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SUMMER 2022

FEATURES

Building Connections

Working Mission: The Harley Black Alumni Network (HBAN) serves as a source of support, information, networking, and advocacy for Black alumni, students, and faculty/staff at The Harley School. This affinity group welcomes all allies and affiliates interested in promoting a more diverse and inclusive Harley School community.

During Reunion Weekend, HBAN held their first in-person event, a Black Alumni Network breakfast. During this time together, they discussed direct and impactful ways to support Black students and families at Harley, as well as sharing their experiences as students here throughout the years.

by Karen Saludo

July 13, 2022

In 2021, Karen Saludo, our Senior Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations, received a phone call from Chenoa Maye ’02 who expressed interest in forming a Black alumni group. She had recently moved back to the Rochester area and was reflecting on her time at Harley. As a community-oriented leader, Chenoa wanted to make a difference for families and students of color at our School so that they are seen and heard in this space. Karen was able to help connect our DEI Educator, Jonathan Ntheketha, and our alumni body; and in February, the group held a Zoom call that was followed up with a survey to those who attended about next steps and moving forward.

The following alumni were able to attend: Kristina Benjamin ’15, Talethea Best ’82, Rashid Duroseau ’05, Sam Hampton ’77, Sommer Henry ’06, Amanda Johnson ’11, Shaena Henry Leuthe ’03, Chenoa Maye ’02, Indiadora Nicholson ’11, Toren Reaves ’06, Valerie English Russell ‘83, and Leslie Granston Walker ’84. This group of alumni represented six decades of the Black experience at Harley, from the 60s to present day.

There was much to discuss: determining ways to understand what Black students, families, and faculty/staff need; understanding types of support Harley might be able to provide; developing clear goals related to the mission; having their voices heard at the Board level (and elsewhere, of course), and mentorship possibilities.

This is Harley’s first alumni affinity group, and they encourage anyone/everyone from the Harley community to support and participate in the group’s efforts to create a supportive, empowering space that is affirming.

The following alumni were able to attend: Kristina Benjamin ’15, Talethea Best ’82, Rashid Duroseau ’05, Sam Hampton ’77, Sommer Henry ’06, Amanda Johnson ’11, Shaena Henry Leuthe ’03, Chenoa Maye ’02, Indiadora Nicholson ’11, Toren Reaves ’06, Valerie English Russell ‘83, and Leslie Granston Walker ’84. This group of alumni represented six decades of the Black experience at Harley, from the 60s to present day.

There was much to discuss: determining ways to understand what Black students, families, and faculty/staff need; understanding types of support Harley might be able to provide; developing clear goals related to the mission; having their voices heard at the Board level (and elsewhere, of course), and mentorship possibilities.

This is Harley’s first alumni affinity group, and they encourage anyone/everyone from the Harley community to support and participate in the group’s efforts to create a supportive, empowering space that is affirming.

The mission and goals of the group are still being finalized, but they are oriented around: 

      • Generating and maintaining a vibrant network for students and families to help foster meaningful relationships
      • Offering career and academic support/mentorship opportunities
      • Promoting a more diverse and inclusive Harley community and assisting with recruitment of a more diverse board and faculty/staff
      • Providing a safe space and sounding board
      • Informing the School on policies/cultural events
      • Creating a DEI Award and/or Social Justice Award supported by this group at Honors Assembly

Reunion Connections

During Reunion Weekend, HBAN held their first in-person event, a Black Alumni Network breakfast. During this time together, they discussed direct and impactful ways to support Black students and families at Harley, as well as sharing their experiences as students here throughout the years.