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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Event spurs discussion, examination

Julia Martins De Sa
Faculty and students gather in the Hege Cox print shop during the Free Press event on Friday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2017. At least 100 student and faculty participated in the print-making open house. They printed T-shirts, posters and stickers with “Black Lives Matter” and “Feminism is for Everyone.” Photo by Julia Martins De Sa/Copyright 2017

“I see the All Black Everything Symposium as a day of discussion, where we can engage in meaningful dialogue around pressing issues facing our community,” Dr. Brian L. McGowan said in his speech. “I also view it as a day of celebration and liberation because being black is beautiful.”

In celebration of Black History Month, the Multicultural Education Department in collaboration with the Black Student Union hosted the fifth annual All Black Everything Symposium on Friday, Feb. 10. Dr. Brian L. McGowan, assistant professor in the higher education program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, was featured as this year’s keynote speaker.

The symposium revolved around the theme “One Day, One Month, All Year,” where attendees were motivated to celebrate black history year-round. Ten different workshops were offered throughout the event, including “Natural Hair,” “Black Faces in White Spaces” and “Unmasking the Wealth Privilege System.”

In addition, the art department hosted the Free Press Event in which approximately 120 students created their own political posters revolving around resistance.

“‘Black Faces in White Spaces’ talked about the importance of some of the challenges people of color would know,” said presenter Timothy Johnson, assistant director for the office of student leadership & engagement. “We engaged in discussions and storytelling of others who have had similar challenges.

“The big message being understanding that (people of color) play a different level of discouragement that may not be present for others every day.”

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in three different workshop sessions offered at the symposium, each providing information on ways to be more involved and knowledgeable around racial justice movements.

“College is the opportunity to learn about different movements, especially those revolving around social justice,” said Irving Zavaleta Jimenez ’08, assistant director of the MED.

“Events like this serve as a way for students, faculty and staff to really explore the issues of social justice, diversity, racism and intersectionality with a deeper lens. … This is one opportunity to do just that.”

The All Black Everything Symposium celebrated its fifth anniversary and provided a space for community members to express themselves through research and creative works such as poetry, music and dance. As the symposium continues to grow every year, organizers shared their vision for future discussions to be featured as part of this event.

“In the future I would love to see more of an intersectional approach, … how the black experience intersects with sexuality, with gender identity, with gender expression, class, immigration status, religion, faith or spirituality, while still centering on the black experience,” said Stephanie Chang, director of the MED.

Workshop presenters consisted of faculty, staff and students in the Multicultural Leadership Scholars Program.

“We are students here, and there are a lot of faculty and staff presenters, and I think we have a very interesting perspective,” Rebecca Hamilton-Levi ’18 said. “We are doing cool projects that relate to diversity and race. I think it makes sense for us to be presenters as well.”

“Use your voice to make a difference. … We are in a very historic moment in time, and now is the time to make changes and have our voices heard in the community. “

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About the Contributor
Fernando Jimenez
Fernando Jimenez, Photo Editor
Fernando Jiménez is a fourth year photojournalism student majoring in English and Media Studies and double minoring in Communications and Photography. He is a 21 year old photographer that uploads art to his Instagram account Polar_Vision.

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