12/3 – Race Matters, but Not How You Think it Does: How Stereotypes Affect How We Live, Work, Play and Pray Dr. Valerie Purdie-Vaughns


On Wednesday, December 3, at 6:30 p.m., psychologist Valerie Purdie-Vaughns from Columbia University will discuss the nexus between brain science and narrowing racial and gender disparities in professional, health, and academic settings.

Purdie-Vaughns will examine how stereotypes affect how we live, work, and play. Drawing upon recent neuroimaging studies, she will explore the benefits of offering people concrete, psychological strategies to challenge the stress of discrimination—and how this can lead to improved grades and test scores. Brain imaging tests suggest this holds great promise in reducing health disparities as well.

Purdie-Vaughns is an expert on racial and gender achievement gaps and the use of interventions to improve outcomes. She has presented her research findings at the White House Conference on Education and at Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton Universities, among others.

This talk is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Register Here
For more information or to register, please call 212-851-2977 or email ZuckermanInstitute@Columbia.edu

Location: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.


10/25 – Black Alumni Homecoming 2014



Join the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and the BAC at the 2014 Black Alumni Homecoming—a celebration of culture and achievements by black alumni at Columbia.

Questions? E-mail alumni-affinity@columbia.edu.

Date: Saturday, October 25
7:30–10:30 p.m.
Location: Providence
311 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Price in advance:
$20 students
$45 BAC members
$55 alumni and guests
Price at the door:
$30 students
$70 all others

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.

TOWN HALL: The Role of Millennials in the Aftermath of Ferguson

Town Hall&Rally

NOTE: We have rescheduled our General Meeting in observance of this important event. We will distribute details on a new date and time shortly.


The Role of Millennials in the Aftermath of Ferguson


Wednesday September 17th

Columbia Law School | Room 104 | 6:30pm

Join the BAC, the Harvard Black Alumni Society of New York (HBASNY) and a Coalition of Columbia Student Organizations for a Town Hall for change.
The Town Hall will be an open forum led by a host of academics, advocacy groups, and community activists to encourage genuine dialogue and tangible action steps, while also fostering a stronger sense of community and comprehension around the issues of activism, police engagement, and change agency in a 21st century context. The evening will include an interactive panel discussion followed by breakout sessions to connect with and engage with other attendees on these issues.

Panel Participants:

  • Jeffrey Fagan, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Ekow Yankah, Professor of Law, Cardoza Law School
  • Whitney Tymas, Director of the Prosecution and Racial Justice Program, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Erica Ayala, Youth Leadership Development Associate, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Brandon Delesline, Multicultural Marketing Consultant

Town Hall Registration:




There is still time to Support A Gift For A Graduating Black Columbian

2014 Black Graduation Ceremony 055_Fotor

The 2014 Black Graduation was a beautiful ceremony filled with special moments that graduates and their families will remember for a lifetime. This year we purchased custom graduation stoles for over 100 students who walked down the graduation aisle.

BAC commits to help raise the funds needed to support the stoles distributed each year and there is still time left to sponsor a proud symbol of distinction for students, which endures as cherished keepsake.

We kindly ask that you consider purchasing one or more using the link below.

Thank you for your participation.

The BAC Executive Board


$25/ 1 Stole


$100/5 Stoles

View More photos from the 2014 Black Graduation ceremony

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2014 Black Graduation Ceremony 073_Fotor 2014 Black Graduation Ceremony 075_Fotor Ruby Robinson Black Graduation 2014

Sponsor A Gift For A Graduating Black Columbian

Alexandria and George Van Amson BlackGraduation 5-19-2013

We are thankful for the support we garner each year from alumni who make the Black Graduation ceremony a successful and special event. Last year we were able to raise enough money to purchase custom graduation stoles for all of nearly 120 students who walked down the graduation aisle.

This year, even more graduating seniors have already signed up to participate in the ceremony and the BAC has committed to help them raise the funds needed once again.

We kindly ask that you consider purchasing one or more stoles using the link below. The stoles serve as a proud symbol of distinction for  students and endure as cherished keepsake for each recipient.

Thank you for your participation.

The BAC Executive Board


$25/ 1 Stole


$100/5 Stoles


View More photos from the 2013 Black Graduation ceremony


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Black Graduation 2013 003

Black Graduation 2013 008

4/1 – Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities


Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities
Date: April 1, 2014 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm EDT
Location: Rotunda, Low Memorial Library

This program will feature an address by Craig S. Wilder, Professor and Head of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Author, titled Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. The address will be followed by remarks and a panel discussion with Craig S. Wilder, and Columbia University Professors, Ansley T. Erickson, Eric Foner, and Karl Jacoby. Together they will discuss the history of slavery in New York City, the intersections of slavery and Columbia University, and issues of race at Universities in the 20th century. The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Welcome and Introduction by:

Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University in the City of New York

Moderated by:

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University

Copies of Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities will be available for purchase in the lobby of Low Memorial Library prior to and after the program on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Courtesy of Book Culture Booksellers.

