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Black History Month Lecture

This is a past event.

Thursday, February 15, 2024 4pm to 5:30pm

264 Columbia Avenue, Holland, MI 49423-3616

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Sonja Trent-Brown to Present Black History Month Lecture on Feb. 15

Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown, vice president of culture and inclusive excellence at
Hope College, will present the college’s 2024 Black History Month History Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The lecture will explore the national 2024 Black History Month theme, “African Americans
and the Arts,” taking a journey from historic heritage to contemporary contributions of artistic and creative activity. The lecture will also consider the DEIAB (diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging) landscape in higher education, the current anti-DEI legislation climate, and celebrations and opportunities at Hope.

The doors will open at 3:45 p.m. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to participate in a question-and-answer panel discussion following the presentation.

The lecture is being presented by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary and is incorporating the theme throughout the 2024
Diversity Lecture Series. CDI is using the 2024 Diversity Lecture Series to celebrate and honor those who have put their time and effort into creating a diverse and inclusive community at Hope. The celebration will continue through presentations scheduled across 2024, including most immediately the college’s Women’s History Month Lecture on March 5.

“Our theme for this time of celebration and reflection will be ‘40 years of Belonging and Growing Together: 1984-2024,’” said Jevon Willis, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “Utilizing CDI’s distinctive diversity spring and fall lecture series, each lecture will focus on the legacy of work and personal experiences connected with past and present leaders of CDI at Hope College.”

Trent-Brown came to Hope in 2005 as a professor in the psychology department, and
named the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Professor of Psychology from 2015 to 2019. She was appointed in 2015 as special assistant to the president for culture and inclusion, a position that was expanded and renamed in 2018 to chief officer for culture and inclusion. She has served as vice president or culture and inclusive excellence since 2021.

She has taught courses including Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Cognitive
Psychology, Advanced Research, Psychology and Culture, Phonetics and the Brain, and
psycholinguistics seminars. She has mentored more than 180 undergraduate students in research in the areas of psycholinguistics, psychoacoustics, child development, nature-based learning and racial healing, and was a top-three finalist for the Midwestern Psychological Association Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2023.

During her time at Hope, Trent-Brown has served the college as chair of the Residential
Life Committee, chair of Campus Life Board and as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, and as advisor for Black Student Union and Theta Gamma Pi, a multicultural sorority. She is a Franklin & Marshall College Emerging Scholars Fellow, Wye Faculty Fellow, and National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA) Fellow. She received the college’s Janet L. Anderson Excellence in Teaching Award (2012), and the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award (2012). Trent-Brown was recognized in “Top 25 Psychology Professors in Michigan” in 2012 as well as in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education Honors & Awards (2013).

She received the inaugural Hope College Social Sciences Young Investigator Award and
the Midwestern Psychological Association/Psi Chi Regional Research Award for faculty/student
collaborative research, and served as Councilor and Secretary with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Social Sciences Division. Trent-Brown earned an Honorable Mention for the 2015 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) U.S. Professor of the Year.

Her research has been funded by the Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood, the Kellogg
Foundation, and the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology (SRCD) Society for Research in Child Development Grant. She is a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (MDF) alumnus.

Trent-Brown completed her B.A. in psychology at Harvard University, earned a M.A. in
experimental psychology from the University of South Florida, and a Ph.D. in cognitive and neural sciences, also from USF in Tampa. Her guiding scriptures are Hebrews 11:1, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 10:17, and Revelation 5:9.

February is national Black History Month. The lecture is being presented by the college’s
Center for Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Black Student Union, the Office of Culture and Inclusive Excellence, and the GROW Diversity Council.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the
event, please email Updates related to events are posted when available at in the individual listings.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.

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