This message was shared with faculty and staff on Oct. 8, 2020.
Black Solidarity Day represents a long-standing New Paltz tradition. This year, it falls on Monday, Nov. 2.
Founded in 1969 and observed at New Paltz since 1971, Black Solidarity Day invites people of African American and African descent and supporters throughout the country to abstain from participating in their regular activities. This peaceful absence demonstrates opposition to racism, as well as social and civil injustices, on a global level. The African American and African community and supporters assess collective priorities, political and economic power and plans for the future.
The cultural, political and scientific history of our nation and our world is rich with the influence of many peoples, and our collective story cannot be adequately told without acknowledging and understanding the many contributions of African Americans and Africans. During the week of Nov. 2, we encourage faculty across all disciplines to consider incorporating materials or discussions that explore African American and African contributions. Please also consider encouraging student participation in appropriate extra-curricular programming (talks, seminars, panels, movie screenings, etc.).
As previously noted in the welcome letter to the teaching faculty for the 2020-21 academic year and in our syllabus policies, I ask that you keep in mind that in observance of Black Solidarity Day and according to New Paltz policy the following practices apply:
- No tests, quizzes or graded assignments of any kind should be issued or due on Black Solidarity Day; and
- Students who choose to participate in Black Solidarity Day should notify their professors beforehand and will not be held accountable for absence on that day.
Thank you all for your support of this important and long-standing campus tradition and its 2020 observance. In light of the greater visibility in 2020 of continued and, in some instances, intensified disparities in life outcomes for people of African American and African descent, your support of Black Solidarity Day by adhering to our policy will surely mean more than ever this year.
Barbara G. Lyman
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs