Interactive panels and discussions are free and open to the public 

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — FEB. 8, 2024 — In celebration of Black History Month, Dutchess Community College will host a series of events on the College’s main campus – covering a range of subjects from Science, Technology and Engineering (STEM) to reproductive rights and supporting justice-involved youth and featuring award-winning author Dr. Emily Bernard.

On Feb. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in Bowne Hall, room 122, guests are invited to join the DCC Black History Committee and Exodus Transitional Community in a discussion about creating inclusive and equitable communities for those affected by the criminal justice system.

The Black Solidarity Reads Lyceum will be held in the James & Betty Hall Theatre on Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m. The speaker, Dr. Emily Bernard, is a Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont, 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow and author of the essay collection, “Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine,” which won the 2020 LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose. Bernard will discuss two essays from her book and the role the college classroom can play in the larger project of interracial understanding.

On Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m. in the Ritz Lounge, there will be a STEM Job/Internship Panel and Networking Event. Participants will hear from high-achieving STEM professionals who will speak about their academic and career experiences in addition to providing advice for students interested in entering the field upon graduation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the panelists and ask individual questions during the networking portion of the event. Representatives from GAP Inc., Nuvance Health, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Labella Associates and IBM are scheduled to speak on the panel.  

A panel titled “Reproductive Justice in Minority Communities” will take place on Feb. 29 in Dutchess Hall, room 101. Community health experts from Planned Parenthood will discuss reproductive rights in minority communities.

DCC’s Black History Month events were curated and organized by the Black History Committee: Chair and Assistant Professor of English Willie Morris, Assistant Professor of History Shalon Hallager and Associate Professor of Accounting Ahmed Ismail. 

Chair of the Black History Committee and DCC English Professor Willie Morris said, “The positive impact of these events extends well beyond the month of February. It’s about making an academic connection and introducing the discipline of Black Studies – to DCC students as well as middle and high school students, teachers, faculty, staff and the broader community. We do this because it furthers the academic and social mission of the College.”

DCC President Dr. Peter Grant Jordan said, “Especially as we navigate these uncertain times, marked by divisiveness and social unrest, it’s so important that our community comes together to learn and celebrate our diversity. As Dutchess County’s community college, we are proud to offer events such as these that underscore our commitment to strengthening systems to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.”

This year’s programming comes with the kind support of the DCC Foundation, DCC Writing Center and DCC’s Francis U. and Mary F. Ritz Library.  

DCC’s BHM events are free and open to the public. A full calendar with more details can be found here: 

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