Fostering Understanding in Our Community: Celebrating Black History Month: A Dialog on Triumphs and Trials


 

 

Please enjoy our Celebrating Black History Month: A Dialog on Triumphs and Trials as part of our Fostering Understanding in Our Community Outreach.
 

Our Distinguished Panelists:
 

  • Dr. Camille O'Bryant - Professor and Associate Dean at Cal Poly

  • Dr. Patricia Gordon - SLO MLK, Jr. Scholarship Committee Board Member

  • Dr. Charles Bell, Jr. - City Attorney, City of National City

  • Dr. Joye M. Carter - SLO County Coroner

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Please enjoy this recording of our February 23, 2021 Celebration for Black History Month.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Welcome. My name is Dr. Cornell Morton. I serve as president of Diversity Coalition, San Luis Obispo. And, we are very pleased to offer this program tonight, this dialogue and so pleased that you're able to join us. On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank you for your continued support, your continued participation, and we look forward to programs that you'll learn more about on our website as we move forward. Tonight, we are celebrating Black History Month. It's probably familiar for many of you, the notion and the theme that associates itself with Black History Month because Black history is in fact American history. We'll talk about that perhaps a little bit tonight, and help you and all of us better understand how and in what ways Black History Month continues to be important in our country's life. We talked a little bit about this issue, this program, the board did.

         And, we felt that given our current social and political climate in our country at this time, it was important to pursue this program tonight, to offer a conversation and a dialogue that we think will hopefully inform, and maybe even inspire some of us to continue to do the good work we're doing. And, those of us who were not quite engaged, that it will inspire us to get more involved in this community, across the vast array of diversity that exists in our state especially, and in some ways, even in our county,

         I won't go into great detail as I typically do about the Coalition's history, but some of you have heard me and others of us explain that the Diversity Coalition came into being back in March of 2011. It was in March of 2011 that a cross burning occurred in AG, Arroyo Grande. A Black family was victimized by that cross burning. And, a number of people came together throughout the county to support the family and in doing so, they decided to continue to meet, to continue to remain active. And in a nutshell, out of that grassroots effort, community effort, grew the Diversity Coalition, San Luis Obispo County.

         Tonight, our theme is a dialogue on triumphs and trials. And, we have an outstanding panel. I'll introduce them shortly. And again, we're happy that you're with us. Just a very quick background or history around Black History Month. Again, some of you are familiar with this history, but I'll very quickly share with you. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African-Americans, in a time for recognizing the central role African-Americans have played in American history. Also known as Black History Month, the event grew out of Negro History Week, the brainchild of noted historian, Carter G. Woodson, and other prominent African-Americans. Since about 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February, as Black History Month. Other countries around the world including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to the celebration of Black history.

         The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September the Harvard trained historian Carter G. Woodson, and the prominent minister, Jesse E, Moreland, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. An organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the group sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures. In the decades that followed, mayors of cities across the country, began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month, especially on many college campuses around the country.

         President Gerald Ford, officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to quote, "Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor, throughout our history." Unquote. So since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month. And, we have endorsed a theme or put forward a theme that we titled, Celebrating Black History Month: A Dialogue on Triumphs and Trials. And, this is a continuation of the Coalition series on Fostering Understanding in Our Community. So again, welcome. Let me very quickly move now to introduce our panelists.

         I'm going to begin with Dr. Camille O'Bryant. Dr. Camille O'Bryant is associate Dean for student success, welfare and issues of diversity and inclusion in the college of science and mathematics and professor of kinesiology, in the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health, excuse me, at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Dr. O'Bryant's areas of specialty include sociological and psychological aspects of sport, and physical activity. And, her specific areas of interest are in social justice, gender, race, ethnicity issues in physical activity and sport. Dr. O'Bryant has published articles and made a variety of scholarly presentations on how race, ethnicity and gender impact socialization into sport related careers. She earned a bachelor's degree in French studies at Smith College, and a master's degree of exercise and sports studies at Smith College. After completing her doctoral degree in sport, leisure and somatic studies at the Ohio State University. Dr. O'Bryant served as a member of the Sport and Exercise Studies Faculty at the Ohio State University from 1995 until 1999.

         She has been a member of the faculty at Cal Poly since 1999, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in professional organizations in higher education. She was vice-president for diversity of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports. She's co-chair of the Social justice and Cultural Diversity Committee. And, she served as vice president for the National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education, president from 2008 to 2010 for the Western Society for Physical Education of College Women. And, president from 2013 through 15 of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education. Dr. O'Bryant served as a director of the Alumnae Association of Smith College, the board of directors from 2003 to 2006, and as a member of the Smith College Board of Trustees from 2015 through 19. Welcome, Dr. O'Bryant. I'd like to now introduce Dr. Charles Bell. Dr. Bell is nearly 30, I'm sorry, I almost dated you there Charles, nearly 13 year legal history or career.

         He has represented large private lending... I'm... Yeah, lending institutions and municipalities of all sizes. Most recently, he served as the assistant city attorney for the City of San Luis, Obispo. And prior, he worked as chief deputy city attorney for the City of San Diego. He received his bachelor of arts in political science and minor in ethnic studies from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He received his Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in 2007. Immediately upon arriving in San Diego in 2004, Dr. Bell began establishing his roots in the community, and he doesn't hesitate to let you know that he feels privileged to call San Diego County his home. Over the past 16 years, his unwavering commitment to community service has been recognized by numerous organizations. In 2016, California Polytechnic State University, sometimes known as Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Alumni Association awarded Dr. Bell with its distinguished service award.

         In 2017, California Western School of Laws, Alumni association, awarded him with its outstanding community service award for his notable community public and humanitarian service. And in 2019, he received the San Diego County Bar Associations Service Award for service by a public attorney for his excellence in the practice of law, with service to the community, the profession, the association and legal education. Dr. Bell's commitment to community service demonstrates his ability to fulfill the national city's desire for visible approachable community centric city attorney representing its vibrant socioeconomically diverse community. Welcome Dr. Bell.

         Dr. Patricia Rogers. Dr. Patricia Rogers Gordon grew up in Arkansas in the 50s and 60s where in defiance of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme court decision of 1954 declaring the segregated public schools to be unconstitutional, African-Americans continued to live under conditions of racial separation. In 1965, her family migrated to South Central Los Angeles. And, Patricia a first-generation high school graduate went on to earn her doctorate at USC, University of Southern California. She is a retired California State University administrator, an adjunct professor and founder of Creative Solutions, where she provided strategic performance training for corporations and nonprofits.

         Dr. Gordon continues to dedicate her time to mentoring first generation college students and fighting social injustice. She serves on the boards of several organizations that aid the economically disadvantaged, and she is active in a number of efforts dedicated to ensuring the civil rights of marginalized citizens worldwide. Dr. Gordon is currently working with the Equal Justice Initiative, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and The Sentencing Project, to stop mass incarceration of African-American citizens. She owes close to her values and she holds close to a quote by Dr. King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Dr. King. Welcome Dr. Gordon.

Dr Patricia Gordon:

Thank you.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Dr. Joye M. Carter. Dr. Carter, the first Black chief medical examiner appointed in the history of this nation was recently named as the first full-time forensic pathologist to the Sheriff and Coroner's Office, or Division rather, in San Luis Obispo County, California. Dr. Carter has served as the chief medical examiner for the District of Columbia, Harris County, that is Houston, Texas, Indianapolis, Indiana. And, she was the first Black female to serve as the deputy chief of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner Department. And, as a chief physician of the U.S. Air Force in the field of forensic pathology. Dr. Carter was the first graduate of Howard University College of Medicine to become board certified in forensic pathology, and has been Triple board certified in anatomical, clinical and forensic pathology throughout her career.

         Dr. Carter has always been an advocate for fairness in the criminal justice system, and often has had to assume the role of single-handedly combating racism and gender bias while maintaining expertise and neutrality, in-depth investigation systems. One of her many mantras has been never give up and she continues to do just that.

         Wow. We're in for a treat. We are in for a treat. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much, all of you. We're so fortunate to have you with us tonight and I'm going to stop there. I'm going to turn it over to Kendra Paulding, my colleague on the board. And Kendra, thank you for your service and for your willingness to, excuse me, moderate this session. You got it.

Kendra Paulding:

Hi there. So, I would like to hear... Hello. I would like to hear from Camille first if you'd like to give your introduction. That'd be great.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Yes. Sure. Thank you, Kendra. And, thank you Cornell. My gosh, listening to the introductions for everybody- [crosstalk 00:15:02].

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Wow.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

This made me think how indeed it is an honor and privilege to be part of this panel this evening. I want to thank the board of directors for the Diversity Coalition of San Luis Obispo for putting these programs together and inviting me to be a part of this community tonight. I really look forward to learning and hearing from other panelists, and being in community with all who are present in this evening. I will begin just, I know you don't have a lot of time and you know, Dr. Morton's already given you quite a lot of my background. But, I want to start with a little background of who I am, where I'm from and how it is, I ended up in San Luis Obispo, California, and as an associate dean. This wasn't in the rule book or the game plan.

