Black Alumni Strengthen Connection

With the desire to keep alive the social, professional and educational bonds formed at UMass Amherst, the Black Alumni Network was formed this past summer through the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. While still a new group, the Black Alumni Network has attracted participants throughout New England, New York, and as far away as North Carolina.

One of the group’s objectives is to support students within the UMass Black community and to help bridge their transition from student to alumni life.  In partnership with the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS), the Black Alumni Network hopes to positively contribute to the existing academic support system on campus.

The group will also work with the W.E.B. DuBois Center on projects to further the understanding of black history, scholarly writings, and access to these educational resources.

A kick-off event for the Black Alumni Network will be held on Thursday, March 1 during the Alumni Celebration Weekend.  Alumni are invited to attend a reception at the University Club followed by a performance of the SFJAZZ Collective at the Fine Arts Center. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Black Alumni Network or would like more information on starting a new affinity group, please contact Kevin Fleming with the Alumni Association at

In addition to the Black Alumni Network, the Alumni Association is also helping to support a Black Alumni Reunion on April 13 being planned by Greg Thomas ’91, Willie Vick Jr. ’89, ’96G, Tony Walker ’90, Kevin Mitchel ’92, and Blossom Burton ’89, ‘93G, and Doris Clemmons ’77, ’86G, ’93G in  conjunction with Soul Fest and CMASS.  Events will include alumni/faculty speakers, Soul TV Fashion Show, Meet & Greet Comedy Show, Malcolm X Barbeque, brunch reception with the Chancellor, and Spring Concert, among others.  More details to come; visit their Facebook event page for current information. 

Some important dates and events to note
in celebration of  Black History Month:

January 23 - February 23
In the Realm of Senses
Memorial Exhibit of Works by Prof. Richard Yarde
Herter Art Gallery
sponsored by the Herter Art Gallery

January 31 - February 1
The Color Purple
7:30pm, Fine Arts Center

February 1
"Black Power Mix Tapes 1967-1975"
Film screening with discussion
6:30pm, MXCC
sponsored by Black Student Union (BSU) and Real Music Exposed

February 3
Stroll Competition
7:00pm - 2:00am, Student Union Ballroom
sponsored by NPHC and MGC

February 9
"Black English"
presentation by Prof. Lisa Green
7:00pm - 9:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by MXCC Staff

February 12
Oratorical Competition
*price TBA*
4:00pm - 7:00pm, Bowker Auditorium
sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha

February 13
Black History Month Jeopardy
7:00pm - 10:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by BSU and Nu Tau Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi

February 14
Black Love Dialogue
7:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha

February 21
African/African-American Identity Discussion
7:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by the African Student Association

February 23
18th Annual Du Bois Lecture feat. Dr. Derrick Alridge
Author of "The Educational Thoughts of W.E.B. Du Bois"
4:30pm, Cape Cod Lounge
sponsored by the W.E.B Du Bois Library - Special Collections

February 24
Ode to the Black Power Movement
*price TBA*
7:00pm - 2:00am, Student Union Ballroom
sponsored by BSU

February 25
SOCA Cultural Night
*price TBA*
7:00pm, Student Union Ballroom
sponsored by Students of Caribbean Ancestry

February 26
Soul Food Sunday
7:00pm - 10:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by MXCC Staff and Dining Services

February 27
"Precious Knowledge"
Film screening with panel discussion on Arizona's proposal to eliminate ethnic studies in education
5:30pm - 8:00pm, Campus Center Auditorium
sponsored by CMASS, Anthropology Dept. and Communications Dept.

February 28
The N-Word Through Art
7:00pm, MXCC
sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho and Omega Psi Phi

Black History Month is supported by the Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life and the Center for Student Development. For updates visit CMASS.