MSNBC Commentator and Author Highlights Women’s History Month EventsPosted: March 5, 2021
As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month throughout March, Buffalo State College is spotlighting high-achieving and iconic women of color with a commemorative video and slate of virtual guest speakers. They include Tiffany Cross, host of MSNBC’s The Cross Connection and author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy (Amistad/HarperCollins, July 2020).
All events are virtual, free, and open to the public.
Hosted by the college’s Equity and Campus Diversity (ECD) Office as part of its “Let’s Talk about It” series, Cross will discuss working in traditionally male roles on March 23 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. over Zoom.
Cross previously served as the D.C. bureau chief of BET News and the liaison to the Obama Administration for BET Networks, where she covered Capitol Hill, produced political specials, and oversaw the daily operations of the news department.
“We’re thrilled that Tiffany Cross will highlight our Women’s History Month events,” said Crystal Rodriguez-Dabney, Buffalo State’s chief diversity officer and chief of staff to President Katherine Conway-Turner. “I think her insights into climbing the ranks of what has been a historically white male industry to reach such a pinnacle of success will be inspiring to students as well other viewers.”
Also, on March 11, ECD will release a video honoring Mary Burnett Talbert, an orator, educator, suffragist, and civil rights activist. The video is part of the Women’s Empowerment Draft, an event founded by Alfred University’s Art Force 5. Mimicking the National Football League, the draft encourages colleges to choose icons who have fought for women’s rights throughout history. The draft is open to colleges located in cities with NFL teams.
Talbert was a founding member of the Phyllis Wheatley Club, the first in Buffalo to affiliate with the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. She was also instrumental in founding the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP (1905).
For the draft, Buffalo State junior Emily Pyne and some of her delta Delta Phi Zeta sorority sisters are representing Buffalo State in the video, according to Katlyn Keane, graduate assistant in the ECD Office.
“I applied to represent the school and was chosen from the applicants by the Equity and Diversity Office,” Pyne said. “I really wanted to do this because women’s empowerment and telling stories of women’s history has always been very important to me.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer Toohey, associate professor of theater who is overseeing the Women and Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Unit for the spring semester, put together a four-part series featuring female actors and directors speaking about their professional journeys.
The series, sponsored in part by the Grant Allocation Committee and ECD, began on March 1, featuring Gizel Jiménez, an actress, singer, and dancer who has performed in Wicked on Broadway among numerous other plays and musicals. The talks will continue on subsequent Mondays:
Jimenez and Velazquez were Toohey’s students at the New World School of the Arts, a combination high school and college, in Miami, Florida, where she taught about a decade ago.
“It has a very diverse population, similar to Buffalo State’s,” she said. “These women have gone on to do very well.”
Toohey added that this year seemed the perfect opportunity to feature women of color who are making a name for themselves in the theater world.
“Although the workshops are geared toward theater students, everyone is invited to attend,” Toohey said. “COVID forced me to think more creatively about what will be exciting for our students, deprived of performing, with everything presented online. I’m hoping that bringing very successful theater professionals to speak with them will feed students’ creativity until we can get back together in person.”
Interested participants can join the Zoom meeting using the password theater.
Pictured top: Four unidentified women at the equal rights conference of National and State Officers of the Woman’s Party, November 11, 1922. National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number LC-DIG-npcc-07325].
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