Black Lives Matter movement. We will discuss resources to find pieces of legislation, understanding what they mean and who supports them, why they are important, and how to hold your local politicians accountable. Moreover, we will discuss the importance of the 2021 City Council and Mayoral elections in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and how we as students can make an impact.
Biography: Ellie and Sari are both Year 2s and members of the Black Lives Matter Day of Action Planning Committee.
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality (Michaela Clarke)
Description: This documentary focuses on Bryan Stevenson’s life and career—particularly his indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism—and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration. It also documents the monumental opening of EJI’s Legacy Museum and its National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which is dedicated to the more than 4,400 African American victims of lynching.
Biography: Michaela Clarke has a B.A. in African and Black Diaspora Studies and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies from DePaul University, where she facilitated restorative justice workshops and participated in the Inside Out Prison Exchange program with men incarcerated at Stateville Prison. Active in community service and programming for multicultural student groups at DePaul, she worked as a youth counselor at the Gary Comer Youth Center before joining EJI in 2020.
Get Out (Film, 2017)
Description: A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point. Click here for more information.
Jesus & Justice (Manuela Yeboah)
Description: When topics of Black Liberation and Activism come to mind, many don’t always think of Jesus Christ. After attending a pre-dominantly white college, being targeted by white supremacist groups and leading marches Manuela Yeboah turned to the Christian faith for motivation to keep fighting the fight for true liberation for all Back people. This workshop will give participants insights on how faith based activism still moves mountains in the fight for justice.
Biography: Manuela Yeboah is a Black liberation activist, educator, creative and believer in Christ! She always had a passion for advocating for those that are oppressed. In 2016, Manuela led a Black Lives Matter March on her campus in Colchester, VT in response to the racist hate crimes and hate rhetoric on her campus. She carried her activism into the field of education in 2017 and has been pushing to build up black and brown youth in our racist society by teaching African American & Latinx Literature. Manuela is motivated by her faith in Jesus Christ and her hunger for justice.
The Hate U Give (Film, 2018)
Description: Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. Click here for more information.
Underrepresented Minorities in STEM (Odaelys Walwyn-Pollard, Rachelle Monteau, Rodney Britt, Nadya Mason)
Description: According to the Nelson Diversity Surveys (2007), African Americans, who make up 12% of the US population, comprised approximately 1% of the total number of tenured and tenure-track investigators at the top 50 academic institutions in the United States in 2002. Come hear our panel of Black scientists talk about their challenges, triumphs, and their keys to success. Featuring scientists from Rockefeller University, University of Illinois, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Dept. of Energy, and one of our very own BHSECQ grads who has come back to tell the tale of following her dreams. Q&A session to follow.
Biography: Dr. Odaelys Walwyn-Pollard is a self-proclaimed lover of all things science. She is particularly passionate about teaching and mentoring high school students of all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in the STEM fields, in ways that foster their love for science and research. She is actively involved in the Outreach lab at Rockefeller University, which offers many programs for high school students, including RockEdu Presents (formerly Lab Out Loud), Lab Experiences, and various research opportunities, like the SSRP and Lab Jumpstart program.
Rachelle Monteau is a student pursuing a joint BS/MD degree at the Sophie Davis Program of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York. She earned her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Bard College while still in high school. She has a strong passion for activism and fighting injustices, especially in medicine. She has done research on the prejudices in the Dewey Decimal System classification for her high school’s library and presented her work at the ACLR New York conference. Currently she is doing research under Dr. Fumiko Chino at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. At City College, she is a S Jay Levy Fellow which is an award given out to students in the top 20% of their respective majors. She also is an intern for a non-profit called Movement2Be where she teaches students about physical activity and the importance of staying active at the 125th Salvation Army in Harlem.
Rodney Britt is a principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University. Dr. Britt’s laboratory uses basic and translational approaches to understand the pathophysiology neonatal and pediatric lung diseases, most notably recurrent wheeze, asthma, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Dr. Britt has extensive experience exploring clinically-relevant questions related to lung physiology and inflammation, using primary human cell culture and mouse models.
Nadya Mason is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prof. Mason received her B.S. from Harvard and her Ph.D. from Stanford, researching superconductor-metal-insulator transitions in two-dimensional materials. She is the director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC) on the Urbana campus, and her current research is on conductors, superconductors, semiconductors, and topological insulators in low dimensional materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and nanostructures. She was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2018.
