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 4 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.
Black student-led Organizations Leadership Initiative(Selected dates, Fall-Spring)
Led by OBSA’s undergraduate fellow. Fall focus groups with the 5C and 7C BSU group leaders to inform of availability of advising from OBSA and collect feedback about office programming/support needs. Since this summer, BSUs have more actively shared news, events and opportunities from OBSA and the focus groups will capitalize on these connections. The focus groups culminate in a spring retreat that supports goal setting, transitional leadership, programming strategies, visioning and community building.
OBSA Ambassador Program (Fall-Spring)
Led by OBSA’s undergraduate fellow. An incentive program for students to identify peers who are not currently on OBSA’s mailing lists. Students from 7 campus can participate and provide referrals to OBSA’s email distribution list and programming will be tracked using surveys. Those who are mentioned in the referral receive a small voucher for use at online stores.
OBSA 7C Alumni-Student Mentoring Program (year round)
Since 2017, OBSA’s Alumni Mentoring program has been virtual and will continue in this capacity for the coming academic year and will continue to be led by our graduate fellow Cleo (CGU). Currently there are close to 70 7C student-alumni pairs, and we have a database of 150 volunteer alumni interests from all 7 colleges, who are also involved with the office in other capacities including graduation keynotes, facilitators, panelists and event hosts. Groups are self-directed and surveyed regularly. Outstanding alumni are highlighted in our publications and platforms.
OBSA 5C Peer-Peer Mentoring (Fall-Spring)
This year’s mentor training will be offered by Pomona College and open to 5C mentoring programs across the colleges; OBSA Mentors have been invited to attend. Facilitated by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan (CGU)
In lieu of the annual retreat, program participants will be invited to a zoom gathering to welcome students to the program, chat in small breakout rooms and review roles and responsibilities.
Programming: Resources, Academic skill building, Wellness and Connection sessions
During the year, alongside mandatory group check ins initiated by mentors on behalf of their assigned mentees, our graduate fellow leading the mentorship program will design a series of open discussions, guest facilitations from campus community members and documentary film screenings that will be both program specific and open to the broader campus.
Assistant Dean Office Hours (weekly beginning September 2020, TBA)
Standing staff office hour with OBSA Assistant Dean, drop in. 1 hour each week. Students can schedule outside of these times with either Dean and our student fellows, but a standing office hour on behalf of students and guests will supplement email communications and calls. The goal is to assess student needs during a virtual environment, allow students to ask questions and encourage open dialogue and connection.
KGI Drop-in Hours (2 per semester, fall 2020)
Joint drop in sessions with OBSA Dean, QRC and CLSA for support and resource sharing.
Co-led by OBSA’s 2 graduate fellows (Esme Taylor and Cleo Thelus, CGU). A monthly drop in for KGI and CGU students, that will be 30-45 minutes each. Themes will range from exploring avenues of support for Black doctoral students, mental health resources, creating community and overcoming isolation while distancing and working with accountability partners.
Facilitated by OBSA Dean and MCAPS therapist Dr. Drinkard. Due to the success of the summer sessions and per student’s recommendations, PAUSE will return for the coming academic year each semester, with additional sessions as needed.
In addition to regular requests from campus entities for workshops, panels, collaborative events and trainings.
“Black In…” Career Series (2x/semester, Fall-spring)
Led by OBSA Asst Dean with input from student staff. Webinars on Black experiences in various fields, including opportunities and maximizing skills and strategies for the job search. Fields will be based on student data around selected majors and disciplines, and facilitators will come from our alumni database, campus partners, career centers and student suggestions.
The Antiracism Project (ongoing)
Collaboration with the Claremont Colleges Library. The Libraries launched an antiracism initiative to create an online clearinghouse of resources related to the Black Lives Matter Movement. OBSA was invited to partner to help promote the program via social media campaign, ensure accuracy, support growth and help identify information for the collection, with the support of Black-led student groups, faculty and staff. The project will be ongoing and inclusive of various media, scholarship and types of information. The resources are housed at https://libguides.libraries.claremont.edu/blm
We have redesigned our key events for a virtual environment as follows:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration (January 2021)
In collaboration with the Libraries, we will offer a common reading program that aligns with Dr. Kings work and the current racial climate, with free ebook download in lieu of a keynote speaker. We will host a virtual book discussion and Q&A with the author depending on cost.
Black History Month (February 2021)
We plan to source campus, local and nationally held virtual events for a more comprehensive calendar. OBSA will contribute several events (documentary screening, zoom social, social media campaign, partner with faculty for discussion) and highlight submitted events from across the 7Cs.
Black Intersections Conference (February 27, 2021)
In lieu of an in person event, the conference will be devoted to self expression and art forms in order to help provide a space of healing interspersed with students who wish to share their work. Submitted papers can be prerecorded and submitted to the conference website and scheduled events will focus on building community, social engagement and wellness practices.
Black Alumni Open House (April 2021)
Virtual toast for Black Alumni in lieu of the brunch event. 1 hour event to check in with alumni, promote the OBSA Alumni Association and mentoring program and participate in connection activities.
Black Graduation (May 2021)
Due to the success of 2020’s program, we will design the program similarly for 2021. The virtual keynote will be a Scripps alum (TBD), OBSA will collect prerecorded congratulations recorded from Black faculty and staff, and mail stoles and a graduation program to graduates, with accompanying social media campaign