CARSON – A discussion focused on higher education in the black community, the meaning of celebrating Juneteenth, and the importance of raising diverse voices on Cal State University campuses are some of the key points discussed during the inaugural Juneteenth symposium hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills and Its being done. Livecast across the CSU system.
Cal State officials said the two-day event — titled “By Any Means Necessary: A Synthesis of the Voices of Our Ancestors and Everyday People” — aims to engage black students in the pursuit of college success, prosperity and self-fulfillment. and to support them.
“This event was a long time coming,” said the interim chancellor of CSU Systems, during the first two days of the incident.
“Many CSU campuses have celebrated Juneteenth over the years with exhibits, performances, lectures, symposia, which recognize the rich history and achievements of our Black and African American students, faculty and staff,” Koster said. “But this is the first time that we have combined weapons to bring about systemic change at the system level.”
On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the panel features a line-up of national figures and scholars. Also on the agenda: Performances by CSU students and other distinguished guests.
On the first day of the symposium, more than 600 attendees attended in person and at least 1,300 others were watching the livestream.
William Franklin, vice president of student affairs at CSU Dominguez Hills, opened the first session to describe the “journey” of the event, which will include discussions on how to serve, celebrate but disrupt and stir up the community.
Obioha Ogbona, President of CSUDH Associated Students Inc., also gave the opening remarks. Ogbona explained how his views on celebrating Juneth changed since coming from Nigeria to study cyber security.
“What does Juneteenth mean to me now? It’s an opportunity to meet and connect with my brothers [and] Sisters here in the present and look to the past that separated us,” Ogbona said. “I hope we learn a lot from this seminar and that we get closer to reconnecting the link that was broken.”
Celebrated every year on or around June 19 to commemorate the liberation of enslaved people in America. The holiday was first marked in Texas, where, after the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, giving federal employees a new holiday day. As the celebration has grown in popularity in recent years, some cities and other local bodies have also decided to make the day an official paid holiday.
Preparing the discussion during Wednesday’s symposium was Thomas Parham, president of CSU Dominguez Hills. Param emphasized that unless black voices are heard and entangled in the processes of government, true social change will not be possible.
“If Juneteenth has real meaning and is not to represent just another programmatic initiative that we can feel good about because we put it in and check the box, then our efforts over these next two days will be thwarted by prejudices. And must integrate the concepts that we bring with us, Param said in the educational space we occupy.
“Our efforts should be to develop new and adequate programs that address the real needs of African-origin students, staff and teachers, and the senior administrators we claim to care for,” he said.
Keynote speakers include: Tyrone Howard, professor of education in the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA; Professor Sean Harper at USC; and Cornell West, author and professor emeritus at Princeton University.
West describes how Black Excellence comes with a history of learning, and is working on finding a voice to make a difference in the community today.
“When you delve deep enough into Blackness, you have a human connection that makes you international, global, and universal,” West said in his speech. “And you can’t do that if you can’t find your voice.”
To attend the closing day of the CSU Inaugural Juneteenth Symposium on Thursday, visit www.calstate.edu.