Wells Students Travel to 21st Annual Black Solidarity Conference at Yale

March 30, 2016
Members of the student organization UMOJA attended workshops, met with their peers from other colleges and universities, and returned with new ideas and insights.
UMOJA students

This winter, 15 members of the student organization UMOJA attended the 21st Annual Black Solidarity Conference at Yale University. Five seniors, five sophomores, and five first-year students were chosen to represent UMOJA, and they spent several months in preparation and growing anticipation. Luckily, the weather was on their side for a mid-February trip, and they found the weekend off-campus well rewarding.

Students from all over the United States attend the conference; it is the second year that members of UMOJA have attended. As the only diversity club at Wells focused mainly on the issues of peoples from the African diaspora, UMOJA has continued to bring what they've learned back to campus while working to contribute value to and get their names noticed at the conference.

All weekend long, UMOJA members attended workshops during the day, debriefed with one another, and enjoyed the nightly festivities. The day's workshops consisted of Self Care, Race and Class, Black in Business, and many others. Networking was huge success for this group throughout the weekend, and those who attended previous conferences were even reunited with students from other colleges and universities they'd met and kept in communication with. Those from universities such as Michigan, Alabama, Brown, and our neighbors at Cornell now all have a good idea who UMOJA is and what Wells is all about.

Throughout the day, lunch groups (UJIMA) were formed with a random selection of students, including a UJIMA leader. UJIMA leaders applied for the position prior to the conference, and three UMOJA members were selected. Stephanie Moore '18, Daleysha Lockhart '16, and Saquan Owens '18 led their groups successfully and were given the opportunity to meet with the keynote speaker at the formal dinner. Another member, Christine Johnson-Alexander '18 had the courage to read a beautiful poem at the open mic program.

At the end of the weekend, members left the conference with a new state of mind and the determination to prepare for their 2nd annual conference, "Looking Back, Moving Forward," scheduled from Thursday, March 31 to Sunday, April 3. Read more about the conference here.

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