         If you had asked me when I was going into college, what I wanted to be, the last thing I would have said was an associate dean. And, the call assigned to math in San Luis Obispo, California of all places. And then, I'm going to finish with a spoken word that I wrote a few years ago during a conference session. And, I use that spoken word a lot, sometimes just with myself, but also in my teaching and presentations I make to help me sort of navigate those twists and turns and challenges, and I would say difficulties that many of us face as persons who are from underrepresented groups in all these different careers. And it still, to this day helps me a lot in my own growth and journey. So, storytelling also is a really important part of our legacy as Blacks people in the United States. Our oral histories are part of our strongest histories.

         And, one thing I've learned in working with students over the years and myself and my peers, is that the power in telling our story is a way for us to claim our social and cultural capital that is often kind of glossed over or eliminated based on the fact that we don't even really know our history. And, that's part of the overall plan and patterns around white supremacy. So, I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and the more tired I get, the more you'll notice that based on how I talk, I'm a child of the 1960s and 70s. And during my childhood, I definitely remember and experiencing a variety of triumphs and challenges, especially as I was old enough to be aware of what's going on during the Black Civil Rights Movement. even though it was happening for decades and decades beforehand, but the late 60s, things came to a head with the assassinations of Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X and Robert E. Kennedy.

         And, although I was only seven years old, I will never forget watching Martin Luther King's funeral was my family. We actually had three houses next door to each other, all O'Bryant's. And, we all got together and watched it together. Despite those challenges in my own family and across my peer groups, I am always in awe of the strength and resilience and persistence of my kinfolk as it were. And, that those periods or moments of strength, and resilience and persistence are always greater than those moments of pain and frustration. So, as I reflect on my childhood and even into my adulthood and professional life, I know I've been surrounded by an experience, many first. Just hearing Cornell's presentation of the panelists, you have also heard some of those first. My father and his twin brother, his identical twin brother were the first Black graduates to earn their master's in business administration from Northeastern University in 1964.

         If you're in those space of higher education and student affairs, you may have heard of or read about a man named John Donaldson O'Bryant. That was my uncle John. He was the first Black member elected to the Boston School Committee in the 20th century. Isn't it weird that prior to the 20th century, there were actually Black Americans on the Boston Public School Committee, but Plessy versus Ferguson and Jim Crow kind of took care of all that. And, it took another 75 years to get a Black person elected to the School Committee. It was my uncle John. He also served until the time of his death as vice president of the Student Affairs at Northeastern University. Growing up around him and my father and my uncle, my other uncle, I was always amazed at how much they were engaged in community and coalition building throughout the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts.

         When we were younger kids, as soon as we were big enough to carry boxes and move different equipment back and forth, my uncle John would rally us together to help him plan for and run a meal for raising money for the Black Educators' Alliance of Massachusetts. It was the Annual Bean Supper. So, Boston and baked beans and hot dogs, it worked out for us. But from a young age, it wasn't just about carrying the hot dogs and the beans and serving the dinners, it was seeing people come together and building coalitions and communities to undo civil injustice, social injustice. I was one of the first girls to join the Boys Club, well, now the Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, which is in Boston. And, that was indeed, thanks to Title IX. So in 1975, having a chance to join the Boys Club, and join the swim team, and actually have a job, a part-time job after school, were the beginning seeds of me moving into the career as I know it now.

         When I was in high school or before I went to high school, the Boston Public Schools got this court order to desegregate by a federal judge. And so from like 1974, 75, 76, through those years, I never had any Black teachers until after busing. So, it wasn't until I was in eighth grade that I had my first ever teacher that was Black or African-American. It was my eighth grade American history teacher. And, I'll never forget. He wanted to bring a unit of African-American history into an American history course, eighth grade American history class. And, the parents raised Holy... You know what. And, even a lot of my classmates were just adamantly. I mean, we're eighth graders, we're 13. And they just were like, "No way, I'm not going to read this, you can't make me."

         But Mr. Howard, he was from Richmond, Virginia, and he persisted. And we learned things, I never knew that the first person that died in the Boston massacre, which was the start of the revolutionary war, was a Black man. Growing up in the City of Boston, I had to learn about that after one of my teachers was brave enough to face that resistance and help me learn a little bit of history from my own city, where I could be represented in that history. So thank you, Mr. Howard, I'll never forget you and your strength in that regard. I swam competitively from the age of 12 until I graduated high school.

         And then when I was in college, I actually joined the crew. So, I was a rower in college. I went to a predominantly white, private liberal arts college. and throughout my experiences, swimming and rowing, and even in my formal education, I was, as my mother would often say, "The only fly in the buttermilk." It was not uncommon for me as an athlete and coach in sports like swimming, rowing, synchronized swimming, to have other the athletes but more often the other coaches, question my presence in those spaces.

         Did I really belong? Could I really swim? You know that age old stereotype that Black people can't swim, pretty strong back in the day. And, it still persists even to this day. And, it was always so much fun to step on the starting blocks, stand up on the starting blocks, and those other athletes would think, "Ah, I got this, I got this." And, I'm like, "Mm-hmm (affirmative), Yeah, I got this too," and all the gold medals to show it. I was undefeated for two years in my events in high school. So, I used to take great pleasure in swimming those races and shattering that stereotype. But, my experiences with sports and an interest in education ultimately led me to pursue advanced degrees in exercise and sports. As I embarked on my doctoral journey, one of the first papers I researched and wrote in the graduate sports sociology class was focused on the lack of representation of Black people in the professoriate.

         Why weren't there more people like me? I was really curious about that. And during that time, and when I was doing that research for that paper, I learned that less than 2% of all doctorates and what was then referred to as physical education and kinesiology are held by Black people. While that percentage has increased somewhat throughout the years, I can say with a reasonable amount of confidence that we still probably hover around the 5% mark of Black people with their doctorates and physical education in kinesiology. And, the number may increase slightly, if I look at related disciplines like health, and public health, and health education and maybe physiology. But, the point is that in the fields that I've chosen to pursue for my professional career, Black Americans and their representation is relatively low. But my love for sports, my desire to figure out how indeed we can maybe learn more about why we can't get more folks like me involved, especially in leadership positions, did ultimately lead to a job at Cal Poly.

         And 1999, I joined the faculty in kinesiology, and I met a few challenges in that first year. I'm from Boston, like I said, moving further away from home, 3000 miles to be exact and an age pre internet, really like we know it now, social media really didn't exist. I don't even think I had a cell phone then, quite honestly. I know my mother didn't have a cell phone, but she called me one day to let me know she had been diagnosed with cancer, and I'll never forget sitting on the steps of a Crandall Gym down by the Spanos Stadium, and I just cried my eyes out. Like, why did I come so far from home when the love of my life, my mom, was facing such a serious diagnosis. She did survive that surgery and everything and did live another 20 or so years before she... We did lose her this past year, sadly. But, I come from strong stuff.

         And so, that was one challenge. Being the only Black faculty member in my department in college is another challenge in terms of trying to find mentors, and colleagues, and folks who could be in community with me and help me learn and grow, and have some space and respite. Cornell, I'll have to admit, he was one of my go-to places or spaces when I needed just to kind of be with somebody else who could understand, and commiserate, and support and mentor me. So, I've been very blessed to have faculty colleagues like Cornell who helped me through those not difficult times. Because, it was very common for me to have colleagues, mostly white men who would take great pride in making anything I said, or did seem nonsensical and unwelcome. So, with the amazing mentorship and support of my peers in the Black Faculty and Staff Association, and some amazing allies like David Khan. I was able to withstand those challenges and ultimately earn tenure in 2006 and was promoted to professor in 2011.

         So, I'm not teaching right now because my current appointment as associate Dean in the college of science and math, has me spend quite a lot of time helping students navigate those same types of twists and turns, and challenges that I experienced as an undergraduate and graduate student, and many of our students experience now. But, I honestly say I definitely rely on those hard lessons I learned. The benefits of good mentoring and advising that I was able to have to help our students be successful. Especially when they encounter those unavoidable challenges that are part of their academic and personal journeys. About six years ago, I attended the Annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity , sometimes we just call it in NCORE in American higher education. And, I chose to attend one of the pre-conference workshops, because I liked the session, title and description. I found that really intriguing. I don't remember the exact title, but the idea was helping women of color connect with and celebrate this stealth legacy, and leadership and institutional transformation.

         This workshop was designed to help women of color in the academy navigate the many hurdles and barriers, implicit and explicit that we face while navigating those trips and turns of individualize, institutionalized forms of racism, sexism, and the many other isms, as they relate to our social and cultural identities. So, I think of that workshop often, and I thought a bit today or not just today, but when I was invited to be on this panel. And, when I thought about Black History Month, too many times, our voices, our vitality, our vibrancy, our beauty and power as Black people are stripped away from us. Sometimes from outside and even sometimes from within.

