Amherst’s Black Alumni Weekend kicks off March 24 with a series of activities aimed at showcasing the intellectual life of the College. Nearly 100 are expected to return to Amherst for the four-day celebration to participate in various workshops and discussions, tour campus, network with classmates and current students, and sit in on classes, among other things.

Major highlights of the weekend include presentations on faculty-student research, as well as a talk by NAACP President and Amherst parent Cornell Brooks.

For visitors staying beyond the weekend, former MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry will be speaking on Monday, March 27. 


Black Alumni Weekend

Faculty-Student Research Spotlight

Friday March 24 • 2:30 Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

Presentations will include:

  • Allen Hart ’82, James E. Ostendarp Professor of Psychology and newly appointed Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Officer, presenting with Brian Royes ’17 on Black identity consciousness and its impacts on stereotype threat effects.

  • Seanna McCall ’17, whose thesis analyzes aural and visual content, critiques, awards and recognition, as well as distribution data of R&B vocalist Jazmine Sullivan's most recent work, Reality Show (2015) in order to understand the way in which her changing embodiment and her identity as a plus-sized black woman in a predominately black space impacts not only her performance, but the ways in which audiences respond to her as an artist.
  • JoDeanne Francis ’17, whose research examines Feminism and Protestantism, often discussed as irreconcilable polar opposites, and how the beginning framework of feminist theology and its subsequent critique, womanist theology, demonstrate the potential for their reconciliation.

Cornell William Brooks

Friday, March 24 • 8 p.m. Johnson Chapel

Cornell William Brooks Cornell William Brooks is the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most widely respected civil rights organization. In 2014, he became the 18th chief executive of the organization. With branches in every state and more than a half-million members and supporters in the US and abroad, NAACP members advocate for civil rights, fight against police brutality, conduct voter mobilization campaigns and advocate for equal opportunity in their communities.

See the full weekend schedule

Of Further Interest

Melissa Harris-Perry

“Race, Gender and the Politics of Knowledge from Campus to Community to Congress”

Monday, March 27 • 8 p.m. Johnson Chapel

Melissa Harris-Perry Melissa Harris-Perry is a writer, professor, and political commentator with expertise in race, gender, and American politics. She hosted the MSNBC television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012–16. She is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair, Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute, and founding Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University.

[See further details]