First annual Black Student Convocation will be held Oct. 12

The UO Black Student Task Force and Black Male Alliance have collaborated to create the first annual Black Student Convocation to welcome both new and returning black students, as well as new black faculty and staff.  

The convocation will take place Friday, Oct. 12, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Woodruff Gym in Gerlinger Hall and will offer encouragement and support, a sense of history, and a look towards the future.

The convocation will give black students an opportunity to gather, reinforce their academic pursuits, enhance connective bonds that support recruitment and retention, and discuss their shared experiences, goals and needs.

The general reception begins at 4 p.m. Students will get to meet with members of campus organizations that offer a range of support and services and gather information about campus and community resources. They will have the opportunity to meet faculty members and staff from departments across campus, as well as key university leaders.

The program begins at 5 p.m. with a welcome from Noori Cherry, president of the Black Male Alliance, and Kendaris Hill, multicultural academic advisor and black/African-American student retention specialist. They will be followed with remarks from Imani Dorsey, internal vice president for the Associated Students of the University of Oregon; Doneka Scott, associate vice provost for student success; Michelle Alexander, associate professor of black studies and history; Curtis Austin, associate professor of black studies and history; and closing remarks from Drue Edney, a Black Student Task Force leadership representative.  

The Black Student Task Force and Black Male Alliance will provide updates on the Black Student Task Force list of demands, black student retention, and faculty and staff recruitment and retention. According to the task force, “The convocation will speak to our University of Oregon: an equitable university, a university that embraces the black studies faculty cluster hires’ expertise, and empowers black student academic success.”

The convocation is “both a check-in and energizer for black students, faculty, staff and Black Student Task Force and Black Male Alliance leadership,” Hill said. “The beauty of this event is that it has been completely spearheaded by students who have continuously worked to connect the black community on campus to the larger black community throughout the state.”  

The convocation is being scheduled in conjunction with the inaugural UO Alumni Association Black Alumni Reunion, Oct. 11–14.  For more information about the convocation, contact Hill at or 541-346-9302.

By tova stabin, University Communications