         So in that workshop, my peers and I, none of whom I'd ever met before, we had a chance to connect with each other, reconnect with ourselves and reclaim our social and cultural capital through a variety of exercises. One of the most pointed exercises for me, was the creation of a spoken word. Now, I've never written spoken word and I don't consider myself a poet or creative writer, but I can honestly say that, that exercise was an important pivotal turning point for me as I was in embarking on my new role as associate dean. So, I'm going to share it with you now, as I close my comments. And, although it was a few years ago, 2015, so I guess, it's like six years ago now, this spoken word still resonates with me today and it still sustains me today. And, I hope you find some things in it that resonate with you and your twists, and turns, and journeys, and triumphs, and trials and challenges that you've experienced in your life.

         I am from Boston, Boston Strong, from a beautiful extended family, multiple races, many faces. Do you segregate at Boston Public Schools crossing through the KKK and neo-Nazis, because we all deserve an equal opportunity to receive a good education. I battle the complexities of intersectionality and white supremacist patriarchy that courses through every layer of the institutions where I work, live and play. I collide, growing and learning through collisions of differences. What? You're not white, but your last name was O'Bryant, that's Irish, isn't it? The collision of an Irish name with brown skin has helped me learn many things about power and privilege.

         I defy when people told me Black people cannot swim, yet my first job in entry into my profession of teaching and coaching came to me, because of my work as a lifeguard and teaching swimming lessons. I encourage others to try, try to think beyond and within the boundaries they set for themselves and others set for them, dialogue and change from across and within. I forgive myself for the mistakes I've made, and others whose interactions with me have been intentionally and unintentionally disrespectful. I gained strength from the framing and experiencing the world through the gazes of social justice, inclusion, critical race, theory, and critical feminist theory. I Hark my family, blood and beyond, and my chances to help those with whom I am privileged to work, live and play. Thank you very much.

Kendra Paulding:

All right. Thank you. Next up. We have Charles and...

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:31:04]

Kendra Paulding:

All right. Thank you. Next up. We have Charles. And that was really powerful, Camille. Thank you so much. Go ahead, Charles.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

Good evening. And thank you, Dr. O'Bryant, definitely hard to follow. When asked this evening by Dr. [Morton 00:31:16] to participate in this panel, I really thought about one, the amazing relationship I have with Dr. Morton and how it started, similar to Dr. O'Bryant, on the campus of Cal Poly, and just be able to find that safe place, that bond, to be able to build with him and just be able to find guidance in a mentor. So before I go any further, I want to thank him for his continued mentorship and guidance that I've received for so many years of my life, and I look forward to many more years going forward.

         When asked to speak about the topic, Trials and Triumphs, there's so many things that I could've touched upon that fall under the umbrella of law, which is often what I'm asked to speak about. But what I've really thought about is what is a trial and trial, and what is an aspect of law that I think touches us all that sometimes that's really gone unspoken in the larger community, but recently as should've been, has come into the light I think for many more of our society than those that we're aware of it in the past?

         And for me, my trial is linked to my hair. You really can't see it 'cause I have it back up, but I've been growing my dreads now for 20 years, 21 years. It all started in 2000 at the beginning of my senior year of high school when my mother embarked on her lock journey and invited me to join her on that path. Until that day, I always had short hair, short haircut. That was just the style, that was just my approach, that was just kind of the way I'd lived with my life with hairstyles up to then. But I decided to now join my mom on her journey into locks and it started that way.

         But quickly, I found myself no longer with the guidance of my mother or my loctician that I started with when I started Cal Poly in the fall of 2000. Needless to say, for those that know the Central Coast know San Luis Obispo, I arrived in the Central Coast unable to find a loctician or someone else able to assist me with my hair on my journey. And at that point, I found myself on my own and I really began learning to twist and take care of my locks on my own. It really became, how would I say it, labor of love that really taught me to investment in myself and invest in something I started to take pride in and something that was really still a connection to my home, my mother and something I was learning more as I dove into the history of locks and the history of African Americans, the heritage of Africans and our hair.

         And so, one of the first trials I found when I arrived at Cal Poly was, one, learning how to do my hair myself. But two, as a member of the Cal Poly football team, being confronted with what is well known as hazing. One evening, getting ready to go to campus, a freshmen, I can hear the sound of doors being knocked on and what sounded like clippers and razors, clippers, as you would hear at a barber shop, coming down the hallway. And I immediately knew what was happening. Upper class men were going through in hazing the new freshmen by cutting their hair. And you can imagine terror and fear that that took over me knowing that something I had just invested in, something I took so much pride in, something that linked me to something I was so proud of, what's about to be taken away. But luckily, I was able to find a senior member of the team, plead my case and made it past that first hurdle, that first trial, and went along on my journey.

         Throughout my years at Cal Poly, I figured, as I move out of San Luis Obispo to a larger, I would say more diverse community such as the City of San Diego where I arrived in the fall of 2004 to start law school, I wouldn't feel so alone and I would have more of an understanding in my community of my journey with my locks. However, finding myself being one, and by the time I graduated, the only African-American in my law school class, I was once again found alone in my journey with locks and the pride of my hair.

         And upon graduation, I thought, okay, new chapter, something new's going to happen, a new opportunity to now join a new workforce, which might have a different approach. But upon graduation, I was approached by one of the Black professors that had been a mentor for me throughout my entire law school journey, and she congratulated me on graduating and she looked at me and said, "So what are you going to do now?" And I spouted off about, "I'm going to look for this job. This is what I think I'm going to land. This is what I hope to do. This is my career goals." She stopped me and said, "No, no, what are you going to do about your hair?" And I looked at her and I was like, "What do you mean?" and she kind of explained to me how now, I was ending my educational time and things were going to change. I was walking out into the professional arena and I would likely need to cut my hair in order to proceed on with my legal career.

         And I was really taken aback, but then I had to sit there and think about what she had experienced. Amazing African female attorney, amazing professor, I mean hands down was the most brilliant one I've ever met, but then I remember when she started her career, it was in 1980s in Chicago and the kind of discrimination, kind of prejudice, kind of pressure she felt working as a corporate lawyer at that time for a Black woman wishing to, at that time, move up the corporate ladder, the kind of pressures and stereotypes, and kind of pressures to assimilate to a corporate culture, which oftentimes was based on [inaudible 00:37:02] appearance. So I took her words. I took her advice and I really understood where she was coming from, but I continued on my journey.

         Next thing I noticed is I went out and I started working for my law school and I was admissions recruiter for the law school and sent me all over America to so many college fairs for students interested in going to graduate school. I was excited because I was going to Orangeburg, South Carolina and I was going to be presenting at HBCUs. And I was so excited to be able to talk to the students about law school, a career, all these aspects that I was so excited to share with them, but I wasn't prepared for the questions that I fielded that day.

         Set up my table, set up all my materials, was ready, and out of say 80% of the questions are, "You could be a lawyer with hair like that?" And I really enjoyed being able to talk to all the students and see the astonishment and see them really asking like, "How did you make the decision to continue to grow your hair? Are you ever going to cut it? Do you think you can really have a career?" And have that open discussion about what was important to me, what are my values, and why I continued along my journey.

         As I graduated from law school, started my first job in my legal career, I recall going to court and I recall walking into the courtrooms with my locks down to the middle of my back and seeing the responses from those in the ... one on the bench, one at the court staff, but also those just in the courtroom, from my peers, wondering if I was lost, if I was in the right courtroom, and the pride I felt when finally my case was called and it was the counsel representing the City of San Diego and everyone looking around and I would stand up. I walk up to the court, to the bench, across the bar and they all had to stand there looking at my dreads down the middle of my back as I represented my client on behalf of the City of San Diego.

         One of the things I took much pride in as I became more senior in my legal career was opportunities to mentor new law students. I remember one instance where a young lady came to me, had just started her twisting, her short-haired phase and she was worried that she was in her second year of law school and if she was going to have to cut her hair in order to get a job. She was worried about the state of the economy, the state of the pressures to, once again, conform or the perception is that we have to agree to do, agree to look like in order to move forward in a profession.

         And I was able to share with her my story. I was able to connect her to some other amazing women in the legal field that had beautiful locks here in San Diego. And I was so proud 'cause I didn't have that person early in my journey as part of my trials that I overcome one after the other, but to share that with others is something that I was very proud of. And to see her to this day, she's now a practicing attorney and her locks are down to her shoulders. So it was one of those things with trials and triumphs. These are the small ones I continue to remember and share with others.

         But this evening, I'm not sure if the host can share my link in the chat box, but what I wanted to leave everyone with is something that maybe all of know, but maybe some of you don't, but it is called the CROWN Act. The CROWN Act was drafted and sponsored by State Senator Holly Mitchell, and was passed unanimously in both chambers of the California legislator in June 2019, was signed into law, July 3rd, 2019. And the CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair. And it's a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which is denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles, including braids, locks, twists or Bantu knots.

         So I leave that with you and I hope you take an opportunity to click on the link shared in the chat box because this has passed in California, but has not been passed throughout all the United States. There's many groups that are in need of support. This is a message I think that continue to be shared, but I share this because all of us I think in our community know the trials that we've gone through with our appearance, with our hair, with the pressures to assimilate to pursue our dreams. But I'm so excited that in 2019, in the years of my career, that this legislation passed and it became law in 2019. And I just want to share that with everyone that through all the trials, this is an amazing triumph for all of us. So thank you.

