Black & Latinx Summit (BLS)

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The Black and Latinx Summit is an annual conference and summit that seeks to bring students from all intersections into a shared space to learn and connect. This focus is an intentional understanding of the traumas that communities of color in the United States have faced both historically and contemporarily. It is also cognizant of the strides we take each day to heal our wounds and better prepare us for the next change in our circumstances. By creating this space, we hope others will join us in exploring the landscape of our communities and finding ways to make us stronger as a collective.

2024 Summit Details

2024 Black & Latinx Summit Program (pdf)

About the Theme

2024 poster art featuring illustration of tree growing from roots with diverse people standing on either side

Cover Artist: Chabeli Duran

Resistance in Resilience: Intertwining Our Roots Standing Our Ground

Resistance, a celebration of the power we collectively hold in our communities and globally through our intersectional identities that have generationally embodied the tenacity of our cultures, histories, and movements to empower our journey towards liberation. We resist through holding on to our rich traditions, language, and knowledge, to dismantle the ideologies that force us to become more palatable for others.

Resilience, the belief fueled by the passing of generational knowledge & power that when we take up, create, and change spaces, we are actively maintaining the legacies of those who have come before us. Resiliency acknowledges the failures and exclusions embedded in societal structures which have equipped us to strive for excellence and pave the way for future generations. Resiliency centers our authenticity, strength, urges us to never settle, and creates the space for dreams and creativity to thrive.

Intertwining our Roots strengthens our unbreakable shared histories, legacies, and cultures that are planted within nature and forever connected with our ancestral lands. A reminder that we are all but monolithic, it is the way we are intertwined that makes us who we are and that our histories are bridged together through supporting and inspiring the movements that have led to our growth and limitless potential.

Standing our Ground, the determination to unapologetically demand for what we deserve through our activism, solidarity, service, and our unbreakable strength in numbers. A reminder of the historical dedication of our communities to protect each other, our spaces, and our peace to unapologetically be who we are. We speak up, we sit-in, we stand our ground.

We will continue to be here.

2024 Schedule

All times are in Central Standard Time (CST).

Time Session
9:00-10:00 AM Breakfast & Check-In
Warm breakfast will be provided to all summit participants!
10:00-10:20 AM Welcome & Opening Remarks
10:20-11:20 AM Activist Panel
11:30 AM-12:20 PM Educational Workshops Session One
12:25-1:00 PM Poster Presentations
1:00-2:00 PM Lunch & Performances
Warm lunch will be provided to all summit participants! Performances by The Kat Walk & Ballet Folklorico Mitotiani
2:00-2:50 PM Educational Workshops Session Two
3:00-4:00 PM Keynote Address
4:00-4:30 PM Closing Remarks
4:30-6:00 PM Black & Latinx Summit Social
Light refreshments provided for all summit participants! Performances by The Prancing Pearls & Grupo Illini.

About the Keynote

Charlene A. Carruthers (she/her) is a writer, filmmaker, community organizer, and Black Studies PhD Candidate at Northwestern University. A practitioner of telling more complete stories, her work interrogates historical conjunctures of Black freedom-making post-emancipation and decolonial revolution, Black governance, and Black feminist abolitionist geographies. She is a 2020 Marguerite Casey Presidential Freedom Scholar and Mellon Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her work spans more than 15 years of community organizing across racial, gender and economic justice movements. Charlene wrote and directed The Funnel, a short film, which received the Queer Black Voices Award at the 35th Annual aGLIFF Prism Film Festival.

As the founding national director of BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100), she worked alongside hundreds of young Black activists to build a member-led organization dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Her work has been covered in several publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Nation, Ebony and Essence Magazines. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC. The Chicago native has also written for theRoot.com, CRISIS Magazine, Teen Vogue, Truthout, Colorlines and the Boston Review. She is recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans by The Root 100, one of Ebony Magazine's "Woke 100," an Emerging Power Player in Chicago Magazine and is the 2017 recipient of the YWCA's Dr. Dorothy I. Height Award.

A believer in telling more complete stories about the Black Radical Tradition, Charlene is a highly sought after speaker at various institutions including Wellesley College, Shaw University, Princeton University, Northwestern University and her alma mater Illinois Wesleyan University. She is author of the bestselling book, Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration for the summit is cost free for all participants.

We encourage you to dress for success in what makes you feel most comfortable and confident and do not have a required dress code. The suggested dress code is smart casual. Examples of smart casual are button-downs, blouses, jeans/chinos/khakis, dresses/skirts, and layers such as blazers/sweaters/cardigans.

We encourage you to bring essentials for a successful day of connecting and learning. This includes your preferred form of notetaking, a water bottle, gum/mints, fidget toys, or anything else you may need. All participants will receive a notebook, pen, and program guide upon check-in.

A warm breakfast and lunch are provided to all BLS Participants. Light refreshments will be available during the BLS Social.

The entirety of the summit will take place at the I-Hotel & Conference Center, 1900 S First Street, Champaign, IL 61820.