Dr. Brian Beckford is a particle and nuclear physicist. He serves as a recognized scientific authority and expert in the area of experimental particle physics for intensity frontier research. His prior research includes work on the KOTO collaboration, which seeks to quantify the violation of CP symmetry in rare kaon decays. He is a champion for diversity and inclusiveness in physics and STEM. He has managed a national program focused on increasing the number of physics PhDs awarded to (URM) students and was part of The AIP National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP).
Being Black in Predominantly White Institutions (Tobi Ayeni)
Description: The challenges faced in attending an elite private institution that demographically is overrepresented by wealthy, white attendees can often be socially and culturally difficult for one who is a Black American leading their family’s expectations of achieving success through higher education. This event serves as an outlet for Black students to personally speak about their experiences in attending a P.W.I. and to highlight the strides taken to break down barriers in both race and education.
Biography: Tobi Ayeni is a current senior at Princeton University, majoring in Environmental Engineering, expected to graduate in 2021. He is the founder of his own Clean Energy start-up called Reclaim Energies, that most recently won the University College London Innovation and Enterprise Launch Program (first place cash prize of £10,000)! Immigrating from his motherland of Nigeria at the age of 10 to the United States, Tobi Ayeni grew up in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and matriculated to the prestigious private all-boys school Regis High School in the Upper East Side, Manhattan. Though, his identity in the lens of race and socioeconomic background had been a difference apparent to the predominantly white, upper-class fellow attendees of the school. This sparked the fire within Tobi to engage himself with his fellow classmate Brian R. to discuss with Regis’s administration, prompting a senior project to research the history of the school’s take on race through admissions and survey data. Additionally, he founded the Student Diversity Committee and has spent his summer months being a Collegian to the school’s middle school program called R.E.A.C.H. of Regis that pipelines children of underrepresented backgrounds to partner private schools, including Regis itself.
Black Self Actualization in Latin America (Dash Harris Machado)
Description: Black resistance, self-emancipation, self-determination and self-realization has ongoing historical and contemporary groundings and realities. Dash Harris Machado will discuss Black rebellion, dignity, labor, creativity and genius that was and continues to be the framework for Latin American politics and its diaspora.
Biography: Dash Harris Machado is a doula, multimedia journalist, and entrepreneur based in Panama. She is co-founder of AfroLatinx Travel, producer of NEGRO: A docu series about Latino Identity, centering Black Latin Americans and the historical and present day class, race, and color complex among Latin Americans. Dash is co-producer of podcast Radio Caña Negra, dissecting themes of Black history, anti-blackness, social access, justice, love and joy throughout the Americas and offering workshops and coaching on dismantling antiblackness in Latinx communities.
Disability Inclusion in the Media (Alex Jackson)
Description: There have been several movies and TV shows that have characters with disabilities or who use wheelchairs. However, many of those characters are played by able-bodied actors so that they can perform both current scenes and “flashback” scenes by the same actor. While this may save money on hiring, it does not provide diversity in casting. A person living with a disability can provide details to the performance, including scripting and set design, that may otherwise be overlooked.
Biography: Alex Jackson is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies Communication and has a Master of Arts degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication, both from the College of Charleston. Alex is a writer and editor in the Public Affairs Office at the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and has a disability blog called Tuesday Talk With Alex where he shares experiences of living with a spinal cord injury. Alex has also contributed articles to New Mobility magazine.
Rise Up!: Activism as Education (Amalia Dache, PhD)
Description: As lead author of the 2019 book Rise Up! Activism as Education, Dr. Amalia Dache will make the case for activism as an educational concept that enables students to gain important learning outcomes from on-the-ground perspectives. This presentation will work to advance theory and practice-oriented understandings of multiple forms of and relationships between racial justice activism in domestic and transnational educational contexts.
Biography: An Afro-Cuban American scholar, Amalia Dache is an assistant professor in the Higher Education Division at the University of Pennsylvania. Her experiences as a Cuban refugee and student traversing U.S. educational systems—among them urban K–12 schools, community college, state college, and a private research intensive university—inform her research and professional activities.
