The 2022 Black Solidarity Conference to focus on promoting ‘Black Joy’ and eliminating on anti-Blackness

The keynote speaker of the eighth Black Solidarity Conference at Elon is Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate.

The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education invites all members of the Elon community to take part in the 2022 Black Solidarity Conference on Friday, Feb. 25 at the Moseley Student Center. The conference, whose theme is “A Black Joy Love Letter,” aims to create an innovative, enlightening and engaging in-person experience.

Carlos Russell, a Brooklyn College professor, began the Black Solidarity Day in 1969 as a demonstration of Black liberation. Over four decades later, Black students at Elon implemented the Black Solidarity Conference in 2014, a day of events designed to call the university to action and as an act of solidarity among Black students.

As the university continues to strengthen its efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, the conference, in its eighth year on campus, will unite Black-identifying students, faculty and staff by providing an avenue through which Black identity, intersectionality and solidarity are explored.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Jaki Shelton Green, the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She was reappointed in 2021 for a second term by Governor Roy Cooper. At Duke University, Green teaches documentary poetry at the Center for Documentary Studies. She is a widely respected and decorated poet, being the 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature, a 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee and a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow. She is also a 2021 recipient of the George School Outstanding Alumni Award.

The Black Solidarity Conference is an opportunity for Black-identified students, faculty and staff to explore and gain a deeper insight into what it means to be Black as a member of the Elon community. The conference is open to all students with an opportunity for those who do not identify as Black and those not in the black communities, to explore what it means to be an ally, an anti-racist and to actively fight against anti-Blackness. Throughout the conference, there will be sessions geared towards a deeper exploration of one’s own cultural and societal understanding, impact, and continued growth.

The conference will center around six pillars:

  • Allyship, anti-racism, anti-Black racism
  • Wellness in Black communities
  • Blackness in a global context
  • Intersectionality in Black communities
  • Socio-political activism
  • Afro-centric education

The conference is free for all Elon faculty, staff, students and alumni. There is a $25 fee for any off-campus attendees, which will contribute to registration and food throughout the conference.

If you have specific questions, please contact Simone Royal ( or the CREDE (336-278-6516).

2022 Black Solidarity Conference Schedule

  • Welcome and lunch – 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Keynote Speaker: Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate – 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
  • Session #1– 2 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.
  • Session #2 – 3 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.
  • Session #3 – 4 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.
  • Snack break and entertainment – 5 to 5:15 p.m.
  • Roundtable Discussions – 5:15 to 5:55 p.m.
  • Dinner & Closing Charge: Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology and director of the Black Lumen Project – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A comprehensive list of events and sessions can be found here.