Black History Month 2023

Celebrate Black History Month with DCC! Most in-person events will also be livestreamed on All events are free and open to the public.

2023 Black History Month Events

Opening Tea

Tuesday, January 31 |  12:30 p.m.  |  Ritz Lounge

Join us for tea and to learn more about the events on the month.

Panel Discussion: Black Professionals in Science, Engineering & Technology

Thursday, February 9 | 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  |   Dutchess Hall 101

Join us at the Black Professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology panel with IBM's Marc Coq, Ali Duale, Mustafa Mah and Cheikhou Ndiaye. At this panel, we will explore the journeys of Black professionals in tech, examine their personal and professional evolutions and gain insight into how Blackness is experienced in the STEM community.

Marc Coq is a senior technical staff member (STSM) in IBM Z Resiliency. Marc holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Computer Engineering from SUNY New Paltz. He also holds an MS in Information Systems Engineering from Polytechnic Institute, formerly Brooklyn Poly. He is a co-architect of IBM Z Business Resiliency Stress Test (zBuRST) solution. Marc is an IBM master inventor and holds multiple patents and publications. He is also a member of the IBM Academy of Technology (AoT). He is the current chair of the IBM AoT Mid-Hudson Valley Technical Affiliate (MHVTVA) of the AoT. He also chairs the AoT Systems IBM Z Core Technology focus area. He is an IEEE senior member and an executive committee member of its regional Mid-Hudson Valley chapter. He is a member of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Ali Duale is a senior technical staff member (STSM) and a master inventor at IBM. He joined IBM in 2000 after he graduated from the City University of NY (CUNY) where he did his BE, ME and PhD, all in EE. He is an adjunct professor at the City College of NY (CCNY) where he also serves the advisory board of the Computer Engineering Program. He also taught at DCC in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Duale is the author of several publications, including a recently published history book. He mentors many young, current and future professionals.

Mustafa Mah is a senior technical staff member (STSM) at IBM. He started his career as a developer then moved into client-facing roles supporting several IBM clustered software and appliance offerings. Mustafa has an MS in software development from Marist College, BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY New Paltz, and an Associate in Science from Dutchess Community College. He is a husband and a father. He likes to mentor, coach co-workers and students, he enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Cheikhou Ndiaye (Chief) was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa. He joined IBM after graduating with a master’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Tennessee State University. Chief is a hardware Engineer and is currently the Functional Manager the Processor Product Engineering Organization. He is passionate about professional mentoring and supports STEM education across the local school districts. Chief is currently the IBM Ambassador to the Poughkeepsie City School District. His role models are his Father and Professor Cheikh Anta Diop.

2023 Black Solidarity Conference: Literacy, Education & Building Socially Just Communities

Thursday, February 16 & Friday, February 17

Be a part of our two-day Black Solidary Conference! This year's events come with the kind support of the DCC Foundation, DCC Writing Center, Ritz Library, The Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Center*, and The SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective (501c3). Events are open to all educators, students and the general public.

Black Solidarity Reads Lyceum: Junauda Petrus-Nasah

Thursday, February 16 |  12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | James & Betty Hall Theatre (opening tea reception at 12:00 p.m.)

Join Coretta Scott King Award winner and Kennedy Center Honoree in The Cartography Project Junauda Petrus-Nasah (she/her) author of The Stars and the Blackness Between Them. Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both. Junauda is a writer, a soul sweetener, runaway witch and multi-dimensional performance artist of Black-Caribbean descent who employs poetics, the erotic and experiences remembered via ancestral dreaming within her writing.

Social Justice in Education Workshop: Dr. Robert Robinson

Thursday, February 16 |  2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. | Bowne Hall, Room 122

Robert P. Robinson is an assistant professor in the SEEK Program at John Jay College and an induction mentor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to higher education, he was a K-12 educator and mentor for 11 years. His broad research and teaching focus on Black education history, history of U.S. education, curriculum studies, higher education mentorship and advising, and the Black Freedom Movement. In this workshop we'll discuss the relationship between education and justice. More specifically we will discuss helping students recall, analyze and situate their educational journeys with an awareness of who they are, what they want and how they wish to think of their educational pathways as political liberatory acts. This workshop is open to ALL future and current educators and the public.

The Edge of Empathy, Apathy and Education: August Smith

2023 Emerging BIPOC Scholar Awardee

Friday, February 17 | 10:00 a.m. | Bowne Hall, Room 122

August Smith is a doctoral student in sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Smith’s current work uses critical race theory to investigate differences in students’ and teachers’ perceptions of their school with the goal of better understanding the impacts of culturally-sustaining empathetic practices. The overarching goal of their research is to understand how teachers and students can resist and subvert white supremacy, heteropatriarchy and capitalist exploitation.

A Life of Justice through Peacebuilding: Omar Ndizeye

2023 Emerging BIPOC Scholar Awardee

Friday, February 17 | 1:00 p.m. | Bowne Hall, Room 122

How can a socially-just society that empowers the vulnerable be built out of the upheaval of genocide? Join us as we explore this question with Omar Ndizeye (he/him) of the SUNY Binghamton Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention program. As a young boy, he was among the very few who survived the mass killings at Nyamata Catholic Church during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Having witnessed the loss of many family members, Omar decided to dedicate his life to peacebuilding. In his native Rwanda, Omar worked in civil society where he focused on the memorization process in Post Genocide Rwanda, Peacebuilding, Youth Strategic empowerment/engagement, as well as developing strategic actions that respond to the genocide prevention, peacebuilding and socioeconomic needs. Omar also developed Humura Nturi Wenyine (Don’t worry you are not alone) a psycho-social support program for the student survivors organization, a program that combines counseling helpline services and volunteer-based first aid intervention.

From Pandemic to Pandemic: Dr. Blair Proctor

Friday, February 17 |  11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. |  Bowne Hall 122

Dr. Blair Proctor's (he/him) current research considers how types of pandemics—including diaspora, racism, gentrification and police brutality—affect these communities. Incorporating the coronavirus into his study, he will give a new angle on these pandemics and will provide an even more intersectional view of how these epidemics disproportionately affect the most marginalized, oppressed and ghettoized communities. Thus, this comparative research can be applied to global conversations of how the pandemics of racism, poverty and the environment are occurrences that affect people of African descent. In short, these pandemics take a direct toll on the African diasporic communities’ health and life chances. From an African diasporic and environmental justice frame, this talk will center on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) has added an additional layer of trauma to already traumatized Black American and South African communities and assert how racism within itself is indeed a pandemic. Through questioning the concept of ‘Environmental Justice,’ the pandemic and sickness of racism at its root will affect African diasporic communities due to unresolved actions of racial hierarchy, health disparities and power dynamics which maintain Black New Orleanian and Johannesburg communities within a marginalized state of continued trauma.

Black Queer Pedagogies: Dr. Robert Robinson

*Please note new time*
Friday, February 17 |  4 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Bowne Hall 122

This keynote will address broader research on the relationship between the personal, political and pedagogical through stories of Blackqueer or (LGBTQIA adjacent) thinkers who influenced curriculum or who themselves taught. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of how and LGBTQIA thought has and can influence curriculum and the practice of education in our communities.

Black History Committee: Willie Morris, Shalon Hallager, Jacqueline Goffe-McNish, Kevin Lang, Ismail Ahmed. If you have questions, please contact Willie Morris, Instructor of English, Co-Chair of the Black History Committee.

Sign Language Interpreting & Other Accommodations
Please request sign language interpreting services or other special accommodations at least two weeks prior to events by contacting Linda Bertolozzi at (845) 431-8058 or