Friday, October 17, 2014

9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.


10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Campus Tours and Art Gallery Exhibits

10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Faculty & Alumni Lectures

  • Dr. Nadine George-Graves  ’93, Professor of Theater and Dance, University of California, San Diego
    • "Diasporic Spidering"
      The process by which people of African descent define their lives. The multi-directional traversing of web-like experiences and territories that impact identity. The active and performative creating/finding of a sense of self in the face of, or in conjunction with, the expectations of social norms. The lifelong ontological gathering of information by going out into the world and coming back to the self. How are peoples of African descent connected in the 21st century? How are black subjectivities formed? What does the African Diaspora mean now? How are these identities performed on and off stage? These became the guiding questions for a performance entitled Anansi the Story King that I adapted and directed in the summer of 2008 and from this artistic exploration I have come to theorize on contemporary diasporic negotiations through the lens of what I’m terming the Anansi trope. From the adventures of a clever spider, this essay will articulate a theory of contemporary performative diasporic identity formation.
  • Anthony Reed, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies. Yale University
    • "Communities in Transition: Langston Hughes, Charles Mingus, and the Challenge of the Ordinary."
      In the late 1950s, at the height of the popularity of jazz poetry, Charles Mingus and Langston Hughes went into the studio to make a record of their frequent collaborations. Drawing primarily from Hughes' Montage of a Dream Deferred, the sound texts they produce give voice to an underclass that threatens ideals of integration and uplift. Following on Hughes' appearance at Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee, Hughes' decision to record these poems speaks to the limits of the exceptional and introduce the question of the ordinary black person that remains a stubborn question in the present "post-racial" moment.
  • Vesla Weaver, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Yale Univesity
    • "We're Free but Not Free: Custodial Citizenship in an Era of Incarceration"
      No democratic society ever operated with so many of its residents imprisoned. Black Americans are now much more likely than at any time in history– or any other social group today – to experience punishment and surveillance at the hands of the state.  This talk explores the implications of this vast social experiment in defining the political lives and citizenship of blacks. Through the voices of justice-involved individuals themselves, we see that the growth of criminal justice has fundamentally recast the citizen-state relationship, resulting in a sizable and growing American civic underclass, cut from the rich democratic traditions of American life.

11:30a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

So You Want to Publish a Book? with Cherise Fisher '94
So you have a book idea that you've been turning over and over in your head. Or maybe that novel you've been revising for the past three years is ready for the world. What's the first step? In this workshop, publishing veteran, Cherise Fisher, will walk you through all the steps:

  • Perfecting your Pitch
  • The Key elements of a Proposal
  • Recruiting Your Team
  • Is Self-Publishing for me?
  • Keeping the Faith

Career and Life Vision Workshop: with Pulin Sanghvi '92
All Yale alumni are invited to attend a Career and Life Vision workshop taught by the Executive Director of Career Services at Princeton University, Pulin Sanghvi '92.  Career and Life Vision offers a powerful set of concepts, frameworks and reflections to help you discover new insights about yourself and what matters most to you.  The workshop leverages frame-shifting concepts, introspective exercises, and small group interactions to help you articulate your values, beliefs, purpose, and vision for the future.  You will leave the workshop with a new understanding of yourself and inspiration to follow the path most consistent with your unique vision of a happy and meaningful life. 

12:00-1:15 p.m.

House Picnic

1:30 - 2:00 p.m.

"Bright College Years," written by Harold Durand (1881), arranged by Jongnic Bontemps '96, in honor of the 45th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center

Welcome and University Update
Presented by Kimberly M. Goff-Crews '83, '86 JD Secretary and Vice President for Student Life

2:00 - 2:20 p.m.

A Historical Overview of the House
  Azmar Williams ’15

2:20 - 3:20 p.m.

The Founders' Forum - A conversation among the founding members of the House about the journey from creation to a Yale institution

  • Ralph Dawson '71, of Counsel, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP

  • Craig Foster '69, Vice President, RLR Associates Limited

  • Ron Howell '70, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College

  • Caroline Jackson Smith '74, Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies, Oberlin College & Conservatory

  • Moderator: Vera Wells ’71, Director, Sylvia Ardyn Boone Memorial Project

3:45 - 4:30 p.m.

“Business and Philanthropy: A Dean’s Tea with Valentino D. Carlotti and William Lighten”
We all know money speaks, but what does is actually mean to be a philanthropist? Whether you have $100 or $100 million, hear from two powerhouse investors in conversation with Dean Rodney T. Cohen about their mission driven philanthropic activities and strategies for having a meaningful impact on causes important to you and our communities.

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.


Dinner on Your Own

7:00- 10:00 p.m.

Celebration of the Arts

7:00 - 8:30 p.m. "In Conversation with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
An interview by graduate student, Wendell Adjetey '18 PhD, with the award-winning novelist and MacArthur Fellow. Book signing to follow.

8:30 - 10:00 p.m. Student Showcase – Student Group Performances with special guest host and vocalist, M’Balia Singley '94.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

8:00 a.m.

YBAA Breakfast Meeting
Are you a dynamic leader, ready to contribute your skills to this developing organization? Meet with members of the Yale Black Alumni Association (YBAA) board and learn how you can contribute to our leadership and programming. 

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Registration & Check-in

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Morning Welcome & Plenary "House Book Club" featuring a lecture by the new Dean of Yale College, Jonathan Holloway '95 PhD.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Panel Sessions 1

“Black and Blue in Medicine Today: A Conversation About Healthcare Leadership in a ‘Post-Racial’ World”
What does leadership look like in the rapidly evolving industry? How do we navigate the intersection of business, medicine, and technology to positively impact healthcare on a national or even global level? As physicians and healthcare providers of color, how do we define community? What are our obligations to career, community, family and self?

  • Kevin Nelson '92 MPH, Chief Operating Officer, Aetna Better Health of NY (ABHNY)
  • Dr. Tania Smith '94, Prestige Pediatrics, P.C.

  • Pamela Sutton-Wallace '97 MPH, Chief Executive Officer for University of Virginia Medical Center

  • Dr. Scyatta A. Wallace '96, Associate Professor of Psychology, St. John’s University

  • Moderator: Dr. Dominique Kelly '94, Clinical Research Physician, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

“The New ‘New Negro’: Defining Blackness in the 21st Century”
In 1925 the black intellectual Alain Locke wrote, in his forward to the seminal work The New Negro:  "There is ample evidence of a New Negro in the latest phases of social change and progress, but still more in the internal world of the Negro mind and spirit."  Now, almost 90 years later, we can argue that there is yet another "New Negro" on the rise.  But, what exactly is it?  What does it mean to be a black intellectual today, for example, and how is it different from what it meant to be black at Yale when our now beloved Afro-American House was in its infancy?  What are the issues of relevance to our community today and is there anyone articulating them?  How do we define ourselves during a time when people claim we live in a post-racial society?  What has the Obama presidency meant for our identity?  This panel discussion will engage all of these issues and hopefully ignite serious conversations about race, identity, and intellectualism in the 21st century.

  • Cora Daniels '93, Journalist and Author
  • Sheldon Gilbert '97, Founder and CEO, Proclivity Media

  • Daphene Rose McFerren '84, Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and Associate Research Professor, University of Memphis

  • Moderator: Kevin Quinn '01, Writer

Young Scholars: “The Origins of African Drumming and Dance” A family friendly panel for kids and parents. Be prepared to dance to the beat!

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Panel Sessions 2

“Time, Talent and Treasure: Success in the Social Profit Sector”
Yalies have made the places where they live better by working in the social profit sector.  Join us as “community change agents” discuss the importance of giving time, talent, and treasure to build communities.  We will touch on strategies that maximize impact to communities, such as Collective Action, Capacity Building, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Panelists will share why they chose the social profit sector and how they have successfully grown their careers;  examine the challenges facing communities and how the social profit sector is evolving to address these challenges; explore the question of whether students of color from elite universities are uniquely responsible for helping to build communities, especially communities in urban areas within the United States and in communities of people of color outside of the United States; and, discuss how to galvanize current students and professionals who work outside of the social profit sector to help make a difference in our communities.

  • Diahann Billings-Burford '94, Executive Director, Corporate Responsibility, Time Warner Inc.
  • Lowell Perry, Jr. '78, Executive Director, Family Wellness Dallas

  • Patricia Melton '83, Executive Director, New Haven Promise

  • Maxim Thorne '89, '92 JD, Writer, Philanthropist and Civil Rights Advocate

  • Weldon L. Tisdale, Sr. '82, Senior Pastor, Friendship Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Moderator: Sheryl Carter Negash '82, Managing Partner, Negash and Associates

“Africa Now”
Whether for scholars, businessmen, artists, or students, Africa is at the center of much international thought now--thinking primarily galvanized around the question, “What is the future of Africa?”  Yale’s legacy with Africa spans generations, from the late Professor Sylvia Boone’s early work on the female image in African Art to the creation of the first Yale Club on the African continent:  the Yale Club of Ghana. Hear from our alumni leaders who live and work in Africa and those that traverse the globe redefining our image of Africa's vital place on the international scene and the role we can all play therein.

