Welcome from the Dean
The Oﬃce of Black Student Aﬀairs is a department within the
Claremont University Consor um. On behalf of The Claremont
Colleges, we oﬀer dynamic programming, workshops, events and
experiences that foster an engaging, welcoming and suppor ve
environment for students of African descent.
This year, OBSA connected to the many vibrant cultural,
intellectual, service and co‐curricular communi es that exist on
each campus. We were able to build partnerships that highlight
and support the presence of Black students, faculty and staﬀ,
and ac vate our allies. Our goals moving forward are to
ensure we are doing our best on behalf of the 7Cs and to
keep students at the center of our work.
To this end, OBSA is ﬂexible to address the unique needs of
each ins tu on. While we con nue to oﬀer the OBSA as a
community space, we are building a stronger presence at each
college, crea vely, collabora vely and inten onally, which
necessarily includes reaching out to and incorpora ng alumni.
Read the following pages to learn about our current ini a ves,
meet our staﬀ and ﬁnd ways to get involved. Don’t forget
to subscribe! Stop in and see us: 139 E. 7th st, Claremont
Lydia Middleton, Dean and Director
Alumni Weekend Issue
Office of Black Student Affairs Claremont University Consortium Serving the Claremont Colleges
2 MEET THE STAFF
3 OUR WORK
4 MLK COMMEMORATION HIGHLIGHT
5 OBSA BY THE NUMBERS
6 OBSA MENTORSHIP SPOTLIGHT
7 BLACK HISTORY MONTH RECAP
8 OBSA ALUMNI INVOLVEMENT
OBSA 2015‐2016 Highlights (top to bo om):
Mentorship Program First Year Retreat, MLK
Commemora on Keynote, Black Alternabreak,
Black Career Week, Black Arts Fes val
Dean and Director
I provide leadership to the Oﬃce of
Black Student Aﬀairs and work with the
staﬀ to deliver meaningful services to
The Claremont Colleges. I began my
role in July 2015. I received my BA from
Wellesley College and completed my graduate studies
in English Language and Literature at the University of
Michigan, where I began my career in higher educa on.
I’m a na ve of New York City who likes travel, ac on
ﬁlms and vintage shopping.
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in
Women’s and Gender Studies from
University of Redlands and a
Master’s in Educa on in College
Student Services Administra on from
Oregon State University. My interests
include dialogues around social inequality, histories,
intersec ng iden es, crea ng possibili es and video
games. My primary focus in OBSA is crea ng leadership
and structure around the Arts Engagement program.
Although I am new to the Claremont
Colleges, I was born and raised in
Pomona. A graduate of Montclair
High School, I a ended Chaﬀey
College and transferred to the University of Southern
California where I ran cross country and track and ﬁeld
for the Trojans. I received a BA and MS from USC and
am currently working on my doctorate in Educa on.
Tiffani J. Smith
Manager for Diversity,
Inclusion & Leadership
I provide opportuni es for students
of African descent to discuss
per nent issues that aﬀect them at
the Claremont Colleges. I’m a doctoral student in the
School of Educa onal Studies at CGU, with a
concentra on on Higher Ed./Student Aﬀairs and
Educa onal Policy, Evalua on and reform. My research
interests are black feminist studies, policy analysis,
and cultural studies.
Manager for Outreach
I am currently building rela onships
and networks with Black students
throughout the Colleges, as well as
expanding culturally competent and eﬃcient resources
for Black students at the Colleges. My primary focus is
developing an alumni outreach plan, communica ng with
each college to build an alumni network, and reviewing
OBSA’s current programs and services. I am a second year
Master’s student at CGU studying basic and Applied
Social Psychology and Evalua on.
Undergraduate Student Managers
(Le to right): Isaac Dewey Tucker‐Rasbury, Pomona,
USM for Mentorship; Dominique Cur s, Pomona, USM
for Heritage Months and Student Outreach; Ellington
Bramwell, Pomona, USM for Diversity, Inclusion and
Here is an overview of the Oﬃce of Black Student Aﬀairs’ current mission and program oﬀerings.
Want to know more? Visit obsaclaremont.tumblr.com
firstname.lastname@example.org | (909) 607‐3669 | 139 E. Seventh street, Claremont, CA 91711
The Oﬃce of Black Student Aﬀairs is a cultural center and service unit for all seven of The
Claremont Colleges. We are dedicated to oﬀering support, resources and space for students of
African descent to feel safe, valued, informed and connected. To this end, OBSA staﬀ has devel‐
oped a range of programs, services and ac vi es for students of African descent enrolled at The
Claremont Colleges. These include iden ty based workshops, skill building ac vi es, mentoring,
arts engagement, career development, heritage month programming and collabora ve partner‐
ships with 7C colleges, departments and organiza ons. Our current ini a ves include:
OBSA Mentorship, a community for ﬁrst year students matched with upperclass students
across 5Cs (fall‐spring). Mentees are recruited from all 5 undergraduate colleges over the sum‐
mer and matched before classes begin. Learn more on page 5.
Let’s Talk, drop in weekly consulta ons with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services
OBSA Partnership Building Grant (cycles awarded bi‐annually)
OBSA Mobile Oﬃce hours (monthly, various colleges)
Mar n Luther King, Jr. Commemora on Events (monthlong series)
Black History Month Annual Celebra on (monthlong series)
Womens’ History Month Annual Celebra on (monthlong series)
Social Lunch (themed luncheons for students, faculty and staﬀ; fall semester)
Social Dinner (student dinners occurring during monthly celebra ons; winter semester)
OBSA Plugged In Dialogues (themed discussion series; monthly, Sept‐Dec)
OBSA ARTSBLOCK Arts Engagement Series (Sept‐March)
OBSA Black Alternabreak Alterna ve Spring Break program (March)
Black Career Week (April)
Agnes Jackson Service Awards and Black Gradua on (May)
Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) dialogues hosted by OBSA and the Queer Resource
OBSA|2016 MLK COMMEMORATION: THE PRESENCE OF JUSTICE
OBSA and the 7C Commemora on Commi ee chose “the presence of jus ce” as a theme in response to local
and global ac vism around rampant police brutality and other injus ces that resonated within our communi es.
The keynote address was delivered by Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor of Ebony Magazine, and our ﬁreside chat
guest was Dr. Melina Abdullah, Chair of Pan‐African studies at CSU‐LA and co‐founder of Black Lives Ma er, Los
Angeles. Both speakers provided unique perspec ves on social jus ce, discrimina on and emerging pla orms for
young ac vists. This year’s commemora on host ins tu on was Pomona College. Images are from the
commemora on ﬁreside chat (Scripps), dinner and keynote address (Pomona) on January 21.
Here’s a snapshot of what OBSA has accomplished this academic year on our path toward
developing signature ini a ves on behalf of the 7Cs. Subscribe to stay in the loop (see page 6)!
Trained twenty‐one OBSA Mentors and ﬁve OBSA Head Mentors in August 2015.
Launched the OBSA Mentorship program, with successful enrollment of seventy incoming students of African
descent across ﬁve undergraduate colleges. The program is yearlong and mentors volunteer.
Launched the OBSA ArtsBlock, an Arts Engagement Program between September and April: Coordinated two
ou ngs: California African American Museum curated tour and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark discussion and
walkover to the theater performance; Co‐funded two student‐organized arts fes vals: Scripps Black Arts Fes ‐
val; Sankofa cultural Fes val; Presented two documentary ﬁlm screenings featuring discussions with ﬁlm direc‐
tors: February—High Yellow (with Romel Rose); March—Black Girl in Suburbia (with Melissa Lowery).
CAAM tour Meet Vera Stark Sankofa Fes val High Yellow w/Romel Rose
Hired one OBSA Assistant Dean, created three new posi ons for undergraduate students involving Mentor‐
ship, MLK Commemora on Planning and Diversity/Inclusion, and two new posi ons for graduate students.
Developed the OBSA Plugged In series, three iden ty‐based dialogues around impac ul issues, iden ty and
ac vism: Black Ac vism Mixtape, the Man Box (part of the CHAS Black and La no Male conference), ﬁreside
chat with Dr. Melina Abdullah, CSU‐LA (during MLK Commemora on).
Awarded six OBSA Partnership Building Grants to fund 7C student projects: Sankofa cultural fes val, KPop
and Cultural Appropria on workshop, 4th Annual Black Hair Conference, African Diaspora Dance Conference,
Claremont Food Jus ce Summit, and The Poli cs of Hypervisibility: A Panel of Trans Women of Color on Social
Media. Grant awardees assess their planning process and event, and par cipate in a community presenta on.
