October 2020

Black Event Advisory Council October Newsletter

BEACON is a newsletter that provides events and announcements focused on and by Black people on campus at The University of Iowa and in the local communities. BEACON was founded as a way to ensure these Black communities are connected.

Due to the current public health crisis, the newsletter will be published bi-monthly, or as needed. Submit your events and announcements by the 23rd of the month here:

October Featured Events

October Campus & Community Events

Big picture
Big picture

Beyond Aunt Jemima: Holding Public Companies Accountable for Dismantling Systemic Racism

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 12:45-1:30pm

This is an online event.

“Beyond Aunt Jemima: Holding Public Companies Accountable for Dismantling Systemic Racism”

Audra L. Savage,

Senior Lecturer and Postdoctoral Fellow,
McDonald Distinguished Fellow,

Center for the Study of Law & Religion Emory University School of Law

Zoom Link

Big picture

SpeakOut - Youth Summit

Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 11am-7pm

This is an online event.

AAC will be providing 2 scholarships for 2 Black UI students.

Event Description:

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020
11-7pm CST

Calling all young people in college, high school, and the community! We’re coming together for an empowering day curated by SpeakOut - The Institute for Democratic Education and Culture.

Join us as we envision a just and equitable future:
• Learn from today’s leading youth activists and changemakers
• Hear from inspiring and iconic speakers and artists
• Connect with peers around the country…and the world!
• Get tools to build your capacity to lead and make a difference

We are redefining what society can look like, now and post-pandemic. It’s time to tap into our power, build together, and speak out!

SpeakOut Youth Summit

AAC Student Scholarship Request

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Monday, Oct. 5th, 1-2pm

This is an online event.

OWLSS is excited to announce our upcoming event: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession. This virtual panel will be held on Thursday, October 5 from 1-2 p.m. via Zoom.

Throughout our country's history and particularly during the summer of 2020, we have seen atrocious acts of violence against people of color. Although the social media posts, protests, and other acts of support throughout the summer were integral to the support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the momentum and conversations about racial injustice must continue. Join us for an open, candid conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession, and what actionable steps and support we can provide in promoting diversity in the legal community.

Our panelists for this event include:

  • Carrington Buze, Judicial Law Clerk for the Iowa Supreme Court
  • Paulina Escobar, Associate at Stinson LLP
  • Neda Barrett, Staff Chair for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
  • Dean Adrien Wing, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law

Please submit your questions for the panelists through this form. You can access the webinar via Zoom here.

Big picture

Did You See Light Pour Out of Me? A Reading in a Time of Racial Reckoning

Monday, Oct. 5th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

University of Iowa Writers Workshop Alum, Tameka Cage Conley will be sharing her first reading as Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Oxford College of Emory University.

Join us as we celebrate her during this reading. Dr. Cage Conley will be reading from her novel in progress and poems, including two dedicated to the treasured, departed Congressman John Lewis--a line from which the reading takes its title. After the reading, there will be a Q&A. The event is at 730 EST/630 CST.

Zoom Link

Big picture

Race and the Media: How the Media Shapes Race Issues and Influences Our Beliefs

Thursday, Oct. 8th, 7pm

UI Lecture Committee Livestream

Venise Berry and Eric Deggans present Race and the Media: How the Media Shapes Race Issues and Influences Our Beliefs

UI Lecture Committee Streaming Link

For more information? Contact:

Big picture

The University of Chicago- Center for Gender & Sexuality Public Event

Thursday, Oct. 8th, 5-7pm

This is an online event.

The University of Chicago- Center for Gender & Sexuality provides an event open to the public. Zoom Link below.

In recent years, Black people have cultivated our own data and turned to our own media outlets to spread the word about what's really happening in our communities (e.g. Ferguson). This reflects what our people have always done: used word of mouth, storytelling, song, etc. to warn, educate, and be in communication with one another without the messages being lost in the interference of outsiders.

Now, "mainstream" publications are adding Black, queer, and radical writers to their mastheads in response to the ongoing failure of these same institutions to be accountable to communities who support their growth. Many of these institutions have consistently published and prioritized white voices over Black women's/folks'. Is diversifying their mastheads enough, and, if not, what would it take for media companies to truly be accountable to Black communities?