  • Ruth Botsio '09, Founder, Zion Rising Consulting

  • Dayo Olopade '07, '15 JD/MBA, Journalist

  • Jeannine Scott '85 MA, President of the U.S. – Angola Chamber of Commerce, Founder & Principal of America to Africa Consulting (A2A), LLC.

  • Esther Soma '16, President, Yale African Student Association

  • Moderator: Ivuoma Ngozi Onyeador '11, Doctoral Student, Social Psychology, UCLA

"Defining Business Success in a Global Market"
How will we define business success and examine the definition of global diversity in a multi-cultural landscape? With career trajectories taking many and sometimes divergent paths what are the strategies and lessons learned from various sectors of the business world? Whether your office is down the street, across the world or on your cell phone and computer, hear from these business leaders on the changing dynamics of success and what that means not only for you but our collective communities as well.

  • Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans '90 JD, Founder & CEO, The Barthwell Group

  • Ray Ferrell '89, EVP-General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Dex Media, Inc.

  • Tim McChristian '77, Executive Director, African Leadership Foundation

  • Moderator: Stephen L. Brown '93, CEO & President of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals

12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

-       YBAA Lunch Meeting
-     Additional Lunch Groups TBA

2:15 - 3:30 p.m.

Panel Sessions 3

“For God, for Country, and for Yale: Black Yalies in Public Service, Past and Present”
An in depth discussion celebrating the contributions Black Yalies have made to public life and lessons to inspire the next generation of Black leaders.

  • Drew S. Days III '66 LLB, Alfred M. Rankin Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

  • Lee Harris '03 JD, Memphis City Councilman and Democratic Nominee for Tennessee State Senate

  • Ivy Taylor '92, Mayor, San Antonio

  • Bisa Williams '77, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State

  • Hon. Wilhelmina Wright '86, Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court

  • Moderator: Richard Albert '00, '03 JD, Constitutional Law Professor, Boston College Law School

“From Florida Evans to Olivia Pope: The current state of Blacks in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera.
Join our entertainment industry professionals for a candid conversation on the collective challenges and progress of Blacks in Hollywood. With blockbuster movie stars, hit TV shows, Academy Awards and high-profile decision-makers across the Hollywood landscape we’ve come a long way. But what does it really mean to make it in Hollywood and what should we press for into the future going forward?

  • Sheila Ducksworth, CEO & Executive Producer, Ducksworth Productions

  • Warrington Hudlin, Producer of motion pictures, television, and online media; Vice Chairman of the Museum of the Moving Image

  • Clark Jackson, Actor

  • Amanda Warren, Actress

  • Shana C. Waterman, Senior Vice President, Event Series Development & Production, Fox Broadcasting Company

  • Moderator: Nicholas Roman Lewis, Entertainment Attorney and Literary Agent

 “Career and Life Vision Workshop” with Pulin Sanghvi (repeat of Friday’s workshop)

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Meet the Authors. Book Signing at The House.

  • Cora Daniels '93, "Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money and Religion"

  • Jonathan Holloway '95 PhD "Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America since 1940"

  • Dayo Olopade '07, '15 JD/MBA "The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa"

All works will be available for purchase at the book signing.

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Open House

6:00 - 7:15 p.m.


7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Gala Dinner & Keynote
Join the Yale community at this formal affair in celebration of our legacy. Evening to include a welcome from President Peter Salovey '83 M.S., '86 PhD, recognition of the 40th anniversary of the William Pickens Prize at Yale, and special guests. Keynote address presented by Dr. Jedidah Isler '08 MS, '14 PhD, visiting Research Fellow with Harvard University's Center for Astrophysics and Chancellor's Faculty Fellow in Physics at Syracuse University. Mistress of ceremonies for the evening, Doreen Oliver '96, writer, producer and script consultant.


10:00 p.m.

Afterparty - "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast and Farewells

9:30 a.m.

Service of Remembrance

10:30 a.m.

Black Church at Yale worship service