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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 19, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 26
BFSA Hosts Conference on 'Tapping Black Excellence on White Campuses'

The Black Faculty and Staff Association of Johns Hopkins, in conjunction with colleagues from other campuses across the nation, will host an upcoming conference called Fixing the Academy: Tapping Black Excellence on White Campuses. Featuring panels, presentations of scholarly papers and workshops, it will be held on April 13 and 14 at the Applied Physics Laboratory. The deadline for registration is Friday, March 30.

The aim of the conference is to bring together black faculty, students and staff from predominantly white institutions to ask new questions and explore new ways to maximize the potential for black achievement on predominantly white campuses that will be appropriately recognized, valued and rewarded.

Due to the changing demographics in higher education, gaps in educational and professional attainments among African-Americans still present a major challenge, according to the BFSA. The transformation of institutions of higher education into more responsive educational environments will be highlighted.

In a letter to the Johns Hopkins community in which he urged departments to support staff members wishing to attend the conference, President William R. Brody wrote, "We expect actions and recommendations that stem from this conference will assist us as we strive to address the dissatisfaction with the climate along racial lines, which was revealed by the recent diversity climate survey at Johns Hopkins."

The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake, president of Wilberforce University and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will be the keynote speaker. Additional presenters are Anita Jenious, Vanderbilt University; Christopher Lester, Georgetown University; Roland Smith, Rice University; Levi Watkins, Johns Hopkins; and Alma Clayton-Pederson, Office of Education and Institutional Renewal for the Association of American Colleges & Universities.

Workshops include "Negotiating Your Worth: Black Excellence as a Bargaining Chip," "What Becomes of the Affirmative Action Baby? Challenging Assumptions of What You Bring to the Table," "After What You Put Me Through, Why Give? Rethinking the Power of Black Alumni" and "What We Do and Don't Do to Support One Another."

Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in focus groups to outline strategies and tactics in furthering the goal of black achievement in higher education.

The registration fee, which includes breakfasts, lunches and a reception, is $100 for students and $150 for faculty, staff and others. For detailed conference information, go to the BFSA Web site at


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