Activist Tiffany Loftin, director of the NAACP Youth and College Division, will talk about advocacy and empowerment for communities of color when she visits The University of Toledo for Black History Month.
She will speak Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theatre.
For the NAACP, Loftin serves more than 700 youth councils and high school and college chapters fighting for civil rights. She is known for her passion for membership-based organizing at the local, state and national levels.
She believes her mission is to develop students into leaders who can stand up for what they believe in.
“My first value in this work is to make sure that our young people are treated as respectable young adults,” Loftin said during an interview with The Crisis Magazine. “Our young folks are more woke, taking more risks, and having more important conversations at a younger age that a lot of us didn’t have to have when we were young.”
“We are excited Tiffany Loftin is coming to campus to give our keynote address during Black History Month,” David Young, UToledo director of Toledo Excel and Special Projects, said. “She is a dynamic leader, and we expect her to fire up our students to get involved and make a difference in the fight for equality.”
In 2011, Loftin became the first person in her family to graduate from college when she received dual degrees in American studies and political science from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She became president of the U.S. Student Association, the largest student-led organization in the nation that represents student governments and students, and coordinated campaigns addressing student loan debt and expanding financial aid for low-income and students of color.
She also worked for the AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice and served as racial justice program coordinator for the Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department, where she focused on creating dialogue and action addressing the racial and economic disparities impacting workers.
Prior to joining the NAACP last February, Loftin was senior program specialist in community advocacy and partnership engagement at the Center for Social Justice with the National Education Association. Her responsibilities included aligning the association’s priorities within the African-American and progressive communities and creating opportunities to address racial and economic gaps that affect educators, students and communities.
When Loftin was 24 in 2013, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in Higher Education.
In addition to Loftin’s free, public talk, the University will pay tribute to this year’s theme, “A Mile in the Marathon,” with several events during Black History Month. Listed by date, events will include:
• Monday, Feb. 3 — Back 2 Black Involvement Fair and Black History Month Kickoff, 7 to 9 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. Stop by to learn about African-American organizations and how to become more involved on campus.
• Tuesday, Feb. 4 — Black History Month Basketball Game, 7 p.m., Savage Arena. Catch the Toledo men’s basketball team playing Northern Illinois; during the game, student organizations, alumni and students who exemplify excellence will be recognized.
• Saturday, Feb. 8 — “Reclaiming Our Narrative: Ending the Epidemic,” 4 p.m., Collier Building Room 1000 on Health Science Campus. International HIV activist Hydeia Broadbent will speak in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The free, public program is presented by the Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care and the UToledo Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
• Wednesday, Feb. 12 — African-American Initiatives Spring Film Screening, 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Watch a movie about black history and culture, and discuss it.
• Tuesday, Feb. 18 — Black Career Night, 6 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. This event sponsored by the Black Student Union will bring together local community members who will talk about their businesses and organizations and allow students to network and learn about career opportunities.
• Wednesday, Feb. 19 — Black Wellness Bash, noon to 2 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. This event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and wellness.
• Thursday, Feb. 20 — Black Love Is Raw, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union. The Association for the Advancement of African-American Women and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will offer a safe space to discuss love and healthy relationships.
• Friday, Feb. 21 — Black Student Union Fashion Show, 7 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Ticket prices to be announced. Proceeds from the 51st annual event go to a student scholarship that aids in the retention of black students.
• Tuesday, Feb. 25 — “Honing in on Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Improving Health Outcomes for Women of African Ancestry Using Precision Medicine,” 5:30 p.m., Health Education Building Room 105 on Health Science Campus. The free, public forum is hosted by the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women.
• Saturday, Feb. 29 — Ujima Day of Service, 10:30 a.m. Volunteers will meet in Thompson Student Union Room 2500 for breakfast and then volunteer at the MLK Kitchen for the Poor, the Ronald McDonald House and the Beach House Family Shelter. Ujima is one of the seven principles of Kwanza and stands for collective work and responsibility. “Ujima means to build and maintain our community together and to make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together,” Young said.
For more information and to RSVP for these events, email the Office of Multicultural Student Success at firstname.lastname@example.org.