Social Justice Media is All We Got (Simin Farkhondeh)
Description: This workshop will provide spaces and activities where we examine how “freedom dreaming” relates to the media we consume, the time we spend on screens, and the framing of stories and the coverage of movements for change. We will view short video clips that imagine a positive future followed by discussion about how to make space to imagine freedom in our lives and a media literacy activity. Teach Democracy Now! aims to extend Democracy Now!’s unique independent media collaboration into classrooms, by providing critical thinking and news literacy resources that cover topics such as racial and social justice, Journalism, Climate Crisis, LGBTQ rights, Art and more. Engaged with independent media, activism and media literacy, Simin Farkhondeh holds an Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and is education director at Democracy Now!. Ella N’Diaye has a Master’s degree in Anthropology focusing on Educational Equity. Maryel Cardenas holds a dual Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Peace and Justice Studies and Political Science.
Colorism in the Latinx Community (Daniela Cabrera Mendoza, Jayline Febles, Nicole Mendez)
Description: Colorism in the Latinx community has led to prevalence of skin color stratification. In this presentation, we will analyze colorism through a historical lens and explore its presence in a modern day context in places ranging from the work industry to our own households. We will also discuss the impact of colorism on Latinx people of a darker complexion, and how light-skin Latinx people can help combat such prejudice beliefs.
Biography: Dani Cabrera is one of the La Fuerza Unida Co-leaders who is proud to be Colombiana but sees colorism every time she goes to her home country. In a world that is dominated by subconscious discrimination she knows that in order to work on the problem that affects communities around the world (Colorism), we must first address it. Nicole Mendez is a dedicated La Fuerza Unida Co-leader who knows that there are still many issues that need to be addressed in the Latinx community and has made it her duty to do so even with workshops hosted throughout the day at school. Because one of the most overlooked ways of making a difference in the Latinx community is by inspiring change in the new generation. Jayline Febles is the newest LFU Co-leader who has had to work on her duties as an LFU leader completely online. Even if it means presentations 100% through zoom and promotion on Instagram or going from virtual advisory to advisory Jayline is dedicated to using the opportunity LFU gives her to help support and educate the Latinx community and others as well.
Good Hair (Ymorah Blakeney, Stephanie Chapman Olivo, Curshelle Edwards)
Description: Due to the Eurocentric beauty standards that have existed in America for centuries, people have created an of what “good hair” is. Black hair(afro textured hair) has been affected by this idea of what “good hair” is. This workshop aims to breakdown the stereotypes surrounding Black hair and educate people on Black hair. We will cover correct terminology, “good hair” within the Latinx community, the history of Black hair, and more.
Biography: Ymorah Blakeney is a Y1 at BHSECQ. She is the founder and leader of Black Girls Talk. Curshelle Edwards is a Y2 at BHSECQ and is the co-leader of Black Girls Talk. Stephanie Chapman is a Y2 at BHSECQ and is a member of LFU.
Just Mercy (Film, 2019)
Description: World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. Click here for more information.
Selma (Film, 2014)
Description: A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. Click here for more information.
Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil (Documentary film, 2015)
Description: Narrated by Alice Walker (Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles) Ancient knowledge. Timeless values. A universal story for humanity today. A documentary film about the Afro-indigenous Candomblé spiritual culture in Bahia, Brazil. Click here for more information.
Black at Bard (Justyne Ingwu, Corlynn Raymond)
Description: Black at Bard is an open discussion for Black students and alumni only at Bard Early College institutions to talk about our experiences within the Bard community and about how we can strengthen this community in the future. The goal is to create connections and community for us Black Bardians across campuses.
Discussion on Environmental Racism (Tok Michelle O. Oyewole)
Description: Come join BHSECQ’s Green Team as we hold a discussion on environmental racism. We will be discussing the disproportionate effects climate change has people of color and marginalized communities. We will learn how to combat these effects while hearing from a guest speaker on their work with this movement.
Biography: Dr. Michelle Tokunbo ‘Tok’ Oluwaseyi Oyewole is the Policy and Communications Organizer of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. NYC-EJA is a non-profit organization that links grassroots organizations from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color and empowers members to advocate for improved environmental conditions and against inequitable environmental burdens. Dr. Oyewole is extremely accomplished and has worked on many environmental justice projects in California, New York City, Nigeria, and Ecuador. She currently leads NYC-EJA’s solid waste equity campaigns and has previously worked with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assessing school-based health intervention programs in NYC neighborhoods with disproportionate health burdens.
Open Mic (Katherine Centurion Petta)
Description: Bring a song, a poem, a story to share… or just come to listen!
Biography: Hosted by the one and only Katherine Centurion Petta, with special guest artists from other schools! Bring a song, a poem, a story to share… or just come to listen!