Black History Month

Join the Merrimack College community throughout the month of February to celebrate and honor Black History Month.

 

Past Events

February 24, 2022

February 15, 2022

February 9, 2022

  • Black History Month Alumni Panel

    Join us to for a Black History Month Alumni panel featuring: Alvin Chapital ’86, Merrimack Board of Trustees member, and Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce; Christian Dupervil ’05, founder of Prepps; Katrina “Kat” Hobbs Everett ’19, Adjunct Professor for the Social Justice program and Co-Founder of Power of Self-Education (POSE) Inc.

    President Christoper E. Hopey will offer opening remarks. The event will be moderated by Jackson Fortune, a sophomore criminology & criminal justice major.

    • Location
    • Zoom
    • Time
    • 7:00pm

February 7, 2022

Biographies of Black History Month Speakers

Funmilola Fagbamila Funmilola Fagbamila

Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian-American playwright, performance artist and professor. Her internationally touring stage play on the complexities of Black political identity, The Intersection, has been met with critical acclaim by thinkers and artists such as civil rights legend Angela Davis and singer Erykah Badu. The production has staged in venues across the U.S., England, France, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Funmilola currently serves as professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and is a founding member of Black Lives Matter— having served as the Arts and Culture director in Los Angeles for several years after the organization’s inception. Her work was honored by the US Congress in both 2015 and 2018; and her writing and social commentary have been featured in publications such as the Guardian, BBC News and NPR.

Funmilola’s viral poem “Black Girl Fly” has been viewed online more than 4 million times and in 2021 the TNT network collaborated with Funmilola on a national feature for this piece.

In 2020, Funmilola traveled to Paris at the request of the president of France (Emmanuel Macron), to offer her consultation in France’s plan to address the country’s colonial history with African nations. And just recently, Prof. Fagbamila was commissioned to write a speech on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr— which will be presented by Dr. King’s only living granddaughter, Yolanda King.

Funmilola has delivered keynote addresses, lectures and performances at universities across the U.S. and Europe. Some of the venues include UCLA School of Law, Oxford University, Stanford and Harvard.


Alvin Chapital ’86

Alvin Chapital, a member of Merrimack’s Board of Trustees received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Merrimack College in 1986 while on full academic scholarship and his MBA from Suffolk University in 1992. He is a global marketing and management professional with over 20 years of B2B and B2C experience in strategic marketing, brand building, and sales growth in the Health Care, Professional Services, and Consumer Goods industries for Fortune 500 companies. Currently, he is the Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce, where he leads the development of sales enablement strategies for their Financial Services business. Mr. Chapital resides with his wife Donna in Northern Virginia. When he’s not chasing his twin sons (Addison and Alvin IV), he enjoys exercising, reading and golf.


Christian Dupervil ’05

Christian Dupervil earned a BA in Marketing from the Girard School of Business at Merrimack College in 2005. Upon graduation, he worked as a leader in college admissions. After obtaining a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Southern New Hampshire University in 2020, Mr. Dupervil stepped down as the Director of Admissions at Springfield College in order to create Prepps, the Linkedin for students and colleges. He states that his career in admissions along with graduate studies highlighted persistent income inequalities in higher education. Prepps, therefore, has a mission of creating equal access to a degree by tearing down the barriers of traditional, outdated recruiting. Mr. Dupervil lives in Southington, CT with his wife and young son as he seeks to continue the momentum after the recent launch of Prepps.


Katrina “Kat” Hobbs Everett ’19

Katrina Everett obtained her M.Ed. in Community Engagement from Merrimack College in 2019 Kat is currently an Adjunct Professor for the Social Justice program at Merrimack College. She is an anti-racist, educator, entrepreneur, curator, activist, writer, and spoken word artist. Ms. Everett is a senior-level executive with over 22 years of refined experience in the human/social services field working in a variety of professional settings and levels including grassroots organizations, city, state, and federal entities, public k-12 schools, public and private higher education institutions. She also has more than a decade of experience in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) education, and extensive community engagement cultivating relationship development and working with cross-sector teams locally, nationally and globally.

Ms. Everett is the Co-Founder of Power of Self-Education (POSE) Inc. a community engagement and advocacy nonprofit whose mission is “to inspire people and mobilize resources to strengthen communities.” She is also the founder and curator of COCO Brown, a cultural community center and co-working space that uses the mediums of art, music, storytelling, and movement to strengthen community relationships and improve social and economic equity. During the pandemic she founded and launched a state-certified black-owned/woman-owned business enterprise, through which she provides large- and small-scale consulting, coaching and facilitation services to individuals, groups and businesses to assist with transformative culture shifting in an effort to foster places of belonging. Her personal mission is to “Constantly Cultivate Community.”


Dennis Everett Dennis D. Everett, Jr.

Dennis D. Everett, Jr. is an advocate, a multi-talented artist and a passionate agent of change. He has traversed much from being a gang leader to a national thought leader and activist in prison reform, youth work and organizational development. Dennis spent his younger years in various locations across Massachusetts due to being in and out of the DSS/DYS/D.O.C systems. As a bi-racial black male navigating a home life of trauma and addictions in a time of great racial divide, his upbringing was complicated and unstable. Fueled by abandonment and neglect he soon found himself involved in gangs, selling drugs and committing crimes well into his 20’s.

Having come full circle, his passion for youth and dedication to giving back elevated him from a relief staff to an Assistant Program Director in the very agency he found himself placed in as a troubled youth, and in 2019 he was awarded the NAFI Distinguished Alumni Award. Dennis is the Co-Founder of Power of Self-Education (POSE) Inc., a social justice community engagement and advocacy organization. He has 10 years of attuned experience working in community-based initiatives as a community activist having led several cross-sector community mobilization efforts.

Currently, Dennis works as the Director of Reentry for UTEC through which he gets to engage his passion for restorative justice, which has become the heart of his focus. Through his work at UTEC, Dennis has used restorative justice to build community through creating circles within Essex County, Middlesex County, and the D.O.C. He has used his knowledge of restorative justice in partnership with VIP and the Haverhill Police Department to facilitate the Youth/ Police dialogues. Dennis is training through the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University and is currently enrolled in their Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice Practices Program. Dennis is committed to continuing to learn all that he can regarding restorative justice and bringing the practice to as many communities as possible. He serves on various city, regional and state committees to address multi-systemic community issues including recently being appointed to the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Advisory Committee.


Gilda Sheppard

Gilda Sheppard is the director and activist behind “Since I Been Down”, a documentary that highlights the education, organizing and healing developed and led by incarcerated women and men in Washington State’s prisons. For over a decade Sheppard has taught sociology classes in Washington State prisons and is a co-founder and faculty member for FEPPS- Freedom Education for Puget Sound. She is also a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. Sheppard is an award-winning filmmaker who has screened her documentaries throughout the United States, and internationally in Ghana, West Africa, at the Festival Afrique Cannes Film Festival, and in Germany at the International Black Film Festival in Berlin. Sheppard is a 2017 Hedgebrook Fellow for documentary film and a 2019 recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship.


Kimonti Carter

Kimonti Carter is one of the prisoners featured in “Since I Been Down.” Kimonti is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He has devoted himself every day to educating and expanding the perspectives of his fellow prisoners. Carter is a member of the #BlackPrisonersCaucus and started the prison-led education program, T.E.A.C.H. The documentary follows his efforts, as well as a wide group of prisoners, as they break free from their fate and create a model of education that is transforming their lives, their communities, our prisons and our own humanity.