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‘Meet the Black Faculty and Staff’ event to highlight the state of unity, oneness

University News | 01.24.24

The Adler University’s Black Caucus is inviting students and colleagues to the annual “Meet the Black Faculty and Staff” event, to be held Feb. 14 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CT in Community Hall on the Chicago Campus.

With the theme of “Ubuntu — The State of Unity and Oneness,” this year’s event, which is sponsored by both the Black Caucus and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, highlights the importance of community and collectivism. Ubuntu is an ancient African term that is roughly translated as “I am because we are.”

Photo of current and past Black Caucus leaders

(From top, left to right) Drs. Kapalamula, Dean, and Palmer (Black Caucus co-chairs), and Dr. Boyd-Layne (past chair).

“It means that when something happens to one, it happens to all,” said Chair of the Black Caucus Mtisunge Kapalamula, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs. “We’re building on last year’s theme of restoration and caring for ourselves as Black people.”

The “Meet the Black Faculty and Staff” event first began in 2017 as a way for Black students to get to know the University’s Black professors and personnel. Meanwhile, the Black Caucus was formed in 2020 — following the murder of George Floyd and the 2020 Adler University Black Community Demands and Expectations that stems back from 2018 research about being Black at Adler. This caucus represents the interests of the Adler Black community across all three campuses.

This year, the Black Caucus is inviting the entire Adler community to the annual event to learn more about Black faculty and staff on the Chicago Campus, the Black Caucus, and their contributions to the University.

“It goes back to the idea of Adlerian concept of community wholeness and wellness,” said Monica Boyd-Layne, Ph.D., LCPC, past chair and associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs. “We cannot heal individually; we must heal as a community. That’s the spirit we want to invoke at the gathering.”

Along with getting to know the University’s Black staff and faculty, attendees can also enjoy musical performances by a local artist, singer, and songwriter Xavier Sumter and guitarist Kianna Cameron. As with every year, the event will open with a libation ritual, a ceremonial tradition that pays homage to ancestors.

“Our goal is to introduce who we are and the contributions we make to this wonderful institution and show that we are not invisible,” said Asabi A. Dean, Ph.D., co-chair of the Black Caucus and assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs. “Please come get to know us, and we want to get to know you.”

“Ubuntu is, in its essence, about the collective identity where all members have a shared vision, co-create together, and where the identity of the group, or the ‘collective’ becomes part of a person’s individual identity,” added Geri Palmer, Ph.D., also co-chair of the Black Caucus and assistant professor in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. “Join us as we demonstrate Ubuntu in action.”

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