SOAL Collective Action Series

To honor the charge by President Christopher Blake to continually aspire to the values of
stewardship, adaptability, engagement and learning during this racially charged time, we present the School of Arts and Letters Collective Action Series. As faculty and staff, we occupy a unique position to foster an atmosphere of equality and inclusivity for our students by leading the charge. To accomplish this goal, we must be brave and ready to have the tough conversation.  Please join us as we navigate through our institutional values with a series of events and activities. Each is intended to help begin these challenging, but necessary conversations.


Our first endeavor in this series will address ADAPTABILITY with a book discussion of Ibram X. Kendi’s  How to be an Antiracist. Kendi is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He offers a combination of history, law, and personal accounts of his journey to free himself of racists ideologies. The book's goal matches our values as we use self-examination and transformation to form a just and equitable society. The book club intends to start the antiracism dialogue, share resources for personal growth, and offer tangible tools to help our faculty, staff and students.

Each meeting will include a discussion of reading prompts, our shared impressions, and suggestions of actionable ideas to implement in our lives and interactions with students.The “Book Club” Microsoft Teams meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Chapters 1 to 4: Thursday, July 30 at 3:30 pm
  • Chapters 5 to 8: Thursday, August 27 at 3:30 pm
  • Chapters 9 to 12: Thursday, September 24 at 3:30 pm
  • Chapters 13 to 15: Thursday, October 29 at 3:30 pm
  • Chapters 16 to 18: Thursday, November 19 at 3:30 pm

In order to join the series via Microsoft TEAMS, log in using your MGA credentials. Then, click the "Teams" tab and enter CODE xm0ycay or email (organizers) to be added to the Teams group. If you have questions, please do let us know.

Panel Discussion: ENGAGEMENT

President Blake issued an inspiring charge of ENGAGEMENT in his President's Message on Racial Justice (in June) that we must create opportunities to “acknowledge our differences and then consider how that new knowledge can shape our own outlook and behavior. In doing so, we are empowered to see our common humanity, rather than simply being self-advancing individuals.” To fulfill his charge, we present the Lived Experiences: A Discussion on Race, Diversity and Equity. The panel will share instances and the impact of racial inequality within and outside of the academy. We offer a candid dialogue and space for panelists, co-moderators, and participants to engage in our lived experiences to better understand our collective experience. All are welcome to attend.

SOAL Collective Action Series PANEL:
Lived Experiences: A Discussion on Race, Diversity and Equity
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm via TEAMS*
*Students, faculty and staff will receive the TEAMS link via email a week prior to the event

Jenia Bacote, J.D.
MGA Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity | Title Ix Coordinator

Tesia Baker
President, MGA Student Government Association

Joshua Hill, M.A.
English Lecturer, MGA School of Arts & Letters

Jeffrey Tarver, M.P.A.
Assistant Professor Of Criminal Justice, MGA School Of Education And Behavioral Sciences

Andre Nicholson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Of Media And Communication, MGA School Of Arts & Letters

Chat Room Facilitators:
Lavette Burnette, Ph.D. & Alison Nooks, M.B.A., M.A.



LaVette Burnette, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Media and Communication
School of Arts & Letters

Andre Nicholson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Media and Communication
School of Arts & Letters

Alison Nooks, M.B.A., M.A.
Online Academic Program Coordinator &
Media,Culture and Arts Faculty (Adjunct)
School of Arts & Letters