Columbia Law School BLSA's 25th Annual Paul Robeson Conference - Ubuntu: T...

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Columbia Law School

435 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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Join us for the 25th Annual Paul Robeson Conference at Columbia Law School. The theme for this year's conference is Ubuntu: The Power of We. Ubuntu is a word gifted to us that represents a larger philosophy from the Xhosa culture that means “I am because we are.” In it lies the deep understanding of the importance of unity and intimate co-existence. “The Power of We” not only reflects the spirit of Ubuntu but it also alludes to the emblematic phrase of the U.S. Constitution: “We the People.” At a time when divisive rhetoric is rampant, we are called upon to remember the power of community--a community that does work with and for one-another.

This conference will feature panels on the following topics: Arts and Intersectionality, Representation in Positions of Power, and Abolitionism and Mass Incarceration. We will end the day with a Black and Latinx networking event and a Black Business Pop-Up from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Please see the tentative schedule below. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit is available for participating attorneys.

Please register by Midnight on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Register Early by Friday, February 15th @ 5pm to automatically be entered in our raffle to win $50 towards a Black business vendor. The winner will be announced at the conference.

We hope to see you there!

This event is co-sponsored by:

  • Columbia Law School Empowering Women of Color (EWOC)
  • Columbia Law School Latinx Students' Association (LaLSA)
  • Columbia Law Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC)
  • Columbia University School of Public Health, Black and LatinX Student Caucus
  • Teachers College Coalition of LatinX Scholars
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Students of Color Alliance (SoCA)
  • Columbia Black Business Students Association
  • Fordham Law School BLSA
  • The Sankofa Black Business Collective
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.: Eta, Zeta Eta, Upsilon Upsilon, Alpha Gamma Lambda, and Kappa Xi Lambda

Tentative Schedule:

  • 9:30am - 10:00am - Registration & Breakfast
  • 10:05am - Opening Address
  • 10:15am - 11:30am
    • Representation in Positions of Power Panel (CLE Credit Eligible)
      • Description: What does it mean to be a person of color in power? Is there pressure to conform or code-switch to make oneself appear more “presentable”? Are there any unique struggles that you’ve faced as a person of color in leadership? This panel will explore these questions and more.
    • Panelists:
      • Hon. Edwina Mendelson
      • Natalie Reid, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
      • Sheila E. Isong, National Political Director, Civic Engagement at NAACP
      • Linton Mann III, Partner, Simpson & Thacher
  • 11:35 - 11:50am - Presentation of Young Alumni Award
  • 12pm - 1:45pm Lunch
    • Break out options:
    • Abolitionism and Mass Incarceration (CLE Credit Eligible)
      • Description: Is abolitionism a viable option and solution to the problem of mass incarceration and police brutality? What would abolitionism look like in practice? This panel will explore these questions and more.
      • Panelists:
        • Piper Anderson, Founder of Create Forward LLC
        • Derecka Purnell, The Advancement Project, Lawyer & Speaker
        • Khalil Cumberbatch, New Yorkers United for Justice, Chief Strategist
    • Healing Circle led by HOLLA
    • Black Business Pop-up
  • 2:00 - 3:15pm -Queer Activism in the Black Community
    • Dr. Wilhelmina Perry
    • Deandre Miles
  • 3:15pm - 3:30pm - “Beads” - A Short Film by Rachel Byrd
  • 3:35pm - 4:50pm - Arts and Intersectionality (CLE Credit Eligible)
    • Panelists:
      • Vita Ayala, DC Comics, Writer
      • Miles Hodges, Poet
      • Qualeasha Wood, Visual Artist, Print-maker
      • Mikael Owunna, Visual Artist, Photography
      • Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Healthy Roots Dolls, Founder & CEO
  • 5 - 7pm - Mixer & Black Pop-up

Vendors Include:

*Sankofa Black Business Collective - @sankofablackbusinesscollective

*All U Need Naturals - @alluneednaturals -

*Babe of Brooklyn - @babeofbrooklyn -

*Black on Black - @blackonblackbk -

*Da Spot NYC - @daspotnyc -

*DLACHAE - @dlachae -

*G + Co. Apparel - @gandcoapparel -

*LaBoutiqueMonique -

*Made Organics - @made_organics -

*Terese Sydonna - @teresesydonna -

*84 Gem - @84gem -

You are invited to attend the Elevate Conference hosted by our co-sponsor, the Columbia Black Business Students' Association: “Igniting Our Power – From Conversation to Action” at Harlem Parish on April 5-6, 2019. For more information, please visit

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Columbia Law School

435 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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