Inside our September/October issue

September 1, 2020 at 6:04 pm 3 comments

Aside from the global pandemic, the summer of 2020 will be remembered for the nationwide protests against systemic racism and violence against Black Americans. Mindful of that context, we approached our September/October issue as a platform for Black alumni, students, and faculty to share their experiences and perspective.

Our cover story features former Nittany Lion and NFL defensive end Aaron Maybin, now an artist, activist, and teacher in his hometown of Baltimore. Maybin “went viral” in the winter of 2018, when a video he posted from a freezing elementary school classroom sparked outrage over the city’s inability to provide for the basic needs of its children. That moment amplified the local activism he’d been immersed in since the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody, work that remains as relevant as ever. Maybin’s story begins on p. 40.

Also inside: We asked 11 Black alumni from the 1960s to today to share memories of their time on campus. That collection of alumni voices begins on p. 46. And we convened a roundtable discussion with faculty from Penn State’s African American Studies department to discuss the past, present, and future of the civil rights movement, connecting the dots between a fight that most consider a long-ago historical moment, but which these professors explain as an ongoing battle for equality. That feature begins on p. 30.

We’ll also introduce you to Tyla Swinton, the incoming president of the Black Law Student Association (p. 14); hear from Alumni Association president Randy Houston ’91 on the value of allyship and advocacy; and learn from a recent grad what it’s like trying to cover the summer of protest for Time magazine (p. 96). All that and much more in our September/October issue, arriving in mailboxes soon.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor


Entry filed under: From the Magazine.

Heroes Among Us “Defending Freedom is Not Easy”

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dick Brown - EMS '60  |  September 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    I am really looking forward to this issue. It is addressing a very timely topic that, belatedly, is getting attention by our political leaders and our society in general. The challenge is to continue to direct attention to such societal concerns that we can really make headway in correcting our historic shortcomings.

  • 2. Sandra Feather  |  September 14, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Just read th whole issue this weekend, Great stories. Thanks Sandy Feather, DEM Penn State Scranton

  • 3. Darryl Daisey  |  September 25, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS to editor, Ryan Jones, and the Penn Stater staff on creating such a bold and informative issue, whose message needs to be heard now more than ever. I just completed reading the entire issue and believe it can help give all Penn Staters some insight into the challenges and barriers that Black Penn Staters have faced. The issue also articulates the desires and efforts to make sure “We Are..” includes all of us.

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