Kendra Paulding:

Wow. I loved hearing about your hair and that connection with your mom. I'm so glad you didn't cut your hair. It's beautiful. So next up, we want to welcome Patricia.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

There. Hi. Hi. Thank you for this opportunity to celebrate Black Women in American History. As we celebrate Black History Month, I invite us to acknowledge the contributions of Black women in our fight for a seat at the table and to have a viable leadership voice.

         First, we're going to recognize Black women as abolitionists. Later, we will examine the pivotal role that Black women occupied in the early voting rights and civil rights movement. Then, we will explore the cutting edge and powerful roles that we're playing at this time.

         However, we cannot have a conversation about Black women's roles in America without acknowledging the multiplicity of positions of intersectionality. Intersectionality takes into account a person's overlapping identities and experiences in order to understand the complexities of prejudice we face. For example, we have to fight the fight against racism in addition to sexism. Then, you add class, culture, sexual orientation, and gender identity. All of these are overlapping interdependent systems of racism.

         Dr. Sharon Presley, the executive director of the Association of the Libertarian Feminist and co-author of Exquisite Rebel, she gives a rundown of some of the many Black women who worked toward the abolition of slavery. There were far more women in the abolitionist movement than the heroic Tubman and Truth. Many Black women helped make the abolitionist movement a success. Dr. Presley in her article, we speak their names, Black women abolitionists, named a dozen Black women abolitionists who we have not heard of, but who absolutely helped light the path to freedom.

         Black women as a whole were excluded from women's suffrage rights movement and their activities. Black female reformers understood that in addition to their gender, their race significantly affected their rights and available opportunities. White suffragists and their organizations ignores the challenges that African American women face. They chose not to integrate issues of race into their campaigns. The National American Women's Suffrage Association held conventions that excluded Black women. Black women were forced to March separately in the back of their parade. Ida B. Wells confronted suffragists who would not denounce lynching. She stated, "White women speak of rights. I speak of wrongs."

         In 1896, the newly formed National Association of Colored Women advocated for a wide range of reforms to improve life for African Americans including Jim Crow laws in the South that enforced segregation. Their motto was "lifting as we climb." Black women continued to fight until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. By the way, I encourage us to look beyond the simplistic story of Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus. It was a rebellion of [maids 00:46:51], a rebellion of working class women who were tired of boarding the buses in Montgomery and being assaulted and abused by the bus drivers. That's why the movement could hold so long because it went to the very, very heart of Black womanhood.

         Black women powered the civil rights movement, but rarely became as leaders. Nevertheless, they were at the forefront and played a critical role. Some Black women were empowered and thrilled by the Black Power Movement, including the Black Panther Party, but most encountered its male chauvinism common to many nationalist movements at that time. Female activists sometimes did not find the intra-racial cross-gender solidarity they sought, the roles played by men and women within the civil rights movement and reinforced the gender norms of the '60s. Bev Jackson, one of the chairpersons of the Democratic American caucus stated, "Black women have a special resilience. They have no safety net. So Black women just learn to walk the tight rope better." John Lewis stated, "Without the Black woman, there would be no NAACP."

         Part of my story is, after a prolonged illness, my father died in 1954 at the age of 44 as a result of unavailable healthcare for Black citizens in Arkansas. Although he was an independent landowner and an independent owner of a concrete business, by the time he died, it had all been sold, leaving my mother with 11 children and our status went from middle-class to deep, extreme poverty. Although in 1954, Brown vs Board of Education rule that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, schools in the South remained separate and unequal. Our only source of income was either domestic work or field work. I did both.

         As soon as my brothers turned 18, they escaped the cotton fields by joining the military and sending money home. My brothers made California home and convinced my mother that California was the land of opportunity. In 1965, my family was part of the great migration of millions of African Americans that left the South for what the author, Isabel Wilkerson, described as warmth of other suns. My mother proudly registered to vote for the first time in California in 1965. In the 56 years since my mother registered to vote and the 56 years since the Voting Rights Act, Black women have earned and insisted on a place in American politics.

         Now, Black women are even more mobilized. Over the last several years and across America, Black women won elections in historic numbers, from school boards to vice-president. We are a voice against voter suppression, mass incarceration of Black men and women. We are advocates for equal health care, and we will continue to confront racial disparities in policing, and we will advance the cause for economic equality.

         Historically, Black women vote in extra ordinary numbers, but we don't vote alone. We usher our families, our neighbors, our churches to the polls. Stacey Abrams noted, "Black women are going to be at the forefront, not only giving rise to voter turnout, but also shaping the conversation." She continued, "It has been a sea change in how vital our voices have been." She added, "We're here like the Underground Railroad, but it has surfaced now. In a big way. It's a rail train."

         My conclusion is we have a lot to be proud of, but we have much, much, much more work to do. Thank you for this opportunity.

Kendra Paulding:

Impressive. Thank you so much, Patricia. So important to hear more about intersectionality. I think that that's such an important concept. Thank you so much for bringing it up. And last, but certainly not least, we have Dr. Joy Carter.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Good evening, everybody. I'd like to thank the Diversity Coalition for sponsoring this panel tonight. I've really enjoyed hearing from my colleagues. This is why Black History should be every day of the year because we have melanin every day of the year.

         I'm very happy to be here. This happens to be the anniversary of my grandmother's birth. February 23rd is very important to me and my grandmother is very important to my career. My family all hails from Virginia, one of the major slave trade selling areas of the country, and my family is a mixture of native American and Black. And my grandmother taught me the ways of native American as well as the notion that no one on earth is better than you, and there's nothing you cannot do if you're trained for it, and I really embrace that concept.

         I am actually from North Eastern Ohio, very small village called Wellsville where we had a multicultural upbringing because that was the area where steel mills and brick yards and pottery were king back in the old days of the '50s, '60s and '70s. So I grew up with all kinds of people and everybody there talks like me. My family relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana because during that time period in the early 1970s, Indiana refused to bus and my mother was hired as a teacher. The federal government was insisting on separate and supposedly equal education.

         I started high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is also the home of Eli Lilly. And I had expressed an interest to my guidance counselor as a freshman that I wanted to be a doctor. The guidance counselor immediately said, "I would not make a good doctor." And I looked at him and I just said, "You don't know anything about me." I walked out of the office and I ran into another guidance counselor named, Mrs. [Green 00:55:05], and I said, "Mrs. Green, I was just told I couldn't become a doctor." And she said, "Oh, no, baby. There's a program sponsored by Eli Lilly that has an immersion for students that want to learn about medicine."

         And she signed me up for the program and I spent my summer in between freshman and sophomore year in high school at the [St. Vincent's 00:55:32] Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was 14 and I wasn't doing a whole lot as far as medicine, but my job was to help prepare meals for the medical staff. This was a Catholic hospital. Back then, I wasn't into cooking so I had a book in my pocket and I burned my hand on coffee, and the workers asked me to step outside of the kitchen area and not to create any more harm, and they wouldn't tell anybody, just don't come back in.

         And so I'm out in the hallway reading my book, and back in the old days in hospitals, the morgue where deceased are stored and the kitchen area were in close proximity, I'm reading my book and I spy the sisters pushing a shrouded body into the morgue area and I was very curious. And the sister said, "No, this is horrible. You don't want to know." And I'm thinking I'm a teenager and I'm curious. I literally begged my way in to see what was going on. And I later begged my way in to see a post-mortem because this was not a natural death.

         I don't know what made that forensic pathologist allow me to watch, but that day changed my entire life. I was already firm in my convictions, on my belief that everybody is a person. And when death occurs, whatever has kept us alive moves because energy is never destroyed. It just moves or it changes, but you don't destroy it. And so I watched the post-mortem at the age of 14. And by the end of the post-mortem, I knew this is exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my life. It was my calling. It was my passion. To be able to tell how someone died was one thing. To be able to document through death was the second thing, but also to be able to help the family, which is what I also was privy to, help the family through the most terrible time of their life, and I was inspired.

         And when my mother picked me up from work that day, she was not inspired and she was very upset, but I had received a equal dose of stubbornness from her, my father, and my grandmother. And I said, "This is what I want to do," and I was not afraid. I was intrigued. I was able to change my job from the kitchen area to animal care at Indiana University, School of Medicine. Been an animal lover my entire life, and back in those days before [inaudible 00:58:34], they were doing research and my job was to make sure the animals were cared for and, of course, I really cared for all of them.

         But I was able to read more about forensic pathology and I was so intrigued. I wrote to a doctor, and this was in the '70s, sight unseen, his articles made sense to me and I wrote to him and said, "I want to be a forensic pathologist." I wasn't sure he was going to answer me, but about three months later, I got a return letter. And this is from Dr. Joe Davis, the late Dr. Joe Davis, who was the chief medical examiner of Miami, Florida. And he said, "Here are things that you must do. You must know the human body. You must know anatomy and physiology. You also must have good communication skills. You must know how you feel about death." And that led to intermittent conversations through writing between the two of us through the rest of my high school career, college. And I met him when I was a first year medical student at Howard.

