New College’s Black History Month Symposium Focuses on Social Justice

Published on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 by David Gulliver

New College of Florida’s Black History Month continues with a symposium on “Redefining Activism: Navigating Identity and Practicing Self-Care.” The event will take place from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 4, on the first floor of the Jane Bancroft Cook Library.

The symposium is the centerpiece of this year’s Black History Month, which focuses on the theme of “Black Action,” or the intersection of blackness and social justice. It will feature two panels and an address by keynote speaker Kavindu Ade, a Philadelphia-based poet, activist and educator.

The first panel, the “Barbershop Talk,” will discuss black activism locally in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw, Shelia Baynes of Masala Giving Circle, and Shakira Refos, head of Black Lives Matter of Sarasota-Manatee will discuss their experiences and how they’ve incorporated activism into their lives. Topics include managing self care while under societal stress as well as how to give back once they have “made it.”

The second panel, “Responding to Respectability,” will feature a discussion from local black professionals on being black in the professional sphere.

Panelists include Britney Brown, social worker and philanthropist; Dr. Elzie McCord, biology professor emeritus at New College and a former scientist with DuPont; Delores McFarland, retired human resources professional with General Motors;  and John Sims, multimedia conceptual artist.

There will also be a special address to honor the late Ijeoma Uzoukwu, recognizing their contributions to activism and the New College community. Uzoukwu, a former New College student, died in 2016.

The event will conclude with a keynote address from Ade, whose work is centered on themes of blackness, queerness and social justice.

The symposium will feature a coffee break and a buffet-style dinner, courtesy of Mirna’s Cuban Cuisine.

This event is free and open to the public,  but guests are asked to register online in advance at, listed under “kavindu ade symposium.”

The symposium is supported by a portion of a grant to New College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Calendar Listing

New College of Florida’s Black History Month Symposium

“Redefining Activism: Navigating Identity and Practicing Self-Care”

Saturday, March 4, 3:00 to 9:00 PM

Jane Bancroft Cook Library, Bay Shore Drive

Schedule of Events:

3:00 – 3:20 PM – Welcome

3:20 – 4:40 PM – First Symposium Panel: “Barbershop Talk”

4:40 – 4:50 PM – Coffee Break

4:50 – 6:10 PM – Second Symposium Panel: “Responding to Respectability”

7:30 – 7:45 PM – Special address recognizing Ijeoma Uzoukwu’s activism,

contribution to our community, and passing.

7:45 – 9:00 PM – Keynote Address by Kavindu Ade