The ninth annual Black Solidarity Conference to focus on ‘Renaissance Revived’ on Friday

Emphasizing the importance of Black culture and a revival of the arts, the Black Solidarity Conference will feature keynote speaker Alex Bohannon ’17.

The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE) invites Elon students, faculty, staff, and the local community to attend the ninth annual Black Solidarity Conference Friday, Feb. 24, in McKinnon Hall, Moseley Student Center from noon to 6 p.m.

2023 Black Solidarity Conference, Revive, Reclaim, Rejoice. Registration closes Feb. 20The conference aims to unite Black-identifying students, faculty and staff by providing an avenue through which Black identity, Black intersectionality and building solidarity are explored.

The conference continues the theme of Black History Month celebrations at Elon, ”The Black Renaissance: Revive, Reclaim, Rejoice,” emphasizing the importance of reviving the arts and Black culture.

“There will be a strong focus on art, creativity, innovation, joy, and social responsibility,” Simone Royal ’17, assistant director for the CREDE.

Black Solidarity Day began during the 1969 demonstration of Black liberation by Carlos Russell, Afro-Panamanian activist, artist and scholar. Inspired by these events, Elon’s Black Solidarity conference, started in 2014, is an annual event to encourage the Elon community to unify to discuss topics that impact the university’s cultural, social and academic climate on- and off-campus. Through these conversations, the goal is for participants to gain a deeper insight into what it means to be Black in society.

“We hope attendees will be inspired by the conference and take away some advice about being innovative, artistic, socially responsible and active community members to uplift one another,” said Christina Carr ’23, student chair of the 2023 Black Solidarity Conference Planning Committee, president of the Black Student Union (BSU) and co-chair for senior class giving.

This year’s conference includes sessions geared towards a deeper exploration of one’s own cultural and societal understanding, impact and continued growth, entertainment from a New Orleans line band and student performances, and a keynote address from Alex Bohannon ’17.

2023 Black Solidarity Conference keynote speaker, Alex Bohannon'17
Alex Bohannon ’17, keynote speaker for the 2023 Black Solidarity Conference

In 2021 Alex Bohannon became the youngest member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education in its history and currently serves as vice chair. Additionally, while at Elon he became the founding president of the BSU. Implementing the foundation of understanding the importance of possessing a spirit of gratitude, humility and patience in his work as a human resources professional, Bohannon strives to make a positive impact within his community.

The conference will center around five pillars:

  • Allyship, Anti-Racism, Anti-Black Racism
  • Wellness in Black communities
  • Blackness in a Global Context
  • Intersectionality in Black Communities
  • Socio-political activism

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. To attend, register here. Registration closes Monday, Feb. 20.

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

2023 Black Solidarity Conference schedule

  • On-going Check-in: noon – 1 p.m.
  • Welcome & Introduction: 12:45 p.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Lunch & Keynote Speaker: 1-2 p.m.
  • Roundtable Discussions: 2:15-2:40 p.m.
  • Session #1: 2:45 – 3:40 p.m.
  • Session #2: 3:45– 4:40 p.m.
  • Mocktail Hour: 4:45– 6 p.m.
  • Closing & Entertainment: 5:30 – 6 p.m.