Black history is American history and this month, Skyline College hosted a variety of events aligned with the national theme of Health and Wellness to honor the Black diaspora.

The Belonging at Skyline College series hosted by Umoja-ASTEP Coordinator Chad Coates was an opportunity for students and faculty to connect and share ways they felt or wanted to feel connected at Skyline College. One of the events featured a student panel including Umoja-ASTEP, Women’s Mentoring & Leadership Academy (WMLA), and TRiO students who shared their Skyline College journeys and how they overcame challenges. The series provided students a safe space to share their experiences and recommend resources to take advantage of whilst a part of the Skyline College community.

Umoja-ASTEP student Kassidy Corbin stated, “Attending the event even as a panelist allowed me to learn from other students who had completely different experiences and gave me new insight on how I should be an advocate for myself and my education.”

The panel Structural Racism in Healthcare: Showing up for Mothers of Color held on February 17, 2022 provided insight into the field of doula work, how unconscious biases affect patients (especially those of African American descent), and standing up for oneself as a patient. Organized by Black Students Union (BSU) Vice President Aryssa Muhammad and hosted by the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC), the guest speakers included doulas Azraa Muhammad and Jaya Pruitt, Stanford Healthcare CNA Angelica Goodman and Skyline College Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs (SESP) Dr. Cheryl Johnson as moderator. The discussions were honest and ranged from personal and professional experiences, to medical studies and even to pop culture references. Students who attended found the information very valuable and ASSC Senator Caroline Cotton commented, “Panels like this need to happen once a month!”

B.E.A.Ts, Rhymes & Life; Healing through Hip Hop was a collaborative event hosted by CIPHER coordinator & counselor Nate Nevado, TRiO counselor Brianna Clay and WMLA advisor Danielle Powell on February 23, 2022. The session focused on healthy ways to discuss mental/academic/spiritual/physical trauma through the lens of Hip Hop, and contextualized Hip Hop’s influence on culture and its impact on people’s lives through an “individual and community empowerment” framework (adapted by Travis & Deepak (2011)). During the session, students were provided a safe space to discuss past trauma through the (B)reak it down.(E)valuate/Expose.(A)ction/strategy.(T)ransformation. process. Students were empowered to find their voice, be their authentic self and tell their story voluntarily through an open mic event by using the writing/MCing element of Hip Hop.


Article by Kassidy Corbin and Brianna clay

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