From its founding, the House has been a place where people come together for community and solidarity, as well as a place to work collectively toward social change on campus and across the world. Our alumni continue to carry the Founders’ spirit in their civic engagement and justice work in service of causes that matter to them and to our broader community. This plenary session brings together campus and alumni leaders who work to build a better, different world as they discuss the challenges they have faced and overcome, what they see for the future, and how we get there.
Featured speakers: Eleanor Holmes Norton ’64 LLB, Sheila Jackson Lee ’72, Cornell William Brooks ’90 JD, Jaime Harrison ’98
Moderator: Kurt Schmoke ’71
The founders of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale did more than build the first Black cultural center on any Ivy League campus; they created a vision for Black life at Yale that endures 50 years later. Learn from these pioneers and House leaders to explore how the Founders' vision has been realized and what they see as the future of the House and university Black cultural centers.
Panelists: Ralph Dawson ’71, Shirley L. Daniels ’72, Ruth Chamblee ’83, Titilayo Ngwenya ’92, Casey Gerald ’09
Moderator: Muhammad Abdullah ’70
Media & Journalism
Over the last few decades, the internet, social media, and changing business models have reshaped the field of journalism and the broader media industry. Panelists will discuss how these changes have affected the shape and substance of related careers, the heights they’ve reached along the way and lessons they’ve learned, and whether these shifts provide new opportunities or greater limitations for those now entering the field.
Panelists: Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. ’84, Nick Chiles ’86, Monica Drake ’94, Cherise Fisher ’94, Wesley Morris ’97
Moderator: Rohan Preston ’89
Public service is sometimes described as both a career and a calling. The panelists will discuss how they chose their path in public service and made it a successful one, how they see the sector shifting in an era of changing attitudes toward government and increased polarization, and what we can expect to see going forward for the public servants of today and tomorrow.
Panelists: Gary Franks ’75, Jason Green ’08 JD, Rhiana Gunn Wright ’11, Ikenna Nzewi ’17
Moderator: Richard Albert ’00, ’03 JD
Politics & Business
The African Diaspora reaches every corner of the globe! Hear from our alumni who work around the world in order to connect people across the Diaspora about their experiences working in politics and business, what it means to them to be successful global citizens, and what an increasingly interconnected world means for international work and global leadership.
Panelists: Bisa Williams ’76, William Kennard ’81 JD, Maxine Williams ’91
Moderator: Wabantu Hlophe ’18
Arts & Culture
Hear from our alumni who have made strides in the arts, education, and social entrepreneurship across the world to connect people across the African Diaspora. Panelists will discuss their career paths and how they have worked to explore and expand the notions of Blackness – our shared histories, cultures, and futures – from a global perspective.
Panelists: Ruth Botsio ’09, Constance Collins ’11, Kevin Olusola ’11, Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey ’18 PhD
Moderator: Dean Kymberly Pinder ’95 PhD