Concurrent Session Details

Concurrent Session I

Speakers: Communication Sciences & Disorders Diversity and Inclusion Fellows (Nicole Shelton, Thomas Chang, Brittney Cooper, Bryce Mergens, Caroline Jitkoom, Gabriela Everett, Rebeca Alvarez, Savanna Holst)

Time: 9:50 a.m. (20 minute, lightning session)

Brief Description

The purpose of this session is to highlight the unique perspectives of graduate students of color and their experiences matriculating through a Communication Sciences and Disorders program. This presentation will specifically highlight the graduate students’ journeys to and through a speech-language pathology graduate program while resisting institutional racism and persevering with resilience through imposter syndrome. The Fellows will share their journey serving on a task force committed to cultural humility, anti-racism, and equity.

Speakers: Jakhya Anthonasin, Asma Guantai, Michael Olaniyi, Alaysia Randolph, Tamera Smith, and Tamiya Walton

Chair: Abdurrahman Guantai, Interim Recruitment & Retention Coordinator

Time: 9:50 am - 10:50 a.m. (20 minute lightning session)

Session details:

Join us for a conversation with a diverse group of black student voices as they discuss what community means to them, and the successes and challenges that they have found in searching to build a community with joy on a PWI campus.

Speaker: Dr. Gerard Aloisio, he/him/his

Speaker Bio: Dr. Gerard Aloisio is Professor of Music in General Studies currently in his 26th year at M.S.U. His responsibilities are the development and teaching of General education classes including: Introduction to Music, Pop Music U.S.A., Music of the World, and other offerings on campus, off campus, and online. Dr. Aloisio is also M.S.U’s low brass instructor and an in-demand professional trombonist. Professor Aloisio has a DMA from The College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati

Time: 9:50 a.m. - 10:50 p.m.

Session Description:

Throughout the generations there have been many important songs, musicians, composers, and performances that have moved us all ahead on the road toward greater racial justice and a better, more exciting America.  In this session, I want to re-introduce some of the great people and important musical moments that  have been forgotten by some, and never known at all by too many others.  Music reflects and changes culture every day.   We will put a spotlight on a few of the many black performers and developments in music that moved  our society  forward in significant and joyful ways. 

Presenter: Tamiko French

TIme: 9:50 a.m. - 10:50 p.m.

Session Description:

Be engulfed in an expansive environment of sound intended to realign your vibrational energy centers. Sound healing is an ancient concept, also known as sound meditation or sound bathing. Sound healing can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, create a deep sense of wellbeing, and promote healing that goes well beyond simple relaxation.

Sound healing is based on the belief that dysregulation or disease in the body is a result of our natural resonance being out of tune or off balance, due to stress, illness, or environmental factors. Working with frequencies can bring our bodies back into healthy vibration.

During this workshop, come be open to the sounds of the gong, Tibetan singing bowls, tongue drum, sansula, chimes, buffalo drum, shakers, and handpan surrounding you for 40 minutes lying down or sitting.


Attendees who want to prepare for this session may bring the following:

  • Yoga mat
  • Cushion
  • Wear warm layers/blanket
  • Bottle of water

Panelists: Sussana Machinga, Demi Jones, Rekereke Evuleocha, Vanessa Fowler, Tennisha Sonsalla, Nyamach Duop, Idman Ibrahim, and Evelin Boniface 

Chair: Arianna Moore, Undergraduate Aviation Program

Time: 9:50 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Session Description

Black Graduate and Undergraduate Students gather to discuss the joy coupled with the struggle of the college experience as a Black Student. In the black community, Students face harmful factors such as discrimination, lack of representation, lack of opportunities, and so much more. In this discussion, students will speak their stories and lessons to express the truth about being a black student here at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Concurrent Session II

Speaker: R. Danielle Scott, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Brief Description

The intention of this session is to explore a route to racial healing through cultivating and unleashing Black Joy in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The lack of racial representation in professional makeup and professional limitations in speech-language service provision of the Black community will be deconstructed. This session will emphasize culturally responsive assessment practices, cultural humility in therapeutic relationships, and youth justice advocacy.

Speaker: Lala Luzious

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Session Description:  
Lala will take a deep dive into one of their favorite sayings: “it's amazing what you will learn about yourself by becoming someone else.” Exploring their experiences as a black queer male that performs as a Drag Artist, Lala will discuss all the ways they came into the life that they dreamed of as a child, despite what society told them, and how the art of Drag has allowed her access to joy by using faith, creativity, and imagination.

Speaker: Margaret Kimberley

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Session Description:

“Margaret Kimberley will give a broad overview of historical figures and liberation movements in explaining the need for politics that are explicitly radical. She will discuss connections with struggles in nations such as Haiti and examine why Black liberation must be the goal of political activism.” 

Speaker: William Commodore

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Session description:

Insight into how domestic violence began with Africans in the Diaspora. The solution to ending it by putting the female aspect back in the equation and giving them their power back. As the Author of my book titled, "Transformation A Journey form Abuser to Advocate" my studies shed light on the ongoing battle our people struggle with.

Speaker: Body of The Earth Massage  

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Session Description:

How do we differentiate stress and trauma? Specifically, are there differences in the way we feel them in our bodies? This workshop will give a brief overview of how the body holds each and what we can do about it. 


Concurrent Session III

Speaker: Javiann Lewis, She/Her, Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota, Clinical Trainee

TIme: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session description:

A reflective and interactive conversation where audience members can honor themselves and the Ancestors through self-care and rest. Audience members will be able to identify what maximizes and alters their joy to increase those positive events, people, activities, etc., that bring happiness and continue our resiliency. The goal is to encourage more unadulterated Black joy through self-care and radical self-acceptance.

Speaker: Sussana Machinga

Time: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session description:

Who am I? What's my purpose? What does it mean to live authentically? To best create change we must not only understand who we want to help, support, and what change we want to create but we also need to be courageous and willing to start looking within and knowing thyself. In this workshop participants will:

  • Discuss, learn, and share about their identities to better understand them in a more meaningful way 
  • Build mission statements for action to honor theirs and other identities

Time: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session Description:

Participants should sign-up for a brief chair massage with one of Body of The Earth Massage licensed masseuses.

Note: Limited availability  

Speakers: Black Motivated Women 

Time: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.