This roundtable is a collaborative dialogue as Butts is the current managing editor of Black Youth Project and Ziyad and Jackson are the most recent past two managing editors. Jackson is also a research consultant with GenForward. Some questions we will seek to address:

When we ask for or talk about media accountability, what does that really mean? What requests, demands or expectations are there? How do we check in with each other to make sure we are on the same page with our requests? When Blackness and Black bodies are situated as commodities, public property, and trends, but never as full beings, is "representation" truly impactful in the way we want it to be? What happens when movement leaders get commercialized? How might Black writers be complicit in a dynamic where media companies exploit Black communities in this way, and how do we fight against it, create an alternative, or call it out? How do we hold these nuances?

About the Panelists:

Jenn M. Jackson (they/them) is a queer, androgynous Black woman, lover of all Black people, organizer, and Assistant Professor at Syracuse University in the Department of Political Science.

Amber Butts is a storyteller, cultural strategist, and grief worker who believes that Black folks are already whole. Her work centers Black children, Black mamas, and Black elders.

Hari Ziyad is a cultural critic, a screenwriter, the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitr, and the author of Black Boy Out of Time. They are a 2021 Lambda Literary Fellow, and their writing has been featured in BuzzFeed, Out, the Guardian, Paste magazine, and the academic journal Critical Ethnic Studies, among other publications.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required via the Zoom link.

If you need assistance to attend, please contact

Co-sponsored by the Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideologies Workshop.

UI College of Law - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting

Friday, Oct. 9th, 12:30-2:30pm

This is an online event.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting via Zoom.

For More Information Contact Diana DeWalle

Big picture

Ain't I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood

Wednesday, Oct. 14th, 7pm

UI Lecture Livestream

UI Lecture Committee presents Laverne Cox lecture "Ain't I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood."

UI Lecture Committee Livestream

Big picture

Book Club Discussion

Thursday, Oct. 15th, 11am-12pm

This is an online event.

College of Public Health students, staff, and faculty are invited to participate in small group discussions of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" by Ibram X. Kendi. We will focus the discussion on the prologue and Part I: Cotton Mather. Gain a deeper understanding of U.S. history, meet new people, and share ideas and insights! A Zoom link will be sent out via email closer to the date.

For more information, visit the DEI CPH Website

Zoom link will be sent to those who inquire:

Big picture

Race and Policing in America

Friday, Oct. 16th, 10-11:30am

This is an online event.

Race and Policing in America

10-11:30 am
Friday, October 16, 2020
Zoom link:
Events calendar page:


Big picture

Black Owned Business Market

Saturday, Oct. 24th, 10am

1100 3rd Street Southeast

Cedar Rapids, IA

October 24, 2020 at 10am NewBo Market - Cedar Rapids

NewBo City Market is proud to be working with the Multicultural Small Business Institute to plan our first ever Black-Owned Business guest vendor markets at the NewBo City Market on October 24 & November 14. These events have been in the works for months and we can’t wait to showcase these incredible small businesses and entrepreneurs!

As with all our events, face coverings are required within the Market and all of our standing covid precautions will continue to be observed. Read more:

Stay tuned as we plan to announce vendors soon!

If you’d like to apply to be a part of this guest vendor market visit:

Big picture

Schooling in the Age of Tamir Rice, Aiyanna Jones & Black Lives Matter

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 1:30-3pm

This is an online event.

The UI Library Staff Development presents Schooling inthe Age of Tamir Rice, Aiyanna Jones & Black Lives Matter Pt. 2.

Lisa Covington, PhD Candidate, will be speaking on the rampant militarization and policing of Black communities and exposing its impact on Black students from preschool through college and beyond.

Using sensationalized example of extrajudicial execution of students like Tamir Rice, Aiyanna Stanley Jones & Black Lives Matter, Lisa will lead the presentation and interactive discussion on "where do we go from here" in the wake of increasing societal pressures and historical inequalities. Attendees will develop an action plan to provide Black students with equity across their educational endeavors."

Interested attendees should attend in order to learn about Black students and educators through three perspectives (1) a historical lens, (2) implementation of structural change and create a plan of action to support students across their educational experiences.

Interested? Email:

Honoring 2019-2020 African American Studies Awardees

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Congratulations to Talinda Pettigrew!

Talinda Pettigrew has accepted the role as DSL Senior HR Director, effective Oct. 20, 2020. Talinda will provide strategic HR leadership and guidance as part of the Division’s Executive Leadership Team. Talinda brings an array of talents to this critical role.

Many of you know Talinda from her work in University Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Beyond those roles, she serves as a mentor to University of Iowa student-athletes and teaches HR and communication courses at the University of Dubuque.

Student Announcements

Big picture

House of Lorde

The House of Lorde is looking for a new members and folx interested in joining the executive board. Check us out on fb!
Big picture

Weekly Writing Collective for Black & Brown Graduate Students

Graduate students of color are welcome to join Writing While Black & Brown Collective.

This close knit group writes virtually every week and challenges members to set achievable goals. Members who make progress on their goals are awarded with a gift card from a local Black owned coffee shop. We also host a monthly speaker series with academics, writers and folks with writing and publishing resources.

Black and Brown graduate students are welcome to join us this collective for this semester:

Big picture

UI Black Student Support Group

UI Black Student Support Group Facilitated by Dr. Laneisha Waller and Shalisa Gladney

This group will serve as a space for Black identifying students of all gender identities to respectfully listen to each other, share thoughts, feelings, provide validation, and offer encouragement to fellow Black students at the University of Iowa. The group is open for Black students to discuss the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 within the Black community and serve as a space for Black students to process the violence, police brutality, and racism experienced during this time of social and political unrest as it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dates: September 15th, at 4:30PM September 29th, at 4:30PM October 13th, at 4:30PM October 27th, at 4:30PM November 10th, at 4:30PM November 24th, at 4:30PM** December 8th, at 4:30PM

Student Organizations: Share your meeting announcements here!

Selected National & Local News

Big picture

Black Lives Matter at School Iowa Call for Presentations & Participation

This year we are celebrating a year of purpose! Illustrating our commitment to Black Lives at School all year we welcome presentations and committee members to join us.

The state wide initiative is seeking participants and experts on the committee to sponsor, plan and support presentations and events to support Black students, teachers/faculty and staff in K-12 and College. We welcome people to volunteer their skill set to support the committee.

Presentations are welcome by Black community members and students (at any level). Non-Black accomplices are welcome to submit a presentation as well. Join us here

Questions? Email us:

Big picture

In denouncing these charges, nine civil rights organizations* "call for:

  • the immediate indictment of all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder;
  • the removal of State Attorney General Daniel Cameron;
  • eliminating qualified immunity and any other laws that prevent the full prosecution of state and local police and corrections officers;
  • heed calls for reinvesting resources in non-policing forms of public safety and community support;
  • the President’s appointment of an independent special prosecutor to lead the federal government’s full and impartial investigation of the murder of Breonna Taylor, and to prosecute those federal rights protections violations accordingly to the full extent of the law;
  • the systematic reinstitution by the Department of Justice of consent decrees on police departments and municipal governments across this country that have demonstrated patterns of racism towards and mistreatment of people of color;
  • Congressional oversight hearings, at least annually, to review the status of the implementation of the Death in Custody Reporting Act to compel the collection, reporting and analysis of all deaths, by race and gender, that occur in law enforcement custody, including any that occur while a person is being detained or arrested;
  • federal, state, and local governments to issue states of emergency declaring racism a public health crisis, and to develop targeted policies to address this crisis; and all Americans to commit to working with us to dismantle systemic racism that has enabled this scourge of race-based violence to grow unabated."

*Race Forward, Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.

The full denouncement can be read here

Big picture

Check out the Iowa Idea Podcast with Iowa City's own Andre Perry

"In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Andre Perry. Andre is an essayist and arts advocate. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and his work has appeared in The Believer, Catapult, and other journals. He co-founded Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival, a celebration of music and literature, as well as the multidisciplinary festival of creative process, Witching Hour. He currently serves as the Executive Director of The Englert Theatre in Iowa City."

Podcast Link

Campus & Community Resources

Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans

The Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans (ICSAA) is a state agency that exists to address the needs and concerns of Iowa's African-American citizens. Since it was established by the Iowa Legislature in 1989, the ICSAA has been a division of the Department of Human Rights and serves as an advocate for African-Americans in Iowa.

African American Council

The African American Council (AAC) seeks to improve the quality of life for Black faculty, staff, and students at The University of Iowa. Join us on the 2nd Thursday of the month 4-5 PM.

Recognizing the challenges that the campus environment poses, the AAC provides a safe space where Black community members can explore their concerns. The organization uses insights from these explorations to create programming and to lobby for policies.

Through service on committees, engagement with the broader community, and hosting responsive events, AAC members show that they are enthusiastic partners in the University of Iowa’s quest to remain a top-flight educational institution. We invite you to join us in this worthy enterprise.

Black Event Advisory Council Editorial Board

Editor: Lisa Covington

Reviewer: Shalisa Gladney

Join us as we revive the Black Event Advisory Council Newsletter!

The following volunteer board positions are vacant:

Faculty Reviewers

Student Reviewers

Community Reviewers

Social Media Interns

Please visit our website to inquire.