The Black Awareness Coordinating Committee (BACC) was formed during the Spring 1969 quarter at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The purpose of the group was "to foster and sustain an awareness of Black people being an integral part of our nation's society."
In 1977, the organization touted itself as being the only organization "run exclusively for and by minority students." At the time, the groups membership consists mostly of Black and Puerto Rican undergraduates, though several graduate students belonged to the organization as well. Some of the programs sponsored by BACC included a Black student orientation, Black Awareness Week, and Educational Day. Educational Day was designed to introduce inner city high school students to the world of higher education. Throughout the years, the group sponsored various events such as a presentation by Dick Gregory, a talk on Frederick Douglass, and a memorial celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1991 when the Commission for Promoting Pluralism was established, partnering with BACC to deliver the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. That April, the Commission held what was then called the Conference on Racism. Twenty years later, in 2002, the Commission renamed the conference to the Expressions of Diversity Conference. Then in 2010, the Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King was combined into a week-long celebration named: Expressions of King’s Legacy. Which was led by the President’s Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion held in January. 2012 marks the year that this program was moved under the Office for Diversity & Inclusion, continuing with the name of Expressions of King’s Legacy. Many campus members played an important role in the start of this celebration and the continuing of it as the longest standing diversity program at RIT.
Please take a look at the recap of our keynote program!
If you joined us for Expressions please take a moment to fill out our survey!
Keynote speaker: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
Host of HuffPost Live and BET News, VH1 and Political Contributor for CNN
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill shares a bold vision of the future, where social progress and the pursuit of equality depend on listening to each other while adopting a fearless attitude toward change.
As a scholar and award-winning author, Dr. Hill expertly dissects political and social moments as a way to initiate frank discussions on culture, politics and race. By identifying key issues, challenges, controversies and trends in the news, he spotlights the work that must be done to sustain the ongoing struggle for equality and freedom.
Dr. Hill’s message emphasizes the importance of working across generations to promote America’s youth and even rely on them to inspire future progress. He provides concrete solutions for bringing communities together, along with anecdotes and examples to inspire hope and courage.
On stage, Dr. Hill displays the charismatic and provocative style that has made him a popular host of HuffPost Live, BET News and VH1 Live, as well as a political contributor for CNN. Audiences are drawn to his passion and intellect while responding positively to his call to continuously reimagine the world they want to live in.
Danielle Ponder & the Tomorrow People
When Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People hit the stage things get torqued up quickly like a tent revival during tornado season. Named Top Ten Bands to watch by CityPaper, and winner of the 2015 and 2016 Roc Awards, "Best Band", Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People transcend musical genres with a blast of deep, powerful groove and soul. The band is the groove while Ponder’s pipes keep it rooted in soul. And according to Ponder, soul is more than a sound.
“Soul music is something you feel,” she says. “It gives you goose bumps.”
This Rochester, NY Native has spent the past years rendering goose bumps by perfecting her style and charismatic performance. She sings, you listen, you melt. The result of her focus and dedication is a tone that is both enchanting and seductive along with a riveting, honest stage presence. It is this voice that has helped her secure gigs opening up for powerhouses such as George Clinton, Ledisi and The Roots. The band has also completed two successful European tours. Boyd Kletter of Bourbon Street Blues Club in Amsterdam said "Danielle shines bright both on and off the stage. She's truly is a star!"
Thank you for making our 35th Anniversary one to remember!
- Ailey II
- Justin Kauflin
- Borinquen Dance Theatre
- Sister Outsider
- Kelly Hall Tompkins
- Craig Ketter
- Curtis Babers
- THREE MO’ TENORS
- The Meeting – a play by Jeff Stetson
- Joshua Bennett
- Garth Fagan Dance Company
- David Johnson