         Part of my journey getting to forensic pathology was college after high school and I went to Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. I earned a academic scholarship. Wittenberg is very small, a private Lutheran college. And my mother dropped me off and I was looking forward to a great academic career. But the very first night of the first full week of school, Wittenberg being 2% Black or less, they held a Savage Tan contest in the cafeteria, in the cafeteria that I had to pay dues for student activities. We had a little group called Concerned Black Students, and we got together. We all talked about what could we do with this Savage Tan contest at a primarily white institution where we were paying fees.

         They held this contest at the dinner hour. Students and my group, we had our swimsuits underneath our clothes. So when they actually had the audacity to call up individuals to show off their tans, first for the guys, all the young Black men stood up and went on stage and won the prizes. When they called for the women, the young Black women, you could not beat our tans, we won the prize. And then we said, "This will not happen again. You have no idea how arrogant, how disappointing, and frankly, how racist this behavior was, and we're not spending money on student government activities for this nonsense." That contest was canceled that night, never to recur again.

         I'm surprised that 40 years later, in fact, 2020 ...

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [01:02:04]

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

I said 40 years later. In fact, 2020, I received the outstanding alumni award from Wittenberg University. My motto has always been, I don't quit. I don't give up. And also that I'm not going to be the last one. I was getting ready to graduate from Wittenberg. I had made up my mind, I wanted to go to Howard University. I was going to continue in the theme of forensic pathology and I received an academic scholarship from the United States Air Force because we were in close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. So I did attend medical school as a military officer. And because I was in Washington D.C. where Howard is located, I was able to spend a lot of time working around the very active basis in the Washington D.C. area, Walter Reed, Andrews Air Force Base, Bolling. And I continued along the line of being a forensic pathologist to the point where my classmates actually nicknamed me blood and guts.

         I was always in the anatomy lab, because I was intending to be a chief. I set my goal to be the Chief Medical Examiner of Washington D.C., and I was not going to be deterred. And I knew I had to learn everything that I could. So I finished medical school. I did an internship in New York City, actually. Then I returned to Washington and did my residency in anatomical and clinical pathology, learning how you make diagnosis of disease and evaluate treatment in the medical setting by looking at the body, doing biopsies, and of course using body fluids for testing. Upon completing that, I then served in my fellowship year with my mentor, Dr. Joe Davis in Dade County, Florida Miami. And that was the most wonderful year for me, because I gained a lot of experience. I was their first black female fellow, Dr. Davis, who insisted on good communication skills, sent me all over the country to lecture about what I did and how I did it.

         In 1989, in fact, January 17th, 1989 was the last major riot in Miami. And I was on duty that day when a case was sent in as a traffic accident. And that was not a traffic accident. It was a man who had been shot while driving a motorcycle. And it was sent in as a traffic accident and almost overlooked. I spied a hole in the back of the helmet and sent the body for x-ray and it was a death due to a gunshot wound, not a traffic accident. And I witnessed the burning of many areas of Miami over a week's time. And I remember writing my first article, which was called The Shame of Miami. Because in that office as their first black physician, many of the support staff in that office were African-American. And they lived in places like Overtown and Freedman's Village, which were black neighborhoods.

         And yet the staff used euphemisms like Liberty City Natural, Freedman Natural, but what they were referring to were homicides. And they continue to victimize individuals just because they lived in neighborhoods. Miami, like many cities, can be very expensive. And not recognizing that your support and your help are individuals who by circumstance live in these neighborhoods, you think it's okay to say that because you're not saying it about yourself. So I pointed that out and I said, "You need to be aware of everybody as we're taught, know who your community is." And I published that article in the National Medical Association Journal, because this is something we all need to be aware of. I guess I'm known for fighting for just cause, that's what I'm supposed to do, that's my calling.

         Being a medical examiner is a job where you determine how people die for different locales. It can be a scary job for those who are not trained properly or don't know their feelings about death. But frankly, when you're able to tell how somebody has died, you actually weld a great amount of power and you have to be careful with that power. And some would say that perhaps it's not for a person of color. And I would say, "Why not? I'm going to be the first and I'm going to do it, do it well." My upbringing was that I don't need to scan. We are human beings. The only race that I really recognize is the human race. And the second race would have to be the Indianapolis 500. Other than that, I don't know what people are doing with these different subjective terms.

         Being the first Chief Medical Examiner in this country has meant that I live up to what I always say in that is I treat everybody with respect. I treat everybody as if they are worthy of respect, because I'm a doctor and I took the oath to do so. It doesn't matter if your body's in pristine condition. It doesn't matter if you've been homeless on the street. Doesn't matter if you've actually committed a crime or you're the victim of crime. My duty and my pledge was to treat everybody the same and to be thorough in my examination of them. And that's what I've always done. As I now celebrate my almost 39th year of medical practice, I've lived up to that my entire life. It's not a black or a white thing, or a red thing. As a matter of fact, I would argue with you and everyone here tonight, there is no greater tool of diversity than death.

         No one escapes it. It doesn't respect your income, your gender identification, whatever vehicle you drive or neighborhood you live in. No one gets out of life alive. And that's one of my other mantras. So why not treat people like they are people? I've worked in many cities around the country and lived all over the country. I was active duty in Washington D.C., and I did serve as the deputy chief of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System. And I've lectured and traveled all over the world, which has afforded me even a greater observation that people are people, and we really have the same basic desires. We want to clothe ourselves and our children, have enough food to eat, and have something to do. And that

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is the way that I have always lived my life. I returned home to Indianapolis in 2006, having been around the world, and away from that home for 31 years, and to take care of my mother primarily.

         And I wound up being the chief there and staying for 10 years and being absolutely too cold at times, minus 20 is not when you need to get out and walk the dog. And after I finished 10 years there, my mother had passed away. I took some time off and started traveling internationally and consulting, but just a little bit too much travel. And I decided to look for perhaps a warmer area. And I ended up applying to several jobs in California, and I was on my way to another County north of here. And I was returning a call. And by mistake I contacted San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department and I said, "I'm calling X County."

         And they said, "Oh, we're looking for somebody here." And I said, "Well, I've been attending a virtual medicine conference annually in Santa Barbara for about five years. And I'll be coming out there for the meeting in about two weeks." And this was actually in July of 2017. And they said, "Well, when you come to Santa Barbara, just hop over the mountain, come meet us." And I did just that. It wasn't a hop, it was a horrible drive. I think it was 146. I haven't been on there since, but I came up this way and I met with the sheriff and the sheriff and toward the office.

         And they took me to lunch in Avila Beach and they had whales out in the water. I was like, "Wow." And the sheriff said, "You can bring your dog to work." And I said, "Oh, all right." Now I'm here. And I ended up starting here in September of 2017, and here I am, I am their first full-time forensic pathologist. It's the job that you do need to have experience. Since you were literally working solo, you need to be able to know what you're looking at, what you're recognizing. And it just so happens that I made it here just a few years before the onslaught of substance abuse hit as hard as it has this past year. And you can see waves that they moved literally from the East coast to the Midwest. And now we are here in San Luis Obispo. So I guess for 20 years, I was the only black chief medical examiner in the country. And I'm very proud to say one of my other mantras was, I might be the first, I won't be the last.

         And I've seen some young people I've mentored from around the country and around the world move up in their respective areas. So we do have a black chief medical examiner in the State of Delaware. We just, until two weeks ago, had a black chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C., and he's now become the chairman of pathology at Howard. We have faculty members across the country, but we don't have enough. And we don't have enough because there are still many issues that need to be considered with death investigation, neutrality, honest testimony, and representing that person, no matter what their color is.

         And even today, some people would argue that a black person can't do that. And I argue back, "We're people and we're intelligent and we can do what we're trained to do." So a little bit about me. I am very happy to be here and I look forward to learning more from my colleagues. And by the way, I've been wearing my hair natural since I was 11 years old. And I have to fight anyone to stop me, including the U.S. Air Force. And I just put it in a bun and I need to be comfortable and I am who I am, and I'm a very proud black woman. Thank you.

Kendra Paulding:

All right, Joye, thank you so much for sharing. I love your story. It's your perseverance is incredibly inspiring. So now for some Q&A. If the audience has any questions, go ahead and submit them in the Q&A box and we'll get to that. So let's see what we've got here. So the first question is, "Last week on February 17th, The House held a hearing for H.R.40, a bill to form a commission to study reparations as a tool for racial redress, equity, and justice. Biden supports this. Any thoughts or comments?" Does anybody want to take a stab at that?

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

I mean, I'll get the ball rolling if that's okay. And let me just, can I just say, oh my gosh. I know I've been connected with and had the chance to interact with Joye and Charles and Patricia over the years, but rarely do we have a chance to actually sit down and learn about each other, from each other, with each other. So I am super grateful for them and sharing what they shared and, Joye, my niece is a first year student at Howard. I got like tons of cousins that are bison alums, so we'll talk about that later, but still thank you all. And this is the longest my hair has been. Worn it natural since I was a teenager, but my mother would always get on my case about cutting my hair. "Don't cut that hair I gave you."

