Amandla! in review 2007-2008

A open letter to the Bates College community,

I write now to officially declare the end of my tenure as Coordinator/Co-Coordinator for the Black student organization Amandla!and to announce the two students who will serve as the 2008-2009 Co-Coordinators for this great campus organization.

For the 2007-2008 academic year members of Amandla! commenced this season by emphasizing four key goals: inclusion, collectivity, family and cultural awareness. To meet these ends, we committed ourselves to crafting programs and events that would align with these objectives.

Here are some highlights of this year’s success:

Inclusion:
Amandla! organized several open campus forums (including a MLK day workshop) on topics concerning Black people on this campus, our nation and throughout the world. Members of Amandla! organized a well attended conference on the theme: The Politics of Color with workshops on how skin color affects social perceptions. The conference included an African Diaspora Dinner and a charity dance called Triad. During the conference we raised more than $200 for the UNICEF SOMALIA education fund. We also made an earnest effort to increase the number of non-Black students to attend our weekly meetings. Given the high number of diverse students who attended these weekly gatherings, this attempt proved to be a very successful appeal. Most of our meetings covered a significant issue affecting the African Diaspora, including discussions on the Zimbabwe’s presidential election, the Save Darfur cause, the U.S. presidential election and Barack Obama, and many more.

Collectivity and Family:
We formed familial like bonds while collectively organizing events together and by learning about each other. We now begin our meetings by saying “Amandla! Ngawethu, Power to the People” in order to recognize our collectivity as a group and the purpose of our organization. With the support of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, some members of Amandla! traveled to see the opening of the African Burial Ground in New York City. Through this off campus interaction, the members who participated in this trip formed very close bonds with each other. We were able to offer organization supportive activities such as movies nights on Black culture for ourselves and the entire campus community.

Cultural Awareness:
This year, we considered that raising Black cultural awareness in all of our programs and events as a vital task. These events included, Amandla!’s first ever “Pop Quiz: Topic- Black History”. During Black History Month we honored Bates’ outstanding Black alumni by displaying their biographies throughout campus corridors and buildings. The idea to form Bates’ Black Gospel choir initiated within our organization.

Other Successes:
Moreover, we were active as hosts for the Office of Admissions multicultural student visitation program called Prologue to Bates College. In addition, many of our members have accomplished several accolades at Bates and have contributed greatly to enhancing the Bates community. Within ourorganization, we have a Benjamin Mays prize recipient, co-founders of the Black Gospel organization, members of faculty standing committees, student government class presidents,Harward center volunteers, an athlete of the week, Howard Hughes scholars, and much more.

We saluted the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Ms. Czerny Brasuell with our Administrator of the Year award for being an outstanding mentor, resource, supporter, and advisor to multicultural students at Bates College. Her track record and outstanding years of service in the Office of Multicultural Affairs made it easy for us to choose her as the recipient of this award.

We also saluted Dean James Reese with an award respectfully named in his honor. The James L. Reese Trailblazer award will be given annually to a Bates’ faculty, administrator, or staff member who puts in extraordinary time, care, mentorship, and resources in supporting students of color at Bates College.

In pursuing years, we wish to award one faculty, one staff member, and one administrator with awards for their service to students of color on Bates’ campus.

Furthermore, I am pleased to announce that Jasmine Beane ’11 and Theodore Sutherland ’11 will serve as Amandla!’s 2008-2009 Co-Coordinators. I sincerely admire the talent and capabilities of these two students. These two individuals posses immense intelligence, diligence, mannerism and both share a zeal for promoting Black cultural awareness. They have already begun to plan some wonderful events for the student body for this coming academic year and I anxiously await to see their work come into fruition. Please contact these two students with any questions, comments, concerns, or plans that relate to Amandla!. Jasmine’s email is jbeane@bates.edu and Theodore’s email is tsutherl@bates.edu .

