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The Gabelli School Celebrates Black Voices

Featured Events | Feb 01, 2021 |

February 1st marks the start of Black History Month, and the Gabelli School’s month-long celebration, “Celebrating Black Voices,” includes events, discussions, and an invitation for those in the school community to express themselves by creating original content.

In a letter shared with the Gabelli School community, Dean Donna Rapaccioli highlighted upcoming events and underscored the opportunity to deepen our communal commitment to anti-racism and allyship.

“Our focus is not only on Black history, but also on the work we have left to do in the present,” the letter reads. “All of us in the Gabelli School community must play an active role in undoing racism. We should take that understanding to heart as we take part in the events planned for this month.” 

A film discussion group will take place on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m., exploring the film “Self-Made,” streaming on Netflix, which tells the true story of an African-American washerwoman who rises from poverty to become the first female self-made millionaire.

On Feb. 10 at 6 p.m., participants on a Celebrating Black Voices alumni panel will share their experiences of being Black in the workplace, exploring how their racial identity affects the work they do. 

And on Feb. 17 at 12 p.m., a group discussion will focus on Shonda Rhimes’ book, “Year of Yes,” in which Rhimes, a notable TV producer, describes how a positive mindset changed her life. 

Other asynchronous activities include the opportunity to take part in a virtual scavenger hunt focused on Black history, to take a virtual tour of a museum such as the Studio Museum in Harlem or the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and to engage in a curated LinkedIn Learning series focusing on racial justice.

Students who participate in one event and one asynchronous activity are invited to share the ways they’ve personally engaged with the content. Written reflections, videos, personal action plans, and other forms of self-expression are being collected, and all those who submit content by Feb. 21 will either receive a gift card to a black-owned business or have a donation made in their name to a Black advocacy, community, or educational non-profit. 

With the permission of each creator, select contributions will also be featured in a digital showcase event set to launch Feb. 26.


“Self-Made” Film Discussion Group
Friday, February 5
8:00 p.m. ET
Watch four short episodes of the docuseries titled, “Self-Made” on Netflix. “Self-Made,” starring Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, and Carmen Ejogo, is based on a true story, and focuses on an African-American washerwoman who rises from poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire. Click here to watch the trailer




Alumni Panel 
Wednesday, February 10
6:00 p.m. ET
As part of Black History Month, this panel will focus on what it is like to be Black in the workplace. Hear from a panel of Black alumni who will discuss how their identity affects the work they do, how they show up, and more.



“Year of Yes” Book Discussion Group
Wednesday, February 17
12:00 p.m. ET
As we celebrate Black History Month over the month of February, we will be reading “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life—and how it can change yours too. Join us for a small group discussion of “Year of Yes.”



Celebrating Black History Month with Mandell Crawley
Wednesday, February 24
3:00 p.m. ET
Mandell Crawley is an esteemed alum of the Gabelli School, and he’s had a 30-year career with Morgan Stanley (MS). During his tenure with MS, he has served as the Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Private Wealth Management, and he is now the Global Head of Human Resources. In a fireside chat, Dean Donna Rapaccioli will interview Mr. Crawley about his long career in the c-suite, global marketing, global finance, and the impact of DEI on Morgan Stanley.



Showcase Event 
Friday, February 26
8:00 p.m. ET
As we close out February and Black History Month, we will review all of the great events and programming during the course of the month and celebrate the personal action submissions sent in by the Fordham community. Students will have the option to share their submission publicly with personal attribution, share their submission publicly but anonymously, or share their submission privately with our team for engagement in personal action purposes only. Please use the Submission Form here.

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