African Black Coalition
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The African Black Coalition (ABC) are a group of student organizations for black students at University of California schools, formed to unite and solve issues concerning academic policy, campus social atmosphere, and matriculation of black students to the university.
In 2003, founding member Jewel Love brought together student leaders from the Black/African student organizations in the UC system. As a major in Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Jewel felt that the deep disrespect of the culture, religion, and philosophy, of historically African people was a stumbling block to African-American success at the University of California at Santa Barbara campus. Extending this sentiment to every UC school, UC-ABC was founded to preserve the spirit, culture, and aspirations of African people throughout the UC school system.
Founding members included Ainye Long and Edwina Williams (University of California, Santa Cruz), Na'Shaun Neal and Catherine Sylvester (University of California, Los Angeles), Raniyah Abdus-Samad and Renita Chaney (University of California, Berkeley), Adia Smith and Venita Goodwin (University of California, Davis), Tiana Lynch (University of California, Irvine), and Stephanie Akpa (University of California, San Diego). In 2003, much like today, Black African students at each UC campus faced racial discrimination in the form of threats, offensive comments and actions taken by many non-black students. These offenses, coupled with the declining numbers of Black African students at the UC system (as a result of Proposition 209), led the various chairs, presidents, and external representatives to form the University of California African Black Coalition. The first meeting was in the fall of 2003 held at the University of California, Santa Cruz. At the first meeting, the following schools were in attendance: Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Davis and Berkeley.
The first UC ABC action was held the campus of UC San Diego in coordination with the progressive students of color at UCSD during the UCSA Students of Color Conference to protest the hostile educational environment. This was the first coordinated action of the organization. Approximately 50 students from the various UC-ABC schools attended the direct action.
The Organizing Board of UC ABC consists of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Conference Coordinator.
In 2004 the University of California African Black Coalition held its first annual conference at UC Santa Cruz. The Conference Chair was UCSC ABC rep, Ainye Long, External Vice Chair for UCSC'c African/Black Student Alliance ("ABSA"). Guest speakers included Professors Trica Rose, George Lipsitz, and David Anthony. The conference was successful by all standards and has continued on since that time. The conferences are tailored to meet the social and political needs of Black/African students in the UC system.
In 2005, the conference was held at UC San Diego. The Coalition president was Catherine Sylvester.
In 2006, the conference was held at UC Davis.
In 2007, the conference was held at Santa Barbara.
In 2008, the fifth conference was held at UC Irvine. The Coalition co-presidents were Lonneshia Webb and Christina Williams. The chair of fundraising was Melanie Garber. The site committee chair was Ashley Turner.
In 2009, the sixth conference was held at UC Merced.
In 2010, the seventh conference was held at UC Riverside. The conference chair was Stacey Hartnett and Khiana Ferguson.
In February 2011, the eighth conference was held at UCLA. The conference chair was Adrien Sebro.
In March 2012, the ninth Conference is set to be hosted by UC Berkeley.
In February 2013, the tenth Conference will be held at UC San Diego.
In 2014, the eleventh Conference was held at UC Santa Cruz. Angela Davis and Ambassador Atallah Shabazz attended.
- Chris Levister, "UC African Black Coalition Honors Gains, Tackles Setbacks", Black Voice News, Thursday, May 6, 2010, retrieved January 25, 2011.
- "African-American Students of the University of California Ask for Changes", U of C Riverside Newsroom, May 1, 2010, retrieved January 25, 2011.