Who are we? The Black Solidarity Conference at Yale seeks…
From February 2-5, 2023, Yale held the 27th Black Solidarity Conference (BSC). Hosted by the university annually and entirely student-run by the Dwight Hall member group of the same name, BSC regularly attracts over 700 Black college students from across the country. Consisting of panels, workshops, discussions, and personal conversations, BSC explores issues affecting the African diaspora.
Every year, BSC’s programming centers around a particular theme. This year, the conference’s theme was “Part of a Whole: Embracing Intersectionality in the Black Identity.” According to BSC President Bradley Tidwell ’23, student organizers chose this theme to highlight the growing attention towards intersectionality in academia and beyond.
“All of our attendees are connected in their Blackness, but have many other identities that impact how they experience being Black,” Bradley explained. “And so we thought that intersectionality was a really important topic for us to discuss this year as it can allow each of us to consider many different facets of the Black community all at the same time.”
BSC leadership also emphasized the success of their panels. BSC Vice President Gabi Picott ’25 believes the panels were the strongest part of this year’s conference, and tackled a wide variety of topics related to intersectionality, from queerness in the Black community to Black environmentalism. “When I spoke to attendees, I could tell that they had really taken something important away from these panels and discussions,” Gabi noted, “which is all we wanted.”
Due to the pandemic, this is the first conference BSC has hosted in three years. This was also the first event hosted by the current executive board, and Bradley expressed how proud he is of all they were able to accomplish. According to Bradley, the conference could not have been held without the hard work and dedication of students, faculty, and community members across Yale. “We truly appreciate all the support we received from the Yale community, [support which] demonstrates a broader belief in the value of this event.”
Timeica Bethel ’11, Dean of the Afro-American Cultural Center, also expressed her pride and appreciation for those who made the event possible. “The fact that it is planned and executed by Yale students is truly inspiring,” Timeica said. “Putting together such a large event is a huge undertaking, especially when none of the current board members have experienced the conference in-person before. They did a great job, and I’m looking forward to next year.”