The Oberlin Review

The Conservatory recently announced new initiatives to increase diversity and equity within the music curriculum, repertoire, and Conservatory community.

Conservatory Announces New Goals to Increase Racial Equity and Belonging

September 18, 2020

Oberlin Conservatory faculty released an action plan last week for increasing the diversity and equity of Oberlin’s music education as part of the Presidential Initiative. Over the past several months, Conservatory faculty and staff have worked with student and alumni leaders to develop the commitments that will begin this semester.  “I want to offer my personal thanks to the student and alumni leaders — in particular members of the Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild — and to the Conservatory fac...

Student Senate Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Student Senate

June 22, 2020

The individual members of Student Senate who drafted and approved this document are solely responsible for its content and the views expressed herein.  Student government is not authorized to speak on behalf of Oberlin College and Conservatory. Dear Oberlin College and Conservatory Community, We write to you today to stand in solidarity with the nationwide protests and uprisings of the past three weeks, calling attention to and condemning white supremacy and anti-Black racism in the United States. The issues that stem from the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and more — such as structural racism and the controversial history of policing — impact us all, both ...

President Ambar Announces Presidential Initiative to Address Racial Injustice

Kushagra Kar, Senior Associate Editor

June 16, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent an email to the Oberlin community announcing a new Presidential Initiative to educate and mobilize students against racial injustice. This announcement came six days after four Minneapolis police officers brutally murdered Floyd, setting in motion global protests against racial injustice. “I will establish a Presidential Initiative for faculty and students that seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices,” President Ambar wrote in her May 31 email. “One could imagine courses, co-curricular initiatives, community engagements, and internships focused on the very issues that the death of George Floyd invokes. The primary goal of thi...

65 Foundational Works in the Field of Africana Studies

Department of Africana Studies

June 14, 2020

Editor’s Note: This list of resources was originally attached to ABUSUA’s Letter to the Administration and Board of Trustees.  This following selection of works (written, visual and aural texts) have been combined by the faculty and affiliate faculty of Oberlin College’s Department of Africana Studies, to provide for its major, minor and interested students a list of what members of the department see as foundational works in the field of Africana Studies. The interdisciplinary nature of the field and the multi-disciplinary range of the contributors to this collection provides a broad, deep, and complex interpretation of works fundamental to the description, study, and creative expression of Africana peoples (continental...

ABUSUA Demands Institutional Reform from Administrators, Board of Trustees

ABUSUA

June 14, 2020

To Oberlin College and Conservatory administration and Board of Trustees ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black Student Union, would like to express our anger and dissatisfaction with Oberlin's administration. The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others have made the world take a hard look at all of the continually ignored racist practices and institutions embedded in our society. Their painful deaths serve as a reminder of the systematic oppression and racism that continue to affect Black people in America. Oberlin has a legacy of activism and supporting the advancement of Black people. We would like to see these values reflected in Oberlin's response to the current Bla...

Black Student Leadership Endorses Universal Pass

Mowa Badmos, College second-year, co-chair, ASA, Blessing Bwititi, College third-year, co-chair, ASA, Benjamin Collado, College third-year, co-chair and treasurer, SOCA, Timothy Grant, College second-year, co-chair, ABUSUA, Seyquan Mack, double-degree fourth-year, chair, OCBMG, Deverrick McAllister Jr., College second-year, co-chair and student liaison, SOCA, Lauriel Powell, College second-year, co-chair, BSG, and Mike Sandifer, College third-year, co-chair, The Brotherhood

April 4, 2020

Dear Oberlin College and Conservatory Community Members,  These are difficult and scary times that we are living in. Since being evicted from campus amidst a global pandemic, none amongst us have been able to avoid the fallout of COVID-19. However, this crisis will especially impact Black students’ ability to succeed. As many of us will be deprived of the resources necessary for our success, the move to online classes will create greater disparity on an already uneven playing field. In addition, Black students are more likely to have been thrust into unsafe environments where we may face food and financial insecurity, as well as other circumstances that are beyond our control. All of these variables increase the likel...

Soul Session All-Stars: The Alumni Edition. Justin Emeka, OC ’95, not pictured.

Soul Session Kicks Off Celebration of Black History Month

February 16, 2018

“A talent show with much more soul.” So described by College sophomore and organizer DaQuan Williams, Soul Sessions is an ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black Student Union, initiative held in the Lord Lounge of Afrikan Heritage House on select Friday nights. These sessions are a significant part of A-House’s cultural tradition and involve a night of showcasing talent — Black talent in particular. It is a time for the Africana community to gather and celebrate their culture through any medium of the...

Student Senate Condemns OCACF Actions

September 20, 2016

The original version of this letter listed Oberlin J Street U as a consultant. Since the letter's publication, members of Oberlin J Street U have requested that the organization's name be removed. For more information, read our full coverage of Student Senate's letter, ACF's symposium and students' responses. In consultation with current and former members of ABUSUA and Students for a Free Palestine, Student Senate drafted a letter condemning the actions of certain alumni over the last year; including the surveillance, intimidation, marginalization and harassment of students. The text of the letter is below. Oberlin students, Since late 2015, a group of Oberlin alumni have driven a narrative of rampant ant...

Krislov’s Response to ABUSUA Demands Weak

Taylor Slay, Contributing Writer

March 4, 2016

In early 2016, Oberlin President Marvin Krislov decided to respond to a list of demands from ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black student union, not with action but with words. His Jan. 20 email and From the President’s Desk column both have the same content, which was presented with the inapt title: “Response to Student Demands.” I initially interpreted this title as attributed to student demands in general, but Krislov’s opening description of the “14 pages of demands for institutional action” hints at the particular demands he is talking about. Given that these are not the first demands presented to Oberlin College and Conservatory since Krislov has been president, let alone the first in the school’s history, it ...

Krislov Responds to ABUSUA Demands

Kerensa Loadholt, News Editor

February 5, 2016

While the list of ABUSUA student demands has attracted excessive media attention over the past eight weeks, it wasn’t until recently that College President Marvin Krislov issued an official response to the 14-page document. In his email, which was sent to the student body Jan. 20, Krislov says the administration is taking the necessary steps to improve campus race relations, and subsequently invites all faculty and staff to join them in their efforts. “Racism and all forms of injustice hinder us from achieving our mission and must be challenged by the College wherever they undermine our goals for academic, artistic and musical excellence,” Krislov said in the email. However, while the email expresse...

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