Congress of African Students

3rd Annual Black Student Union Conference Held At Dickinson

September 27, 1980

Sponsored by the Congress of African Students (CAS), the 3rd Annual Black Student Union Conference was held at Dickinson on September 27, 1980.

The Conference's keynote speaker was Dr. Marion Oliver, who spoke on the topic of "1980's: Challenge to Succeed" in the Social Hall. After Dr. Oliver's address, attendees of the Conference broke off into small discussion groups, ate a buffet dinner, and then had a "Disco" as a closing social event.

A Poet Stirs Awareness

April, 1974

Tara McCallum, in hopes of aiding in the movement towards creating black awareness on Dickinson's campus, contributed to the monthly publication, The Black Perspective, published by the Congress of African Students.  Her work appears in the April edition of the Perspective. McCallum has several creative poems published, all harkening back to the struggles of black individuals.

Black Arts Festival Features Talented Female Choreographer

March 6, 1988

Dickinson College’s annual Black Arts Festival or Multicultural Fair featured a concert by The Philadelphia Dance Company “Philadanco” on Sunday, March 6, 1988.  The company, which was comprised of predominantly black dancers, presented a program of five pieces of contemporary choreography.  The only female choreographer of the bunch was Elisa Monte; her piece was entitled “Dream Time.”

Prime Minister Voices Complaint


The Prime Minister of the Congress of African Students, Robin Wilson,  wrote a formal letter to the President of Phi Kappa Sigma, Steve Persichetti, voicing concern, or outrage rather, at a poster advertising a Phi Kap event with “racist and stereotypic overtones.”  Writing on the behalf of the entire Congress, Wilson spoke out against the “insensitivity and degrading” nature of the poster in hopes of increasing sensitivity and consciousness of Black awareness within the Dickinson College community.

Board of Ministers Almost Entirely Comprised of Women

September 9, 1979

In the minutes recording for the first meeting of the Congress of African Students of Dickinson, an account of issues addressed during the meeting and introduction for new members is given.  During this meeting , which was the group’s first of the fall semester, each of the ministers on the board of the congress introduced themselves to new members and gave brief descriptions of their given ministries.  Of the seven ministers, five were black, female women.  Robin Wilson served as Prime Minister, Brenda Gordy as Minister of Culture and Education, Michelle Arter as Minister of Action, Patien

NIA-Purpose Poem


 A poem by poet Sonia Sanchez was published in the newsletter, NIA.  The piece's straightforward language and tone stirs the audience and calls attention to the black perspective.

Myrna Bernadel Returns to Dickinson to Minister to Students

March 4, 1984

Rev. Myrna Bernadel returned to Dickinson College in 1984 for the Congress of African Student's Black Arts Festival. On Sunday March 4, 1984, she led a college church service in Memorial Hall at 11:00 a.m.

11th Annual Black Arts Festival

March 30 - April 5, 1980

On Friday, April 4, 1980, a student talent show held in ATS featured talent from women students Frances Fernandez (presenting a welcome speech and acting as the mistress of ceremonies), Patience Bonner (performing a piano solo), Pamela Foster (performing a reading), Michelle Arter (presenting a dance solo) and Linda Fisher (performing a solo).