Message from the USC Black Alumni Association

BAA Village: Let’s Give Thanks!

Regardless of COVID-19, the approaching holidays signal a time to get together with family and friends. While we cannot easily gather or convene with an assurance of safety even in small family groups, we can still find reasons to be thankful for those we hold dear, for the blessings we experience, and for the uplift we receive from others.

This is also an important time for “gathering of self,” i.e., reflection. Many of our families have been devastated by the pandemic, or at very least, face great uncertainty and are fearful of the future. What has been clearly revealed is the human toll of Blackness, coupled with the decline or closure of many of our businesses. And while calls to action have been many, most solutions have not been as thoughtful or bold as is needed, perhaps benefiting the provider more than the community. That said, to be reflective during this time will be met with grateful “thanks” from others, as we seek deeply resonating answers that turn fear into progress. This is where USC Black alumni—a collective of influencers, leaders and decision-makers—come in. We have opened doors with our sacrifices, or kept them from closing, and now, as change agents, we hope to burst through more barriers, without ever having to look back. I applaud us, Black Trojans, for being resilient, persistent and thoughtful. I give grateful “thanks” for you!

As the holidays draw near, especially with the first semester of classes ending on November 24, I hold everyone in my heart with prayers for your well-being. This issue of our newsletter highlights BAA Advisory Council leaders, and invites you, too, to engage with the USC BAA to make the council the best it can be. Our featured alumni include an iconic musician and a rising policymaker, who bring distinct perspectives to their work. For more alumni news, visit our BAA web archive. I also suggest you check out the uplifting work of the late Varnette Honeywood MS ’74. I can think of no better way to convey our nostalgia for traditional family gatherings than Ms. Honeywood’s “Old Fashioned Dinner Party” (featured at the top of our newsletter).

Happy Thanksgiving and Fight On!

Michèle G. Turner ’81, EdD ’14
Executive Director
USC Black Alumni Association