College Celebrates the 34th Annual ALANA Leadership Conference
For 34 years, SUNY Oswego has hosted the week-long ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Student Leadership Conference, and this year, despite the challenges of social distancing, the program continued its long tradition.
A robust calendar of virtual events brought together students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators as well as community members from throughout the region to participate in a range of programs.
The 8-day conference opened Sept. 23 with a keynote address by Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a lifelong activist and one of the Little Rock Nine who helped desegregate public schools in the 1950s.
Another highlight was a live concert Sept. 29 by Broadway star and recording artist Mandy Gonzalez, including a performance of a duet from the musical, Wicked, with theatre major Rachel Leotta ’21.
The conference also included the ALANA Virtual Alumni Leadership Panel on Sept. 24, and the discussion was moderated by ALANA students Abisola Akinfenwa ’22, Yadira Aranda Burgos ’22 and Jayvana Perez ’22.
The alumni participants included Ashleigh Aviles ’13, senior project manager, Latino Connection; Reynaldo Osoria ’11, tech operator, Fox News Channel; Denise Remedios ’13, leadership coordinator, George Washington University; and Dr. Jerrell Robinson ’94 M’96, EOP director, SUNY College at Old Westbury.
The conversation focused on panelists’ student experiences and how their involvement at Oswego, specifically their involvement in ALANA, prepared them both personally and professionally as. graduates and future leaders. The panelists stressed the importance of networking, internships and standing out in the workforce. They also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on their industries and individual careers.
The ALANA Conference also celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Peace Walk, which was created to promote unity and understanding among the campus community and the City of Oswego.
The virtual celebration featured welcoming remarks from President Deborah F. Stanley, followed by remarks by Professor Kenneth Marshall, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Rodmon King, former Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs Cathy Santos ’87 M’99, SUNY Oswego Police Chief Kevin Velzy ’83 M’14 and members of the Oswego City Police Department.
The event also featured a performance by student members of the SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir (photo above).
A highlight of the event included a panel discussion of the alumni founders of the Peace Walk, Maricruz Alvarado ’12, Damaris Dunn ’12 and Quindell Williams ’11.
To support important initiatives within SUNY Oswego’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, please consider making a gift to the new Diversity and Inclusion Fund online at alumni.oswego.edu/givenow.
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