BYUSA will host a PEN Talk featuring six Black women as panelists on Feb. 25, focusing on Black women’s contributions throughout history.
The PEN Talk will be Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Viewers can watch the discussion via Zoom.
The panelists include Grace Soelberg, Evelyn Harper, Morgan Buckner, Taylor Munlin, Alixa Brobbey and Gina Dorsan. All are current BYU students except Dorsan, who is a department assistant for computer science.
“We wanted to create this event to promote the achievements and crucial history made by Black women,” said PEN Talks team lead Saane Siale.
The team chose the topic of social movement by Black women because they wanted focus on the experiences of Black women, she said. A goal was to show how BYU, as well as the nation, have been inspired by Black women today and how their contributions in history have aided all parts of society.
“I hope that this PEN Talk can provide a front row seat to the intersectionality of this community,” Siale said.
Panelist Grace Soelberg hopes other women of color feel validated and seen. “I think this topic is important because often at BYU, Black men tend to dominate race discussions and Black women don’t have the opportunity to share what is specific to their experience.”
Evelyn Harper, another panelist, said she thinks Black women’s experiences are unique and individual. They can also speak to larger problems and situations several Black women have while attending BYU.
She also said she thinks it’s important for all the Black women who aren’t on the panel to feel like they are being represented.
“I love the idea of six Black women vibing over shared hopes and experiences,” Harper said. “I think it’s going to be a healing experience for me to see Black female voices on a platform.”
Students can submit questions for the panelists during the event. A Q&A feature will be enabled for students to either submit questions anonymously or with their BYU Zoom accounts.