         And when she passed away in January, I had just gotten a haircut the week before she passed away. And I don't think, I just, I can't cut my hair now, because I know she'll smack me, she will come and get me. Anyways, back to the question though. I think part of, and I'm not an attorney, so hopefully I won't say anything inappropriate from a legal standpoint in terms of the way legislation works. But I really feel like one of the most important things about reparations is honoring the legacy of the lives and loss of identity, and just the control in the villainy of white people. So on my mother's side in Florida, a lot of our family were from, Micanopy, which is a lot of the land that Disney owns. And they, the Disney Corporation stole that land from so many people, black and brown and indigenous folks, and everybody loves to go to the Magic Kingdom and the world of ... All the different parks and theme parks over there, not realizing just how many people are dispossessed or disenfranchised for the sake of moving that company forward.

         And so whether it's in the removal of statues and symbols of the Confederacy, which, even by the way, those things weren't erected back in the 1800s, they were erected more contemporarily as defiance against civil rights, right? So we need reparations. I'm glad that president Biden is supportive of that bill. And I look forward to learning more about it.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

And I'll piggyback off of that. Just I, again, as an attorney I always know you don't speak on things that you don't have hands-on experience with the drafting and everything that went into the legislation. I can't speak to that. But I can speak to, what I would say is kind of a landmark or if that's truly going to gain traction is what we saw recently with Proposition 16 here in California. And that's bring diversity back as a factor into public employment, education and contracting. And if we're still here in California of all states, still grappling with that approach to bringing back that aspect and just so many facets of our community. Then I think just on a national level there's definitely more conversations and things to unpack before that might actually get the traction that the new administration's seeking.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

I'd like to weigh in on that as well. I just found out about a situation that occurred in 1919 in Elaine, Arkansas, which was approximately 60 miles from where I grew up, that a group of sharecroppers tried to unionize. And while they were in the church, the church was shot up, burned, and hundreds of black people lost their lands and homes. The implications are still there. It's not very convoluted, it's pretty simple that the ripple effect is still impacting people in that City of Arkansas that is still living below the poverty line. What do we do with that, with the fact that these people, while their houses were being burned and they were being hung, they were taking possession of their land? Those things have to be addressed, and the descendants are still living there.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

I would just to say that I'm hoping that this comes to fruition and certainly in the form of improving quality of life for black people in this country. I think that this past year has shown the divide in access to medical care. The continued fear of the general medical behavior towards people of color, brown and black, the unequal housing, the continued unfair housing practices as far as the not selling to people in certain areas, and the unequal educational system, which has become based on income. And I am hoping that some funds will be used to one, include black people in history. We are woven into the fabric of this country.

         And I hope that we can have historians add truthful stories into the history and get rid of some of these nonsensical things, like everybody had a great time at Thanksgiving. And I'm hoping that we can build decent housing where the communities have access to fresh air and physical exercise, and that we can somehow provide better nourishment in inner city areas. We have a lot of cities that have food deserts, and we all know that some of our unhealthy food is much cheaper than fruit and salads. So I'm hoping that they'll take a look at how we can really provide for individuals who because of their color are left out.

Kendra Paulding:

Yeah, yeah. All that's so important, thank you. Everybody had a good answer. We have one question in the chat from Preston Allen. He says, "What has surprised you about your journey?" Does anybody want to start that off?

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

I ended up in San Luis Obispo.

Kendra Paulding:

Yeah.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

That's funny, but it's actually, it's true. Like I said in my comments, I thought I was going to live all my life in the City of Boston. And so, but what's mostly surprised me is the potential, and to Dr. Carter's point, we're all humans. And when we just kind of start with the basic premise of respect and civility towards each other, you can actually get stuff done. When folks are able to peel back the layers and let go of all their assumptions and their perspectives of, "I'm better than you, because I'm black or white or male or female or straight or gay." That's not what makes you necessarily better or worse than somebody, it's by our actions and your learning and how you lead your life and not necessarily how you happen to be born into a certain aspect of an identity or grow into an identity.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

I think the thing that has surprised me is the black tax that continues. And it's a factor of the cost for not "assimilating" the cost of code switching, having to be hypervigilant. In this time, in this day, in this environment, it is a level of stress when people still see you and you're going downtown slow and you walk into a store and you're still a target. I remember Michelle Obama said when she was incognito, she was stopped in stores by security. So I don't think I expected that to continue so blatantly to the degree that it has. And I'm just concerned about the fact that we're still having to be hypervigilant. I remember when I called the police to my house a couple years ago and my husband was out of town, and I asked the dispatcher to please tell the officers that I am African-American, I'm the homeowner. And she kind of laughed. And I said, "No, please tell them that, because Louis Gates got arrested in his own home." And so that part of hyper vigilance is still a factor for me.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

I would say, for my journey, what I'm still surprised is, is with how I know so many amazing people have come before me and changed history, but yet there's still this perception that is just my very existence is challenged every day. And that is what I'm still amazed with along my journey. What I meant to say during my story is one of the most common questions I used to receive, and not as much as often, but people ask me, "What do you do with your hair when you go to court?" I was like, "Oh, I would just leave it in the car." And then it would hit them about the question they just asked me, and that I couldn't function as an attorney. I couldn't function in my profession with my hair. I would have to somehow disconnect it from my being in order to flow through this world, through the society.

         So, that is something I'm still surprised with on this journey. One of the things I do love with this journey is seeing little kids, children, and as I walked through this new city as the city attorney family saying, "Hey, this is the new city attorney." And seeing the kids' faces and then processing like, "Oh." And like, "Yeah, yeah it is." So that's something I still feel challenged with on my journey, but I love every day of it. And so I meant to do, which I meant to do when I finished up with my presentation on the crown act, the crown back for everybody.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

Thank you.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Well, I wish I could say I had some surprises, but I have to tell you, I was just devastated by the political scene that occurred. And by the obvious difference in the way people of color and white people were treated. As a military officer I was disgusted by the siege of the Capitol building and the fact that they walked out instead of being put into paddy wagons. I don't know when, that is never going to settle with me. And in terms of all the accusations of violence and things going on with Black Lives Matter this past summer, no, this country has a problem and you just can't cover it up and act like it never happens. Not my journey, my occupation.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Can I add to [inaudible 01:27:32], a follow on to that? And it's not up to the black people to do that. You know, white people have to deal with their hate, their rage, their ignorance, their fears, their guilt, whatever the hell that, excuse me, whatever the heck they have going on, right?

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Correct.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

And that may help us get a little bit of some traction towards sustainable change. I love your crown by the way, Charles, it's awesome. And so, yeah, just what Dr. Carter was saying really made me think back to this new documentary that just was released about healing from hate and how people infiltrated some of these white supremacist groups and a lot of that bravado and that thing we saw and that insurrection was just a blatant example of years and years and years and years of unrequited, unchallenged, unfettered hate and ignorance, reinforced, and still sustained by people who say they know better, bunch of hypocrites, I'm going to stop there.

Kendra Paulding:

Right, yeah.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

I'm just shocked at the lack of accountability from the top. It appears that it has been dismissed and they're tracking a few here and a few there, but we don't see the systemic part of it saying, "This is unacceptable." I don't hear the outrage from people that may have supported certain candidates at that time, but still saying, "This is not okay." And it didn't move the needle a whole lot either. We didn't see a major shift in the views and the outrage.

Kendra Paulding:

So the next question is from Nancy, and she says, "A common thread with all the panelists stories was mentoring. Do you feel enough people in society today spend time mentoring others?"

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

No. No, they don't. We need more mentors. We have to stop the attitude that, "I pulled myself up, you do the same." We have to reach back. I personally mentor about 10 students a month all over the world. I want them to succeed. I want them to hear from me the ups and downs, ins and out of my profession, because they have to come behind me. You have to bring somebody with you and it doesn't hurt you to share some tidbits. If the gentleman hadn't helped me, again, sight unseen, I don't know that I would have been in this career or been successful. But yeah, we do have to mentor, particularly in today's times mentoring is a good thing.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

And this idea that people get what they get or get where they get without the help of others is just one more of those fallacies out there, right? And it's not just one mentor. I think people need multiple mentors, because you find different mentors provide you with different things that you need over the course of your life, personal, professional. So yes, we all need to mentor and we need to have mentors.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

And I would agree. I would say mentoring and being mentored is one of my passions and one of the things I've really committed myself to. And I could say, from [inaudible 01:31:05] too, some of the panelists on this event are mentors in my life, which I cherish. And I think what I've realized as I spoke to more people about this is, we really over-complicate the concept of mentoring. We really felt that it has to have all these boxes to check, all these requirements, when it really at the foundation of it is just relationship of two people along this journey in life. And if you could keep it simple, you could find so many amazing relationships to mentor others and also be mentored to your peers. So I definitely think that is something we should revisit, happy to talk to anyone about it. But yeah, I think mentoring is something that's lacking and it can be a simply addition to your everyday routine.

