The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Black Student Union will host the 17th annual Ebony Weekend Conference Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18-19. The conference will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Markee Pioneer Student Center University Rooms and will conclude Saturday night in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall.
The conference celebrates generations in the Black community and aims to bridge the gap between them through workshops, entertainment, social interaction, inspiring lectures and substantial dialogue focusing on solutions to common problems in the Black community. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers” and will explore different ways the Black community has created opportunities for itself in academia, the workforce, society, politics and beyond.
“We wanted a meaningful theme that incorporated different aspects of African American culture, including the people, the history and the struggles, and would leave an impact on our audience,” said Sydney Byas, vice president of the UW-Platteville Black Student Union and one of the Ebony Weekend coordinators. “Every speaker that we have chosen is a part of a different system in America and will give their personal story of how they broke through the barriers within that system. We are looking forward to giving them a platform to share their stories and also sharing a few of our own.”
This year’s speakers include Lynn Parrott, the first African American woman on the City of Platteville’s Common Council; Corey Saffold, director of crisis management for the Verona Area School District and a regent at the University of Wisconsin System; and Dr. Shatoya Black, program director of TRIO Student Support Services at Illinois State University.
The event is open to students, faculty and the community. The registration and payment due date has been extended to Friday, Feb. 11. Face masks are required in all university buildings.