Archives for October 2013

11/1–IRAAS 20th Anniversary Symposium

Event Date:
Friday, November 1, 2013 – 10:00am – 6:00pm
Columbia University Faculty House

Free & Open to the Public

IRAAS welcomes your  attendance at our 20th Anniversary Symposium. Speakers include Columbia and Barnard faculty; administrators and scholars in African American Studies.  The day’s discussions allows some of the country’s top scholars to reflect on their current work within the context of African American Studies, past, present and future.

The poet-scholar Elizabeth Alexander, whose work enhanced President Barack Obama first inauguration ceremony, and most recently served as chair of African American Studies at Yale will deliver the keynote address.

As we spend the day highlighting the centrality of African American Studies to the important conversations of the academy, we take the opportunity to think about how African American Studies at Columbia has helped to shape the field more generally.


Welcome Remarks  10:00am -10:15am
Marcellus Blount
, IRAAS Co-Director

Panel 1 – “Foundations
” 10:15am- 12:00pm
Mary Pattillo
, Northwestern University
Joshua Guild, Princeton University
Jonathan Rieder, Barnard College

Lunch Break   12:00pm -2:00pm

Panel 2 – “Imagined Futures” 2:00pm-4:00pm
Kiese Laymon
, Vassar College
Imani Perry, Princeton University
Jafari S. Allen, Yale University
Alondra Nelson, Columbia University

Lecture  4:00pm 
Elizabeth Alexander
, Yale University

Closing Remarks  5:30pm
Carla Shedd
, Columbia University



Dr. Craig Steven Wilder explores a hidden history of America’s most prestigious institutions


MORNINGSIDE—On a warm Sunday afternoon at Riverside Church, a congregation of interested minds joined a panel of scholars for a discussion of Dr. Craig Steven Wilder’s (’89, ’93, ‘94 GSAS) new book Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. The text explores the historical relationship between American institutions of higher learning and the expropriation of Native Americas and the slave economy.

Dr. Wilder, Professor of History and Head of History Faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was accompanied by an impressive group of distinguished academics moderated by journalist and New York Times editorial board member Brent Staples. The group included, Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor, English, Comparative Literature, & African American Studies, Columbia University, Dr. Elvin Montgomery (‘79TC), Professor, Researcher/Appraiser African American Material Culture; Dr. Emily Anderson, Professor and Chairperson, Dept. of Social Sciences & Human Sciences, BMCC and Dr. Frederick Newsome, MD, Physician, Harlem Hospital and African/African American History Researcher/Author.

The conversation on Dr. Wilder’s research covered a wide range of topics including how slavery impacted academic research and donation appeals. Universities developed “race science,” and led fundraising efforts built on “civilizing heathen” Native Americans.

When asked by Mr. Staples whether he feared his research would negatively impact his position as an academic, Dr. Wilder shared some wise words from his mother, “If you are not at risk of getting fired, you are not doing your job.”

Dr. Wilder was awarded the University Medal of Excellence during Columbia’s 250th Anniversary Commencement in 2004. He is also prominently featured in “The Central Park Five,” the Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon documentary.


1377974_10151936161586133_1765678206_n Moderator Brent Staples with Dr. Wilder


547513_10151936164171133_1217197480_nFrom left to right: Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Dr. Frederick Newsome, Dr. Craig Steve Wilder, Dr. Emily Anderson and Dr. Elvin Montgomery


AiMYVGwHsxTqxxhOrMp2B_Za0Ib-HJYChUNYRTpp3g8,Dh5WfouAG7hBaFf26t1WMFgHR4oVXpr0oE17HY7du3k,TZWPRfl9TZpFS2wvw0AKszAhPOKfV9zbkJaVmC9f5nY,C_op_g_zcUeDsX2JxVAa8g2cj_a0PPQYbWe0Vmkubys,j2gjft5QXEvDcgM0DWPK1WR0gqJQFwK3gZlT3b9eYIIManumission paper by Cotton Mather of his slave Onesimus


L to R -- Dr Celia Taylor, Dr Judith Byfield, Dr. Wilder, Luvon Roberson -- The Riverside Church on 09.29.2013From left to right: Dr. Celia Naylor, Associate Professor of History, Barnard College; Dr. Judith A. Byfield, ’93 GSAS Associate Professor of History, Cornell University, Dr. Craig Steven Wilder and Luvon Roberson, ’85 GSAS


YGESXW40oF19PqogYFaeJ1yhT0NbZGuKLu0Rgfm3tQM,dT9CFmMB7YycFwC9cO74j3C5cgNVrUdmS9M0cKol0rg,Txru3e5XeKbg7t5--4nJwLKNyKx859zTZE85uOXUa_k,MJoxNFXyBrporGEJr_bY9xw8XvXWO_-U9qDeAUSUPNkA group of Dr. Wilder’s former students, who traveled to New York for the event


0rw52qt3AITiHxBXptEKxEcam2Us194eyPKJOMMItqs,SCv3TlwhujlP8GjLNoZJ3ziv3rYFU5jbg3Shb7WrjSU,0DiWVb1LGvMQ5mkb0Rfl6-ziZ-ExRuw-vbNwinHToVYYusef Salaam, of The Central Park Five


1376570_10151936163536133_801221866_nCaptive audience members


To view more photos, please visit the Riverside Church Facebook page:

10/17 – Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor

The Columbia Business School African American Alumni Association is workign with Pfizer to promote the following event:


Want to learn how to fast-track your career?
Please join Pfizer for a special event: 

Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor

Thursday, October 17, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 pm 

Pfizer Worldwide Headquarters
New York, NY 

How do you thrive and succeed in your career? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation and author of the critically-acclaimed book (Forget a Mentor) Find a Sponsor, reveals that sponsorship is key for diverse talent. Please join Pfizer and Sylvia Hewlett for a dynamic presentation on the impact of sponsorship, and how to earn sponsors and benefit from them.

The presentation will feature a panel discussion with top Pfizer executives; and the evening will conclude with an opportunity to network with Pfizer colleagues.

Hors d’oeuvres and Ms. Hewlett’s book will be available
during the networking reception. 

~ Space Limited ~

Pfizer Security requires I.D. to enter building 

R.S.V.P. via e-mail to by Friday, Oct. 4
Event location details will be sent after registration closes. 

Pfizer is hosting this event for healthcare and business professionals.

10/19 – Black Alumni Homecoming 2013


Join the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and the Black Alumni Council of Columbia University (BAC) at the 2013 Black Alumni Homecoming—a celebration of culture and achievements by black alumni at Columbia.

Our special guest is James Valentini, Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education.

Questions? E-mail

For more information about the BAC and how to become a member, please e-mail


Date: Saturday, October 19, 7:30–10:30 p.m.

Location: Motivo
915 Broadway
(entrance on 21st Street)
New York, NY 10010

Price in advance:
$20 students ($30 at the door)
$40 BAC members
$50 alumni and guests

$70 at the door

Price includes a THREE-HOUR PREMIUM OPEN BAR, buffet dinner, music, and dancing—a $100 value!

Please note: due to Columbia’s alcohol policy, only students 21 and over may attend.