Kendra Paulding:

Patricia, you have something to add, or do you want me to ask you the next question?

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

As a first generation high school student, my mom told us we had to go to college. However, we didn't know how, we didn't know about programs and opportunities. So when I became an administrator at Cal State University, San Bernardino, we formed an allegiance with black faculty and staff, and we all adopted a first-generation college student and made sure if it took them four or five, six years to get them to because of the dropout rates. So that was really a pivotal time for the students coming in to Cal State San Bernardino.

Kendra Paulding:

That's so cool.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Sorry, something Patricia said just made me think of this two piece about mentoring, especially, I don't know who else in the audience, but I know a lot of my mentors aren't black, right? They're white and they're, many of them are men. They're all different kinds of shapes and sizes and persuasions. But what I think made the essence of mentoring good is in the relationship building piece ...

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:33:04]

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

But what I think made the essence of mentoring good is in the relationship building pieces, they didn't try to change me to be someone I'm not. They helped me grow to be the person I was meant to grow to be. And so those in the audience who want to be or consider themselves allies, just know that your role as a mentor, especially to someone that's from an historically underrepresented group or as a target for some form of discrimination, negative prejudice is to start by believing them. Don't explain in a way. Racism exists, it's a thing. Sexism exists, it's a thing. These things intersect with each other. It's not about a person just putting on a braver face or turning another cheek. No. Right? So start by believing, do your own work and acknowledge your points of privilege so that you can help other people grow into their greatness.

Kendra Paulding:

Awesome. Okay. So the next question is from [inaudible 01:33:58] she says, did ethnic studies play a factor in your education and lives? No? Camille.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Go ahead. I'll just let Dr. Carter go first.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Yeah, I mentioned my grandmother and I must mention my mother who always said, "Read more than one source." Always had Ebony, Jet Magazine and I wrote about this story. But in the fifth grade, as the only child of color in my class. My fifth grade teacher introduced world history and the study of Africa by pointing to me and saying, I could stay out in the sun longer.

         Which embarrassed me initially as a fifth grader, and for about 30 seconds I was speechless. And then it popped into my head that they had an article in Ebony Magazine about research on skin cancer and the protective nature of melanin. And so I stood up from my chair and I gave her a little piece of my mind. And I said, "Yes, I can say out in the sun." I said, "My melanin is protective."

         And I ended up with saying, "And we don't age the same way. You're probably the same age as my mother and my mother looks better than you," and I escorted my own self to the principal's office and I called my mom and told her what happened. And she left her classroom, sped like something and got down to my school. And she walked in and she gave a lecture on slavery and the conditions of the slave ship. And this is before Black Studies and that was a day that... I said, "Never again. This will not happen again. I will never be silent. I will never hang my head. You will never make me ashamed of my blackness." And that was my fifth grade change of life.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

Powerful.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

I could say from my experience having obtained my ethnic studies minor from Cal Poly, it definitely influenced my journey but I don't think in a way that many would think. Because at Cal Poly being a ethics studies minor, I was often the only African-American student in my class. While talking about very... I would say, discussions weren't interesting. The responses that were shared from my classmates during discussions were interesting.

         Now I will share this with a sense of one instance in which I had a professor explaining to the class, that the difference in Irish immigrants ability to assimilate into American culture. Where the African-American freed slaves or Africans freed slaves weren't able to do was based upon strategy. Implementing a strategy to work their way into society, which was not utilized by the freed slaves, to which time I stood up in class.

         But those experiences, I would say with ethnic studies and receiving it in certain environments or in the environment I did, definitely impacted my journey into understanding the thoughts and questions that are still out there that I was being faced with on the campus of higher education. So imagine the few that even had the privilege to be in that classroom. So that was definitely my experience and how it influenced me going forward.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Yeah. We didn't have ethnic studies in its current form [inaudible 01:37:51] any discipline is ever evolving and changing. But I think I shared the story about my eighth grade American history teacher. And I think that was my first journey into learning the essence of a people's existence or the history outside of the traditional canon. But also I feel like I got a lot of ethnic studies through my extended family and the way in which I watched my mother be a mama bear, when I was getting bullied by some kids in fourth grade and I stood up for myself.

         And then this is when a teacher, our school was predominantly black. And my fourth grade teacher was like, "We're just going to place gin-rummy in Scrabble because you all don't really want to learn." And that's what we did all day every day in fourth grade. I am a wiz at Scrabble and I will play a mean card game but I still cannot subtract and add fractions that well. So you think about the things that you need to get in certain grades. And this teacher, white woman, Mrs. Hackle, she took a bunch of us on a field trip to the circus.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

I stood up to this guy and cussed him out using a few choice words and I was sent to the principal's office and my mother came down and she cussed him out. She cussed the teacher out. She cussed everybody out. So this idea of standing up for yourself, understanding that you do have the right to be respected. I'm not an ethnic studies scholar and I know ethnic studies is much more complicated than that, but it's a cousin of sociology.

         And it's seeing how individuals, when they come together in groups and build their societies or their cultures, whose voices are privileged and whose voices are not? How do we create meaning as we interact with each other and in the process of creating that meaning, how we set up hierarchies or create opportunities for inclusion?

         And history and sociology and all those things melt together to help us get there. So while I'm not formally connected with ethnic studies, I do feel I've benefited from it especially as now, later in my career with the colleagues I get to collaborate with and co-teach and co-research with, from ethnic studies at Cal Poly.

Kendra Paulding:

All right. So next [10 strands 01:40:16] says or asks, what recommendations can you offer for addressing the inequities in STEM education for students of color? Should we have more doctors and scientists to address critical issues facing our communities? [crosstalk 01:40:41] We can skip it too, if you want.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

No, I just-

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

[crosstalk 01:40:43].

Kendra Paulding:

Whatever you guys want to do.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

There is no doubt that our young people need to be exposed. One, proper history, to know the legacy that's been kept from them. The secret of all the things black people have done in the world of science, medicine, engineering. One, tell the story. Two, expose the students to those that are there and those who are there, make yourself available to those students so that they can see you and see that you're real and you're flesh and blood. And this is your story, and this is your pathway. I think it goes along with mentoring, I've been involved with STEM for a long time.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

If I could add too, it's not just telling the story and helping the students of color in STEM, understand and find their path and journey. It's the students who aren't persons of color and their faculty. You've got to look at the whole system. And so people that are in the journey towards a degree, the people that have degrees in their professions.

         Because you can undo a whole lot of good by virtue of great mentoring and opportunities. And you put a student into a situation where they are faced with somebody that is not as enlightened or engaged in developing their own anti-racist sensitivities and that's why this keeps perpetuating. I mean, I left Cal Poly because it was just... I left for a year because I was just overwhelmed. I was taxed. I was exhausted. They wore me down. And that's even with a lot of really good mentors and things that were there to lift me up. I had just had it, right?

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

And I think we see a similar situation now in a lot of our emerging professionals, that they're just exhausted. I'm going to call out the white people, sorry you all out there, white folks. Do your homework and get with the program and we'll do the same, us Black and Brown folks we'll do the same. And hopefully we can find a better destination on our way.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

And I would add definitely building off Dr. Carter's statement is, an understanding of world history. As we know, history is written by the Victor and oftentimes is wiped out. Things that are well established, oftentimes growing up and even this day, seems like all knowledge started with the Greeks. That's what everyone says. But who did the Greeks learn from? And we know the answer to that.

         As well as who brought algebra and sciences to Europe. Do we talk about the Moors? So this kind of history, which really ties into what Dr. O'Bryant was speaking of. It says one point there was a push for considering diversity in curriculum. And when I was a student at Cal Poly, as far as student government, I participated in a committee with faculty and staff on trying to address that.

         And I'm sharing this story because I understand the exhaustion that the BFSA as well as other faculty and staff faced. As I sat in this committee meeting, talking about diversity in the curriculum and a professor stated, "What am I going to teach about diversity? Am I going to teach about basketball?" And at that point I sat back, I looked around and it hit me to understand what these other professors, these mentors that I often went to, what they were dealing with, that as the students had no clue.

         The systemic issues inside an organization of higher learning, which is what's in control of really formative years of these young minds. But those struggles with that issue was happening there. Then what was the true sense that it was going to progress to actually getting diversity in the curriculum to teach a true robust history and not just in certain majors such as ethnic studies or rather history, but through all curriculum.

         So that's definitely something I think we should build on and consider. And I think also letting kids know about NSBE and all the amazing student organizations that exist. So it's not one older generation, I'm sorry, more senior and wise generation teaching youth, but youth teaching youth too and connecting that chain of generations. And I think that'd be very helpful for all of us.

Kendra Paulding:

So, the next question's from Courtney Hale and she asks, what do you do for self-care?

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

[inaudible 01:45:15]. I'm a big believer in self-care. I don't do it just once a week, I do it every day. I have to renew myself so that I can face the challenges of my job everyday. Yes, I take my dog to work, that's my first self-care. I can pull up my dog for a little hug therapy and then I lend him to the rest of the office. What I really enjoy about being here at San Luis Obispo is that I need a daily walk.

