IPC: Inman Page Black Alumni Council
In the school year 1999 / 2000 an Independent Study Project by Artis Arnold '99 and Russell Malbrough '99 took shape in the Afro-American Studies Program. The seed planted months before was beginning to blossom. Guided by Professor Terry-Morgan, a comparative analysis of several Ivy League and Historically Black Colleges and Universities solidified the benefits of a Black Alumni council.
A central factor for successful models of Black Alumni groups was communication. The
independently maintained electronic mail listserve for Black Brown Alumni was a major
catalyst and for further organization. From 1997, Joelle Murchison '95 has volunteered her time and energy to moderate a group of 188 people signed into firstname.lastname@example.org". This indicated an affinity to a Black Alumni organization.
When the impending graduates expressed a greater interest in alumni activities and supporting facts of email@example.com (an electronic mail listserve of Black Ivy-League alumni) and The League (a non-profit organization with the same membership base) support from Brown Alumni Relations office was established.
Melody Chartier, Assitant Director of Alumni Relations and Lisa Raiola '84, VP of Alumni Relations both extended themselves to the community of African descent. They served as key advocates of the Inman Page Alumni Council and helped to further define its mission by sponsoring a historic weekend conference. Participants included current students, administrators, staff, faculty, and alumni from different geographic locations and time periods. Spring weekend took on a new meaning for this group.
The conference was hosted in Newport, Rhode Island- famous for its colonial mansions, beautiful walkways and the annual Jazz festival. "Preserving the knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry" this jewel of the Ocean State was once the largest point of departure for slaveships in the United States. According to The New York Public Library African American Desk Reference (p. 31), Newport was closely followed by Bristol and Providence.
CREDITS: written by Russell Malbrough, Class of Brown 1995 for the Brown University Publication of Spectrum, published November 2000, first rights.