Greetings to all USC Black Alumni Association alumni, and welcome to #USCBAA45! While we are all facing continued challenges due to COVID-19 that rule out gathering together in celebration of our 45th year, we will still take this opportunity to thoughtfully engage and strengthen our USC Black alumni community. Throughout the year, we will invite you to share virtually our common love of music, art and thought leadership. We will highlight news about each other, our children, our causes and our hopes for the future. We will virtually host a book club, dance, DJ battle and even share recipes and cook “together”—so there are indeed plenty of wonderful ways to embrace community this fall. Our theme, #USCBAA45, celebrates our heritage, narratives and contributions to USC and the world!
I hope you enjoy the new look of our newsletter. Please send us info about what you’re involved in, supporting or need support for. Please send us news about what is happening with your businesses and in your neighborhoods, and let us know how we can uplift and encourage you. The BAA brings to the forefront those successes that occur when diverse perspectives inform the USC Black cultural and educational experience, and are incorporated into business and society. USC Black alumni have always been considered “change agents”; that is the expectation, because that is our legacy.
Lastly, because we are the change that we seek, I hope you, like myself, continue to strive toward putting this ideal into action. Our icons have blessed us with very important work, and in this #USCBAA45 year, I urge the beloved BAA community to ensure that we do indeed finish what they started. BAA is actively participating in university discussions about anti-blackness and racial justice like last month’s Removing Racism From Our Campus Communities program hosted by the USC Rossier School of Education. And this fall, voting must be our number-one priority. Although the BAA does not take a particular political stance, it does stand deeply for racial and social justice—two items of unfinished business which we can help address with our vote. On that note, I leave you with this inspired reading by Morgan Freeman of the “Last Words of John Lewis.”
Beloved Community, Fight On!
Michèle G. Turner ’81, EdD ’14
USC Black Alumni Association