         And my walk in the morning is called a walk for normalcy. And I would rather coming with nature than anybody else, my cup of coffee and a walk. I had to be able to renew myself so that I can get up and do it the next day. And I always tell people, find something to do other than your job, whether it is talking to somebody. I do my plants, but I have to vacate my mind. And so, yeah, everyday, self-care.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

I have a very supportive group of women that have my best interests at heart. I have been able to eliminate a few toxic people from my lives gently but firmly and set good boundaries. And before the pandemic, I always included the walks and a massage in my budget. Maybe I wouldn't go out to eat that week, but I made certain that I got a massage and Courtney, I know that you are a master teacher, and I have found some of those as well.

         But I work on that balance, sometimes I have to say no to good things that people ask me to do and say, "No, I need less FaceTime." Sometimes I realize I have too much FaceTime with other people, that are trying to get their needs met through me. And so I need to pull back and say, "No." And that works, saying no is major self-care. And sometimes I just say, "That won't work for me, not now, ask me again next year to sit on that board." So I have all these bumper sticker platitudes to take care of myself.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Definitely just taking a moment to just be grateful, to be able to breathe. And even in Zoom with different groups of men, we're getting into the practice of starting meetings with moments just to take one or two minutes of breathing and clearing our minds and settling in and letting go the other 6,000 emails and text messages and everything that followed us into that meeting.

         So I think that that's an important part of my self-care. I'm an avid knitter. So I've been picking up my knitting again. Walking is great but in some ways it's harder now working from home. Like being on campus, I could take sometimes a long way around to get somewhere, just to clear my mind and stretch my legs. Because you don't have to go and walk for an hour, an hour and a half even just 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there spaced throughout the day, can make a huge difference in a person's health and well-being. Laughter and just trying to be in community with people, family and friends. And I talk to my mom everyday and my dad, and sometimes especially I will call on my aunties and uncles when I just need a chance to get some perspective.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

The ancestors are here.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Our ancestors, they are here. They don't go away. [inaudible 01:48:59].

Kendra Paulding:

Yeah. Awesome. I love that. That's so uplifting. You all have good answers. I think we're getting close on time, so I'll just give this last one. Gina in AG says, what do you think that can be done at Cal Poly to improve the situations around racism and hate crimes? And she's referring to The Shredder in New Times last week, is the situation ever going to improve? That's that's the question.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

I think I referred to this earlier today. There's not any one thing someone can do individually or that a group can do collectively to stop people from being ignorant or from engaging in hateful behavior, hate expression. Yeah, we can try to eradicate it, maybe minimize it. But, Cal Poly is a part of society and it's an institution that was born out of a system of racism and sexism and other isms, antisemitism and more.

         And so you see the manifestation of those patterns of systemic oppression manifesting themselves in different ways. Charles gave a great example from his experience when he was a student, when faculty were working really hard to bring the curriculum into the 21st century and the level of ignorance, even amongst educated people or people who consider themselves educated is deeply rooted in bias, implicit and explicit, based on misinformation and fear and all kinds of other things.

         As an administrator at Cal Poly, I don't ever shy away from telling people how I really feel. And I think there are some people here that get the chance to work with me, I have the chance to work with them. And I think one of our biggest shortfalls at Cal Poly is outwardly facing not acknowledging consistently that we are inherently racist as an institution. And racism and sexism and all those other things do exist. But, we've not claimed it and we're not willing or able yet to do the types of reparations we need to start doing. And as you start doing that, there will be backlash. I don't know who was the perpetrators of the painting of the swastikas and other things at Alpha Epsilon Pi a few weeks ago. Whether they were people from Cal Poly or not, in some ways it doesn't matter.

         There are people out there that hate other people just because of something about who they are. Education might help change that. Holding people accountable when they are caught, in terms of doing those kind of heinous crimes or acts, could help that. But I don't think there's any one thing alone that's going to make it better. And I say, I hate to sound so defeatist. And I would add too, I remember after the Crop House incident and [David Khan 01:52:10] God rest his soul. What a gift to humanity he was. He and Cornel at the time were co-chairs of what we called University Diversity Enhancement Council. I think that's what it was, Cornel. Or maybe it was CUCIT, Committee on University Citizenship. I'm not sure what it was called.

         But they, as administrators, brought that community together created space for faculty, staff and students to process through the hurt and the frustration, not just to the Crops House but also the cross-burning in Arroyo Grande. And during that time, it's like students, faculty and staff, what we were all saying is like, "We need to understand who we are as individuals and why we will let that sexist joke slide when we're with our friends." And if you can't combat ignorance and hate in a social setting with your peers, how in the world are you going to do it in a more public setting?

         Yes, we have a lot of good movement in Black Lives Matter and protests and civil disobedience. It has to happen on all these different levels. Education of all the people across the whole spectrum of life and affirmations and reparations and holding people accountable and building it in. Institutionalizing, this is an expectation, of inclusion and equity and social justice. That's the norm, not the other stuff.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

Thank you.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

I would hop in and close with this in that, what I've experienced in my time at Cal Poly and in helping found the Cal Poly Black Alumni Chapter and staying tied to the community and the students is, I've honestly lost count of how many surveys on the current campus, climate and culture the school has done. One thing during my award speech, in which I had the chance to speak with the president there and everyone in the audience, I wanted to make it clear to the community that it's often used and said, what we're seeking as those on that campus is progress, not perfection.

         And I feel that oftentimes community is stuck in a position well, until there's a perfect answer, until there's a perfect way. Until we can ensure that the outcome is going to be exactly what we want, we're stuck in neutral. We're not making progress. All the community is asking, all anyone is asking in society is just an effort to advance each day in the right direction. Each year, see that we've made progress. And I think that is something that could really help change and give some hope for change on the Cal Poly campus and in the outlying San Luis Obispo community.

Kendra Paulding:

Okay.

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

I'm glad you said that, Charles, because it's not just about Cal Poly. It's the city and the county of which Cal Poly is a part of. Thank you for that.

Dr. Charles Bell, Jr.:

Okay.

Kendra Paulding:

At this point, I'm going to ask Cornel to come back on and close us out for the evening. Thank you so much to all the panelists, you all were so wonderful.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Thank you, Kendra. Thank you for an excellent moderation there or role as moderator. Thank you so much for that. I want to... Oh, look at Charles acting up over there with crown. My goodness. Man, I got to find some of that stuff. I can't do anything except this blank wall here. Let me just say this and I'm not going to be too long winded, my colleagues tease me about that occasionally. But I tell you, I could spend all night singing your praises. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for your courage. Underline the word courage, which is a manifestation of a willingness to speak truth to power, to share stories that are digested sometimes easily by some and not so easily by others, but stories that need to be told. And thank you for sharing your histories.

         We come to these positions of, I'll call them success or standing in our community through all sorts of travels that have been as our theme, more than implies trials and triumphs. And you've shared those tonight. I truly, truly appreciate that. I took so many notes. I ran out of paper just... For me, I was a student tonight and thank you for that as well, for helping all of us learn more. And I just want to say, as we move forward as has been mentioned, we are progressing, but we're not perfect. And there's a whole lot of work to be done. And I think at the same time, none of this work gets done without the likes of folks like you. So in your respective areas of endeavor, your respective social circles and professional circles, you stand tall and you represent a legacy, a royal legacy of resistance, a royal legacy of accomplishment as we talk about standing on the shoulders of others.

         We've heard that phrase so many times and it is so very real. And so tonight, my goodness, I could just go on. But I just want to thank you so much. And the chat roster is just full of compliments and praise for your work and for all that you do to make this community better no matter where we are in Southern California, Charles or up here on the Central Coast. Thank you so much. I want to remind those who are still with us that we do have, coming up later in the year, programs related to our continued interest in fostering understanding in this community.

         On March 25th, 6:00 PM, Dr. Justin Frank will talk about what he calls, how we might unite, a psychological perspective, which is interesting. Written several books as a psychologist, three books. Trump on the Couch, Bush on the Couch, Obama on the Couch. Now that's interesting just to think about that. And then on March, I'm sorry, May 6th, Dr. James Armstead and [Victor Conde 01:59:31]. The theme there human rights law, a yardstick for US law and policy. That's one that you might even be interested in as well, Charles, and all the rest of us thinking about how law impacts our work and this world and this country, especially. So with that said, you all are the bomb.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

It was an honor.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

It was wonderful. And I just want to thank you so much and I guess I'll end it with that. And on behalf of the entire coalition, thank you as well to those who tuned in tonight. We had good numbers tonight and we were able to sustain that crowd and I really appreciate that. And again, thanks to Kendra and thanks to Kendra Paulding, Michael Boyer, others who have helped us to make this program possible. You all have a good night and...

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

Thank you.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Peace [crosstalk 02:00:31].

Dr Camille O'Bryant:

Thank you all this is amazing. Appreciate it.

Dr. Patricia Gordon:

It was an honor. It was truly an honor.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Dr. Joye M. Carter:

Thank you.

Dr. Cornell Morton:

Thank you.