Black Alumni of Notre Dame kicked off Black History Month with the first session of its month-long Black Domers 2 conversation.
The Feb. 1 event—Black Domers: Past, Present, and Future—featured a panel of alumni spanning multiple decades as well as current students at the University.
“We will spend the next five weeks honoring and celebrating the contributions of Black Domers as well as discussing aspects of Black life, culture, wellbeing and spirituality,” Kendra Washington-Bass ’94, chair of Black Alumni of Notre Dame, said in her opening remarks. “It is our hope that over the course of the next few weeks, we will build a community and connect with people globally to reflect upon the contributions made by our Black Domers.”
Black Domers: Past, Present, and Future was moderated by Richard Ryans ’79, a cofounder of Black Alumni of Notre Dame who has been actively involved in the organization since the 1980s. Joining him were panelists Carol D. Anderson ’00 MBA, Nneze Ekowa ’26, Brandon Hardy ’20, Nicole Juntunen ’99, Billy Micard ’24, Rochelle Valsaint ’95, and Don Wycliff ’69. Each talked about their academic and social experiences on campus, the importance of cultivating the Black community within the larger Notre Dame community, and advancing diversity and inclusion efforts on campus. It’s a dialogue that Washington-Bass and organizers hope “bridges the past, informs the present and inspires the future.”
Black Domers 2 is sponsored by ThinkND, Irish Compass, and the Notre Dame Alumni Association. In upcoming virtual sessions this month, the series will explore:
The Future of Social Justice (February 8): Join filmmaker Christine Swanson ’94 and Academy Award nominated actress Aunjanue Ellis for a screening and discussion of Swanson’s 2022 short film Fannie, a riveting portrait of human rights, voting rights, and civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer. Scott Barton, assistant professor of race, food, environmental & cultural studies in the department of Africana Studies and inaugural Fellow in Notre Dame’s Initiative for Race and Resilience, will serve as moderator.
Blazing Trails in 21st Century Business & Entrepreneurship (February 15): A discussion on how Black business leaders and entrepreneurs are blazing trails to success in the 21st century business landscape. Moderated by Paige Jackson, associate director, Law and Graduate Business Annual Giving, this panel will represent a wide variety of marketplace segments.
Black Well-being (February 22): Black health and wellness may look different for each person, but having a community in which one can be listened to, cared for, advocated for is essential for everyone. Learn how self care and community care intersect to enable us to live the most fulfilling lives possible while we share our time in the world and embrace generations of culture, diversity, and history.
Black Spirituality (February 29): Explore the ways our faith journeys can offer a path to healing, liberation and fulfillment, particularly when expressed according to the culture and traditions of a people rich with spiritual gifts.
Each session begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Register for upcoming sessions of Black Domers 2.