Register here

2014 Heritage Reception Honoring Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H; ’73P&S, ’96PH

Dr. T smile

Please join the BAC and the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the Columbia Club of New York as we honor our the distinguished Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H; ’73P&S, ’96PH for the 2014 Black Alumni Heritage Award Reception.

A celebration with wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will follow the program. Please note, you must be 21 years and over to be served alcohol. No exceptions.

Location: Columbia University Club of New York, 15 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036-7402


In advance: $5 students $20 BAC members $25 alumni/guests

At the door: $10 students $30 BAC members $35 alumni/guests

(includes wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres)




Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton is a double Board-certified perinatal consultant in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine.  She is Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College in New York. Dr. Thornton is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a former Senior Oral Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

As senior perinatologist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Thornton established and developed the program for a new form of early prenatal diagnostic testing known as CVS (chorionic villus sampling).  Dr. Thornton was one of the original American investigators whose CVS results were relied upon by the FDA prior to its granting approval for the procedure.

Dr. Thornton is a member of the Association of Women Surgeons, a life member of The New York Academy of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Her biography is presently in Who’s Who in America, Wikipedia and Who’s Who in the World.  She has been listed in The Best Doctors——New York Metro Area, as well as in New York Magazine as one of the top ten Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists in New York City.  Doctor Thornton was the first black woman in the United States to be Board-certified in High-Risk obstetrics and to be accepted into The New York Obstetrical Society.  Dr. Thornton and her husband volunteered for active military duty and she was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy at The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda (Hospital of The President).

Dr. Thornton was the first woman in the 165-year history of the International Platform Association to win the prestigious Daniel Webster Oratorical Competition held annually in Washington, D. C.  For many years Dr. Thornton has been an outspoken advocate on women’s health issues and was a spokesperson for The March of Dimes.  She has hosted her own television show broadcast from New York City on women’s health and has appeared on such popular television shows as “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “The TODAY Show” and “Good Morning, America”.

She is the author of the beloved national bestselling memoir, “The Ditchdigger’s Daughters”, which was first published in 1995 and has never been out of print.   Her book was also featured on the “Oprah Winfrey Show”.  This family biography is a tribute to her parents and was condensed in The Reader’s Digest, translated into 19 languages, adapted into an award-winning World Premiere Movie and nominated for the Peabody Award and the CableACE Award for Best Picture.  The American Library Association has named “The Ditchdigger’s Daughters” as one of the Best Books for Young Adults. In 2006, her book was selected as ONE BOOK New Jersey to spearhead the state’s literacy campaign.  Doctor Thornton has authored three other books: a medical text entitled, “Primary Care for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist” and two women’s health books, “Woman to Woman” and ”Inside Information for Women”.  Her highly acclaimed new memoir, “SOMETHING TO PROVE”, released in 2010, chronicles her life as a wife, mother and full-time practicing obstetrician in an academic medical center and was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 New York Book Festival.

Dr. Thornton was born in New York City and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. After graduating with honors from Monmouth College in New Jersey, she received her M. D. degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Doctor Thornton was the first American woman to be accepted into the OB/GYN residency program at The Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Maternal-Fœtal Medicine at The Sloane Hospital for Women and The Babies Hospital at ColumbiaPresbyterian Medical Center.

Dr. Thornton has been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees, most recently, the degree of Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) from Tuskegee University.  She and her husband have also received their Executive Masters (M.P.H.) degree in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University.  Dr. Thornton has been married for 40 years.  Her husband is an orthopædic surgeon and she is the mother of two children. Her daughter is a graduate of Stanford University with an M. P. H. in sociomedical science and her son, also a physician, is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University and received his M. D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

To learn more about Dr. Thornton, please visit http://www.doctorthornton.com

CUGC Winter Concert 2013
The Columbia University Gospel Choir and Band (CUGC) will be hosting its annual winter concert on Saturday, December 7 at 5PM in C555 Lerner Hall.  The concert will feature various styles of Gospel and Christmas music.  For more information about the concert and tickets, check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/252599174889210/?previousaction=join&source=1

CUGC will be partnering with Circle K to promote The Lit! Project! The Lit! Project provides free solar lanterns to students in developing countries, in order to replace widely used expensive kerosene lanterns.  The project was started by Columbia College sophomore Ben Hirschfeld, and it is a part of the larger organization called LitWorld, which promotes literacy throughout the world.  Columbia Circle K is working with The Lit! Project as part of their NY Circle K Governor’s Project.
CUGC is made of 30+ singers and musicians who are all undergraduates, graduate students and alumni from several of Columbia’s schools including Columbia College, SEAS, Teacher’s College and Barnard College.  To learn more about CUGC check out and ‘like’ the CUGC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CUGospel) or email gospelchoir@columbia.edu.


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



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 alumni-affinity@columbia.edu.

For more information about the BAC and how to become a member, please e-mail blackalumni@columbia.edu.


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.