LaGuardia Hosts Black Lives Matter Summit “Black Creative Expression, Politics and Change”

LaGuardia Hosts Black Lives Matter Summit “Black Creative Expression, Politics and Change”

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (April 10, 2024) – On April 16, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY hosts the 9th annual Black Lives Matter (BLM) Summit titled, “Black Creative Expression, Politics and Social Change.” This year’s Summit explores the power of Black expression, Black creativity, and Black politics while celebrating “50 Years of Hip Hop.”

The event will feature thought-provoking discussions, artistic performances, and engaging conversations to showcase the contributions of the Black community. Rachel Romain, from Student Life/Multicultural Exchange, is chair of the BLM planning committee and says the Summit will delve into the diverse forms of Black expression, from literature to visual arts, music to spoken word, and examine how these creative outlets intersect with political movements and social change.

Romain says this year’s summit holds the potential to deepen understanding, spark dialogue, and inspire action around the vital role that Black citizens have in our society.

“By fostering mindfulness, collaboration, and empowerment, the summit can contribute to advancing a more just and equitable society for all,” Romain said. “Our workshops and discussions will be highlighting black voices. We will be featuring Black activists, scholars, and community leaders as speakers and panelists, the summit can amplify the voices of Black citizens who are actively engaged in political advocacy, financial empowerment, and social change efforts.  Also, the Summit will delve into the intersectionality of race, politics, and social change, emphasizing how issues of racial justice are interconnected with other social justice movements.”

The BLM Summit kicks off at 10 a.m. in the Little Theater with a keynote address by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, a renowned Trinidadian immigrant poet raised in Queens, New York, and the author of seven poetry collections, including her most recent, The Limitless Heart: New and Selected Poems (1997-2022). At 12:45 p.m. in Room E-242, the event will feature “Black Poetry and Expression Workshop” with Ms. Boyce-Taylor.

The Summit continues at 2 p.m. in Room E-242 with “Black Culture Unveiled: Exploring the Intersection of Music, Activism, and Psychology” featuring a panel discussion with Dr. Zahra Caldwell, Associate Professor at Westfield State University in Ethnic and Gender Studies; Temesgen Tocruray, creative consultant specializing in learning and development, DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility); and Dr. Shaunee Wallace, motivational speaker, communication professional and LaGuardia communications professor. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Jason Hendrickson, LaGuardia English professor.

The Summit will conclude with “Hip Hop and the Law,” at 3:15 p.m., in Room E-242, featuring a panel discussion with Kazembe Batts, a human rights activist and organizer;

Nahziel Bowen, former LaGuardia student and current John Jay student; Tiffany Friend Esq., Founding Partner of the Friend Law Group; Dr. Nathan Hosannah, LaGuardia Associate Professor of Mathematics; and Danon Singh Esq. Sr. AML Analyst and staff attorney. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Sultan Jenkins, LaGuardia Professor of Biological Sciences.

In addition to Romain, the BLM Summit planning committee includes Allia Abdullah-Matta (English), Kazembe Batts (Student Affairs), Ayoka Christopher-Skinner (ASAP Program), Andre Ford (Center for Career & Professional Development), Sultan Jenkins (Natural Sciences Department), Ryan Mann-Hamilton (Social Science), Wendy Nicholson (President’s Office), Sonia Rodriguez (English), Ingrid Veras (Natural Sciences), and Charis Victory (ASAP Program).

“As a collective group, we must persist in fostering unity, raising awareness, and taking action through avenues such as politics, the law, and other societal mechanisms,” Romain says. “Ultimately, the Summit serves to promote positivity for all individuals while acknowledging the numerous injustices experienced by Black people in our country.”

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


Press Information

For press information, please contact: