Homecoming marks 50th anniversary of Black Action Society

The annual Homecoming festivities, which run through Oct. 7, will include not only all the traditional favorite activities, but also the 50th anniversary of the Black Action Society.

Activities for the African American Alumni Council’s Sanofka Homecoming will kick off a year-long celebration, “Fifty Years of Pride, Progress, and Partnership.” This year, the AAAC will celebrate the founding of the Black Action Society in 1968, as well as the Impact Engineering Program (now the Pitt EXCEL program), the former University Community Education Project, Project A, and other programs important to African Americans on campus in the past 50 years.

At next year’s Homecoming, AAAC will focus on the Jan. 16, 1969 sit-in by 48 students in the eighth-floor computer center in the Cathedral of Learning to insist that four specific demands be met to improve black life on campus.

“Just as it is important to be mindful that progress often flows from struggle, we should also keep in mind the traditional African concept of Sankofa — the need to look back on one’s history, to interpret it correctly and to use lessons learned to guide the future,” Vaughn Clagette (A&S ’89, Medicine ’93), trustee and former African American Alumni Council national president, told PittWire.

Other Sanofka Homecoming events include:

  • Hallowed Grounds Walking Tours, noon-4 p.m. Oct. 5, tours every hour, starting at Alumni Hall, of key African-American historical locations on campus, including the African Heritage Room. Free
  • Hillman Library debut of the Bebe Moore Campbell Memorial Collection, 1-2:30 p.m. Oct. 5. The collection honors the Pitt alumna’s achievements and accomplishments in writing and activism. A panel, including actress Tina Lifford, will discuss the “Life, Legacy, Achievements and Literary Contributions of Bebe Moore Campbell.” Free
  • Film screening: “Blue Gold and Black: From Doorway to Distinction,” 8:30-10 p.m. Oct. 5, Alumni Hall, Room 12. The documentary produced by the Office of Public Affairs in 2009 tells the story of the 180-year experience of black men and women at Pitt. Free
  • Sankofa Awards Banquet: "50 Years of Outstanding Leadership: Honoring the Black Action Society, Impact Engineering Alumni, Former UCEP Project A Students, And Other Diversity Programs," 6-9 p.m. Oct. 6, Alumni Hall Connelly Ballroom. $85

A full list of AAAC activities can be found here.

Find out more about Homecoming 2018

There are wide variety of events during Homecoming, in addition to Saturday’s football game against Syracuse.

  • Find those specifically open to faculty staff through @Pitt.