On-site parking is free for all Black & Latinx Summit Participants at the I-Hotel & Conference Center.

Parking Instructions: Enter the lot on the I-Hotel's north side off St. Mary’s Rd across from the State Farm Center. Placing 111 St Mary's Rd into G PS will direct to the correct lot. Enter the west wing doors under the overhang.

From On-campus

  • Champaign-Urbana MTD Routes/Stop Information: First at iHotel
    • 100 Yellow North/South
    • 14 Navy East/West
    • 24 Teal Link North/South
  • Free shuttles will also be provided for students from about 8:30-10:00 AM and again after the social. Shuttle schedule coming soon!
  • The i-Hotel & Conference Center is 1.4 Miles (32 min walk) away from BNAACC and La Casa on Nevada Street.

From Off-Campus

Driving Directions

  • From Chicago, IL
    • Take I-290 W and I-88 W: Head southwest on I-290 W toward I-88 W. Follow signs for Interstate 88 West/Aurora. Merge onto I-88 W: Merge onto I-88 W and continue driving westward. Continue on I-88 W: Stay on I-88 W for approximately 127 miles. Take Exit 184 for IL-130/High Cross Rd: As you approach Champaign, take Exit 184 for IL-130/High Cross Rd.Continue on IL-130 S: After exiting, continue driving south on IL-130 S.Turn left onto University Ave: After approximately 1.5 miles on IL-130 S, turn left onto University Ave. Arrive at the I-Hotel and Conference Center: After turning onto University Ave, continue for about 0.7 miles. The I-Hotel and Conference Center will be on your right-hand side, located at 1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820.
  • From Indianapolis, IN
    • Take I-74 W: Head west on I-74 W from Indianapolis. You'll need to merge onto I-74 W from whichever point you start in Indianapolis. Continue on I-74 W: Stay on I-74 W for approximately 100 miles. Merge onto I-57 N toward Chicago: Near Urbana, Illinois, merge onto I-57 N toward Chicago. Take Exit 237 for US-45 toward Rantoul/Urbana: After about 10 miles on I-57 N, take Exit 237 for US-45 toward Rantoul/Urbana. Turn left onto US-45 N/S Dunlap Ave: After exiting, turn left onto US-45 N/S Dunlap Ave. Continue onto US-45 BUS N/N Neil St: After approximately 6 miles, continue onto US-45 BUS N/N Neil St. Turn right onto E University Ave: After about 1.5 miles, turn right onto E University Ave. Arrive at the I-Hotel and Conference Center: Continue on University Ave for about 0.7 miles. The I-Hotel and Conference Center will be on your right-hand side, located at 1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820.
    • Please be aware that ongoing construction on I-74 may result in exit closures and delays, necessitating the use of local roads or alternative access routes.
  • From St. Louis, MO
    • Take I-55 N and I-55 N/I-64 E: Head north on I-55 N from St. Louis. After a short distance, merge onto I-55 N/I-64 E.Continue on I-55 N/I-64 E: Stay on I-55 N/I-64 E for approximately 60 miles. Merge onto I-55 N toward Chicago: Near Collinsville, Illinois, merge onto I-55 N toward Chicago.Merge onto I-72 E/US-36 E via Exit 157 toward Decatur/Springfield: After driving on I-55 N for about 60 miles, take Exit 157 for I-72 E/US-36 E toward Decatur/Springfield. Continue on I-72 E: Stay on I-72 E for approximately 80 miles. You'll pass through Decatur and eventually approach Champaign.Merge onto I-57 N via Exit 182A toward Chicago: Near Champaign, merge onto I-57 N via Exit 182A toward Chicago. Take Exit 237 for US-45 toward Rantoul/Urbana: After about 10 miles on I-57 N, take Exit 237 for US-45 toward Rantoul/Urbana. Turn left onto US-45 N/S Dunlap Ave: After exiting, turn left onto US-45 N/S Dunlap Ave. Continue onto US-45 BUS N/N Neil St: After approximately 6 miles, continue onto US-45 BUS N/N Neil St. Turn right onto E University Ave: After about 1.5 miles, turn right onto E University Ave. Arrive at the I-Hotel and Conference Center: Continue on University Ave for about 0.7 miles. The I-Hotel and Conference Center will be on your right-hand side, located at 1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820.

Sponsors

Thank you to our 2024 Black & Latinx Summit sponsors.

Platinum Level Sponsors

  • Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
  • Office of Minority Student Affairs
  • Gies College of Business - Access and Multicultural Engagement
  • Humanities Research Institute
  • LAS Access and Achievement Program
  • College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Silver Level Sponsors

  • Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
  • Gies College of Business - Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Latina/Latino Studies
  • University Housing Residential Life

Bronze Level Sponsors

  • Division of General Studies
  • Experience Champaign-Urbana
  • McKinley Health Center
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Women’s Resources Center

Black & Latinx Summit Archive

Access archived information from past BLS events.

BLS Archive

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