Here are the brief biographies for the 2008-2009 students leaders of Amandla!:

Jasmine Beane ’11- Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Jasmine Beane ’11 studies biochemistry, premedical studies, and minors in economics at Bates College. In high school, Beane taught a class to her peers on race, diversity and culture and was active in community service. Beane’s campus involvement at Bates includes working in the office of human resources; serving as Amandla!’s event coordinator, a member of the diversity outreach team in admissions, and being an active student leader in the Bates’ diversity matter cause. This year Beane was selected to serve as Junior Advisor to incoming freshmen and was elected by her peers to serve as Amandla!’s Co-Coordinator(Co-President). During her first year at Bates, Beane, then Amandla!’s event coordinator, assisted in preparations for a trip to the African Burial Ground in New York City and played an integral role in organizing forums on Black cultural awareness for the entire campus. After completing her studies at Bates, she plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine.

Theodore Sutherland ’11- Accra, Ghana

Theodore Sutherland ’11 is pursuing his degree in Economics and French at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. In High School, Sutherland served as the “Head Boy” in his boarding school, a dorm proctor, earned his diploma with distinction and was selected to be his school’s valedictorian. At Bates, Sutherland serves as a charter member of Mays Men, Bates’ Black and Latino Male organization; a member of the Diversity Outreach Team in admissions; a member of the investment club; center monitor for the Multicultural Center; a junior advisor; a member of the International Club. Sutherland is also an active participant in the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, where he has mentored and tutored youth in the Lewiston community. Theodore is the 2008 recipient of the college’s freshmen seminar writing award. Earlier this year, Theodore was elected by his peers to serve as the Co-Coordinator (Co-President) of Bates’ Black students organization Amandla!. He has achieved these extraordinary works of service all while maintaining an excellent collegiate academic record. In the future, Theodore plans to attend graduate school in public policy.

Lastly, I want to thank all the students, staff, faculty, and administrators who supported and attributed to this academic year’s success. Specifically, I want to thank Ms. Czerny Brasuell, Mr. Mark Bessire, Dr. Leslie Hill, Dean James Reese, Dean Keith Tannerbaum, Tonya Taylor, Ms. Susan Dionne, Mr. Arsalan Suhail, Ms. Marylyn Scott, Ms. Phyllis Jensen, Dr. Charles Nero, Dr. Timothy Robinson, Ms.Carmita Mccoy, Mr. Dan Aiello, Mr. Bill Cutler, Mr. Anthony J. Begon( Amandla!’s 2008 Co-Coodinator), Mr. Donelle Durham (Amandla!’s 2007 Co-Coordinator) and Mr. Jason Patterson who each served as invaluable resources to our organization this year.

Most importantly, I want to thank all the members of Amandla! for their selfless
commitment to the organization.

As we move forward as an organization, we will continue to hold true to the mission that our founders envisioned. And with your continued support, we will further the cause of promoting Black cultural awareness on this campus, continue to forge Black student support systems, and provide a forum for people on this campus to express ideas concerning the African Diaspora.

On behalf of Amandla!, thank you!

“Amandla! Ngawethu!” Power to the People.

Yours in the stuggle, I am

Brother Phillips
Amandla!, former Coordinator/Co-Coordinator

About Amandla!

The purpose of Amandla! is to cultivate solidarity among students of
African descent at Bates College . We are committed to providing a
forum where one can express social, intellectual, political, and
cultural concerns of students of African descent.

It is our mission to promote global causes that directly affect people
of the African Diaspora and foster a campus and local community
understanding of the rich lives and cultures of people of African
descent. Through organizing events and programs that raise cultural
and political awareness of Black people on campus, Amandla! hopes to
ignite racial tolerance and social change in our communities.

 

2007-2008 members of Amandla!

2007-2008 members of Amandla!

2007-2008 Amandla! executive board

2007-2008 Amandla! executive board

 

Amandla! visits the African Burial Ground in New York City

Amandla! visits the African Burial Ground in New York City

 

 

 

 

 

 

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