Office of Black Student Affairsjoe2023-09-26T09:50:17-07:00
Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA)
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. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors can access OBSA staff during business hours: and remotely by appointment. See below for OBSA’s swipe access and space use information.
PEER MENTOR RECRUITMENT
We are now accepting applications for 2023 OBSA Mentors. Only rising 5C sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Applications are rolling through the end of August, with some possibility for applicants in late fall (conditions apply). Early application is encouraged and application status will be shared within 1-3 weeks, along with assigned mentees and next steps.
Incoming student to a 5C college? Apply here to join OBSA Mentorship and be part of a vibrant community of new and current students. Groups of up to 4 incoming students are assigned to a sophomore, junior or senior. Incoming students who identify as persons of African descent are directly emailed and invited to apply, but you don’t need to wait for the email.
OBSA’s ANNUAL MENTORSHIP RETREAT RETURNS! OPEN TO MENTORSHIP APPLICANTS ONLY
Our annual retreat will be a half day event occurring off campus in September 2023. In order to be eligible to attend, you must be a registered participant in OBSA Mentorship, so applications must be received before September 4, 2023 in order to match and assign groups in advance of the event. The retreat is free of charge, with meals and transportation included.
For more information and up to date application reminders, check here and follow OBSA on Instagram. Email OBSA with any questions!
7 College Black Alumni Brunch
OBSA holds a 7C Black Alumni brunch each year during the colleges’ alumni weekend. It occurs on the Sunday of the weekend from 11am-1pm in the OBSA Garden. The brunch is part of OBSA’s larger alumni outreach initiatives that include:
OBSA’s Alumni Database
The Alumni database collects survey data from Black-identified alumni across the 7 Colleges. We use our database of 7C Black alums to recruit mentors and help identify our Black Graduation alumni keynote.
Alumni can use the page to share information, learn about OBSA’s specific initiatives directed to alumni and engage with one another on a range of topics
All students are invited to participate in the Alumni Mentoring program, the annual alumni weekend brunch, and to use OBSA’s networks to connect to Black alumni of The Claremont Colleges via our Linkedin page and email newsletter to registered alumni.
We will only contact you if you indicate on the survey that you want to be part of the initiatives listed above. All contact information is confidential and for office purposes only.
Black History Month
Black History Month
Black History Month at The Claremont Colleges
Our virtual celebration of Black History at the Claremont Colleges includes events offered by OBSA staff and collected from around the colleges, including students, faculty and staff, allies and partners. We’ve created a comprehensive list of submitted events that can be accessed at https://linktr.ee/obsaclaremont.
Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation
OBSA hosts the annual Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation together each May to commemorate the many contributions of students, faculty and staff and to celebrate students obtaining degrees from each of The Claremont Colleges (both the graduate and undergraduate institutions). The order of events for the day traditionally includes the OBSA Dean’s welcome address, the singing of the Black National Anthem, followed by the service awards, the alumni keynote, the graduation ceremony and the closing lunch reception. Claremont Colleges Black faculty and staff are invited to wear their regalia and register to be seated onstage to cheer on and support students during the ceremony. Each graduate is welcome to make a brief speech to acknowledge those who supported them in their journey. The Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation occurs on the Friday before graduation, so that graduates, their friends and family and the community at large can attend. It does NOT serve to replace each of the colleges’ graduation ceremonies, and students are encouraged to attend both Black Graduation and their college’s event. Degrees are not conferred at Black Graduation; however all graduates receive a congratulatory certificate from OBSA signed by the Dean and Assistant Dean. Following the tradition of hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States, Black Graduation is a unifying, community centered event that provides a sense of belonging, particularly for students of African descent attending colleges where they are few in number. Black Graduation offers space for students and their families to express joy freely and in the spirit of love, inclusion and acknowledgment. Registration for graduates begins in March.
INFORMATION FOR GRADUATES
All graduates hoping to participate should register using this form. Note that your name and degrees on the form will be how they appear on your certificate and in the printed program.
THE 2023 BLACK GRADUATIONALUMNI KEYNOTE: CARNETTA JONES, SCRIPPS COLLEGE CLASS OF 1978
Carnetta Jones is an acting coach and director with an MFA from UCLA in acting. She owns a celebrity acting coaching service, where she transitions comedians, singers, musicians and sports figures to professional actors.
Friday May 12, 2023, 11am-1pm at Pomona College Seaver Theater
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
The Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration is traditionally a 7 college and TCCS celebration. The event is comprised of a lecture, a student session and dinner open to the 7 colleges and TCCS.
Previous invited guests include: Zyahna Bryant (2023), Bryant Terry (2022), Yara Shahidi (2021), The Beyoncé Mass (2020), Dr. Bettina Love (2019), Dr. Chris Emdin (2018), Dr. Melina Abdullah (2017), Jamilah Lemiuex (2016), Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (2015).
Black Alternabreak is an annual week-long community engagement trip during Spring Break, in partnership with the Draper Center for Community Partnerships at Pomona College. It is open to all 5 undergraduate colleges, and recruitment begins each fall.
Students commit their spring break to volunteering with organizations in the larger community, addressing social issues such as environmental justice, community uplift, homelessness, and hunger.
Coordinators lead trips to a single location, and trips have occurred in Oakland, Texas and Los Angeles.
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.
Lydia Middleton,Dean of Black Student Affairs
On behalf of OBSA
Stay up to date with OBSA by reading our newsletter. 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.
To read OBSA’s resent newsletters, visit our Linktree
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.
If you are from an office or department that wishes to collaborate with OBSA or request a workshop facilitated by our staff, we have developed a set of guidelines to assist in this process. Please see the attached OBSA Workshop Request Procedure to learn more, and arrange a time to talk with our staff about your initiative. Please email completed requests to our office.
Are you a faculty member who wants to get involved with OBSA to connect students to your scholarship or other opportunities? Read our letter to faculty and learn more about how OBSA plans to incorporate and highlight the work of faculty that connects students to learning, mentoring, research and other educational opportunities from various 7C academic departments. Click here to complete our faculty outreach survey!
OBSA offers students, faculty and staff enrolled and/or employed at The Colleges permission to use the center after hours (swipe access is available M-F, 7am-11pm and reservations can be made for weekend use). The OBSA main house is open to the public M-Th, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm.
OBSA’s conference room (main house) and bungalow (back house) are available by card swipe access for students, faculty and staff after hours by request using our access form.
The general public may not use OBSA’s facilities without written request to firstname.lastname@example.org, certain conditions apply.