Planned the ﬁrst OBSA Black Alternabreak for twenty students: An immersive, alterna ve spring break
experience oﬀered to 5C students, in partnership with the Pomona College Draper Center for Community
Parnterships, where students par cipated in service, community outreach, professional development and
reﬂec on ac vi es. Alternabreak occurred in March 2016.
OBSA trained Mentors and Head Mentors in prepara on for their responsibili es as campus leaders and role models.
The groups set goals, developed ac vi es, iden ﬁed resources and par cipated in iden ty‐based discussions.
OBSA Mentorship traveled to a camp site for teambuilding ac vi es, workshops and discussions facilitated by OBSA
staﬀ, Claremont Colleges faculty and guest facilitators, as well as the opportunity to socialize and connect.
Mentor and Head Mentor Training
Mentor-Mentee Meet and Greet Event
Mentorship First Year Student Retreat to Yupaica, CA
OBSA selected and matched 70 incoming ﬁrst year students to the 5 undergraduate colleges with Mentors. At our
matching event, they got to know their mentors, meet other ﬁrst years in their groups and register for the Retreat.
OBSA|2016 BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION:
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND US
OBSA partnered with the Scripps College student organiza on Wanawake Weusi to plan this year’s Black Arts
Fes val. The group chose “Preserving Legacy: Between the World and Us” as the theme and OBSA adapted it for
the month to celebrate art, cultures, music and representa ons of people of African descent at The Claremont
Colleges. Our calendar featured events planned and co‐sponsored by OBSA, student‐led groups at Pitzer (BSU),
Claremont Graduate University (Sister Ci zen), 5C group Pan African Student Associa on, and various 7C
departments and units, showcasing a range of oﬀerings in celebra on of Black History including ﬁlm screenings,
fes vals, performances, workshops and community socials.
OBSA | Alumni Involvement Opportunities
Now that you’ve go en to know OBSA be er, if you’re an alum who would like to get involved, we
are developing student‐alumni connec ons including and beyond our yearly mixers during Alumni
Weekend. As an alum aﬃliated with OBSA, you decide how you’d like to connect to students and
to our oﬃce, and OBSA is ﬂexible to adapt to your preferences for communica on.
If you complete our Alumni Engagement Survey (link below), we will reach out to you for the ini ‐
a ves you select (listed below). You may opt in or out at any me and your informa on will not
be shared or added to any other lists. All informa on gathered is for oﬃce use only and will be
kept private and conﬁden al.
RECRUITMENT Is your company or organiza on recrui ng, and you have internship, job or
research posi ons you’d like to recruit for? OBSA can share informa on, host info sessions
or send announcements to the students you aim to reach.
MENTORING Do you want to mentor undergraduate students? OBSA can develop a virtual
matching system to connect alumni to students interested in your ﬁeld, as well as facilitate
in person mentoring events and networking sessions with alumni.
HOSTING Do you live in the state of California and are interested in being a poten al host
for students par cipa ng in OBSA’s Black Alternabreak? We may need alumni hosts in Los
Angeles, Oakland, Berkeley and San Diego. Alternabreak students commit their spring break
to address local, social issues such as environmental jus ce, homelessness, neighborhood
beau ﬁca on and more.
KEYNOTES/PANELISTS Do you have exper se in public speaking and a dynamic career path
that you’d like to use as an inspira on for others? OBSA needs alumni keynote speakers for
Black Gradua on, a yearly event that occurs each May. If you’d like to be considered for this
and other opportuni es including panels and keynotes during heritage months and MLK,
we would love to add you to our alumni speaker database.
NEW INITIATIVES Do you have ideas not listed above that you’d like to share? Just let us
know. Email email@example.com with the subject ALUMNI SUGGESTION, include your
full name and college, and we will do our best to hear and incorporate your perspec ve.
OBSA | Connect.Subscribe. Follow.
CONNECT: Take our Alumni Engagement survey: h ps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JY27MKC
SUBSCRIBE: Opt‐in to our listserv to receive our news and updates. Driven by
announcements for OBSA events, opportuni es and ac vi es. Frequency: weekly/biweekly
digests; monthly newsle er: h ps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/535DCJ7
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