The student movement: A reminder…and an invitation

I wanted to give a shoutout to our fellow peers in Students of Color Coalition in this BuzzFeed-esque article because…well…it’s been hell.

If you didn’t already know, the 1st Annual SUA Students of Color Conference is taking place this Saturday, February 1st.

But first, I need to reiterate that this monumental event didn’t materialize out of nowhere. The fight for African and Ethnic Studies didn’t materialize out of nowhere. (The demand to hear the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) didn’t materialize out of the use of the n-word at Soka, either.)

Chalk message reading "WE ARE DONE W/ THIS BS" from November 2019 Lions Roar protest
From the November 2019 Lions Roar protest (Photograph by Saanika Joshi)

The meetings, y’all. The planning. The outreach.

The harmful effects of blue light.

Photograph by Saanika Joshi

You may be thinking, “This past fall semester was a doozy!” Why, yes, it was. But that’s quite the understatement. And also odd word choice.

But yes. In October, we packed Lion’s Den.

Later, in November, we packed living rooms and MPRs.

11/4 BSU meeting held for the c/o 2023 (Photograph by Casey Chaffin)

We filled up Lion’s Den—again. (We only have so many gathering places, I know.)

And then we mobilized…

…and helped make history.

Our Black Student Union led the way.

A reminder within a reminder: no SOCC without BSU, no Ethnic Studies without African Studies.

Let’s not forget breaking tradition on this same day.

Why did we do that again?

Right, right. (They’re still up, BTW. One big, empowering visual refresher in the Den.)

Photograph by Casey Chaffin

It didn’t stop there. Remember when classes got cancelled?

11/15/19 campus-wide forum (Photograph by Casey Chaffin)

This nice professor named Dr. Mark Gooden from Columbia came all the way to Soka to tell us something, and there was also this panel of young people…

Campus-wide forum – Dr. Mark Gooden & student panel (Photograph by Casey Chaffin)

I wonder what that was all about.

Photograph by Casey Chaffin

OMG, what? There was more?

And– Oh?

It looks SO familiar!

What’s this?

I think… I think I should do what it says…

OHHH! I’ve seen that somewhere!

Alright, alright. Jokes aside, something unprecedented is coming. And it’s happening this weekend.

The conference, themed “Building a World Without Empires,” will feature three panels, a number of workshops, and a resource fair during lunchtime. Keynote speaker Dr. Yaba Blay will kick off the afternoon portion of the event.

See the full conference schedule below. You can also find the agenda on the SOCC’s Eventbrite page.

2/1 SOCC Conference Schedule

I am so honored to be able to work alongside the incredible people making this conference happen. I also want to acknowledge those that came before us and express my gratitude for the foundation they created.

The team of people that collected all of these powerful images for us (everything used in this article is just a snippet of what exists) has my utmost respect and sincerest appreciation. Once again, however, not all the work is always captured including that of our predecessors. What did their efforts mean without all the attention? What do our efforts mean when it’s showcased like this? How do we value our labor, knowing we should, even if others don’t? Just some food for thought.

Once again, this is nothing new. This isn’t an end, nor is it a beginning.

We’ve been here. And #ThisIsAboutUs.

Featured banner image by Saanika Joshi

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