Office of Black Student Affairs
Serving The Claremont Colleges
Office Closure in response to the COVID-19 Global Epidemic
We regret to inform the communities we serve that OBSA’s physical locations are closed effective March 13, 2020 in response to the threat of coronavirus. As such, swipe access to the OBSA main house and bungalow is suspended and our staff will be on a telecommuting schedule, and available to respond to inquiries and requests as they are received, whether via zoom, email or phone. We are saddened that the year has ended abruptly, and that for some, the culmination of their years of effort at the colleges will likely end without formal celebration or ceremony. We are continuing with programming and communication with the many students, staff and faculty we serve during our physical absence.
In the event of questions or an emergency, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Calls to the office (909) 607-3669 and other requests will be forward to the Deans’ personal phones during the campuswide closures, effective March 17.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are working to preserve the safety of our student communities during a time of much uncertainty.
OBSA’s statement in support of Black Lives
We stand with the global protests against police brutality and in support of Black lives. We hope all who choose to participate in protests in person are able to preserve their safety and are connected to avenues for relief and legal information. For those sharing information and engaging in discussions, please be mindful of sources interchangeably linking protesting to violence and looting with intention to discredit the aims of the movement. Consider the ways in which Black people engaging in any form of protest are and historically have been over policed, surveilled and the target of violent reprisal from police and civilian forces. If you’re participating in discussions with others around the Black Lives Matter movement, read the publicly accessible information about the organizations’ platform (blacklivesmatter.org) as well as the numerous organizations mobilizing on behalf of Black lives through activism, litigation, monitoring hate groups and sharing resources (Southern Poverty Law center, splcenter.org).
Learn the ways media and other institutions consistently underline white supremacist rthetoric while supporting sensationalist misrepresentations of Black people in general, particularly those who engage in uprisings against oppressive regimes. OBSA supports a nuanced and contextual understanding of global anti-blackness and the ways police and the military are deployed as part of a larger project of Black subjugation.
We are committed to the safety and well-being of our community members and stand in solidarity with those involved in justice movements. We call for an end to state sanctioned genocide, unjust deaths and lack of legal recourse perpetuated against Black people.
In solidarity, Lydia Middleton, Dean of Black Student Affairs, on behalf of OBSA
OBSA’S VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING, SPRING & SUMMER 2020
OBSA FROM HOME: Monthly Newsletter during campus closure
Resources, information and monthly reminders during the campus closure.
OBSA From Home Vol I | May: Graduation Issue
OBSA From Home Vol 2 | June: For Black Lives
OBSA From Home Vol 3 | July: Black Student Voices and Movements
May 14, 2020
BLACK GRADUATION ZOOM KEYNOTE (VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE)
with Dr. Eileen Wilson- Oyelaran (POM ’69 and CGU ’77)
This year’s keynote is dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson (1930-2020) and the graduating class of 2020. Join us for an inspiring message from our 50th anniversary alumni keynote, Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran.
The keynote and congratulatory videos from Claremont Colleges faculty and staff are available on OBSA’s Black Graduation page
Applications available through August 2020, program launch August 24, 2020
OBSA PEER MENTORSHIP
OBSA Peer Mentorship is planning a virtual start date in late fall with dates to be confirmed and matching will be 1:1.
PEER MENTOR RECRUITMENT (applications accepted now through August 2020)
We encourage students who wish to mentor in the 2020-2021 academic year to apply here and expect to be contacted for selection and assigned mentee over the summer We encourage existing groups (for the 2019-2020 academic year) to remain in contact and in support during the COVID-19 crisis as students are able.
MENTEE RECRUITMENT (applications accepted June-September 2020)
Incoming students to any 5C College can apply to OBSA Mentorship starting in June 2020. The application will be posted here and on the OBSA Mentorship webpage on June 1.
Year round recruitment and matching
OBSA ALUMNI-STUDENT MENTORING
Our virtual alumni-student matching program will operate normally, and accepts alumni and student participants yearlong on a rolling basis. Visit the OBSA Alumni Engagement webpage for more information.
June 11, 2020
Webinar: Shifting Narratives–Using Education as a Tool for Protest and Dismantling Systemic Racism
Presented by Harvey Mudd College Office of Institutional Diversity, OBSA and Black Lives at Mudd (BLAM)
This speaker panel discusses pertinent issues for students, faculty and staff as they navigate campus climate during the global responses to police brutality and antiblack racism. Panelists include Dr. Kundai Chirindo (professor, Lewis and Clark College), Dr. Bridget Turner Kelly (Dean, University of Maryland) and Dr. Anna Gonzalez (VPSA, Dean of Students, HMC). Moderated by Lydia Middleton (Dean, Office of Black Student Affairs, TCC)
July 9-17, 2020
PAUSE: Support sessions for students of African descent (partnership with MCAPS)
The Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA) is a cultural center and service unit within The Claremont Colleges Services. On behalf of The Claremont Colleges, OBSA is dedicated to providing support, resources and space for students of African descent to feel safe, valued, informed and connected. OBSA offers a range of programming on behalf of enrolled 7C students of African descent, faculty, staff and allies. Our key service areas include identity-based workshops, skill building activities, mentoring, arts engagement activities, student organizational support, professional/career development workshops, the sharing of 7C resources and referrals, heritage-month programming and other celebrations, and collaborative partnerships with 7C colleges, departments and organizations.
OBSA Swipe Access and Space Use
OBSA offers students, faculty and staff enrolled and/or employed at The Colleges permission to use the center after hours (7 days a week, 7am-11pm). OBSA is open for public use M-F, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm. Download the OBSA Card Swipe and Space Use Agreement before completing the online form for OBSA building access. Access carries over each year until a person is no longer employed at or enrolled at the colleges, so no need to renew an access form. Access may be suspended or limited if policy rules are not kept. To reserve space for meetings or events, you must email requests to Latreace dot Cox at claremont dot edu.
Stay up to date with OBSA by reading our news. The publication informs our communities about upcoming events, fellowships and jobs, features special initiatives and partnerships, and highlights a range of student-centered opportunities across the 7 colleges.
OBSA’s Black Book: A resource guide for students of African descent at The Claremont Colleges.
Each year, OBSA publishes The Black Book to assist students in identifying essential services and faculty and staff of African descent at The Claremont Colleges. The Black Book supports students in connecting to communities of African descent at The Claremont Colleges and beyond, including listings of local Black owned and Black Alumni-owned businesses. Students can easily locate and access health and wellness related services, as well as shared service resources across the colleges.
The book is updated yearly and printed copies are made available to participants in the OBSA Mentorship Program.
View all publications of the Black Book by clicking the links below:
OBSA Programs and Services
- Identity-based workshops
- Skill-building activities
- Arts engagement activities
- Student organizational support
- Professional/career workshops
- Heritage month programming and other monthly celebrations
- Collaborative partnerships with 7C colleges, departments and organizations
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