The 2020 First Generation Celebration will be a campus-wide tribute to the often-unsung contributions and achievements of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who were the first in their families to enter higher education.
“As more and more First-generation students, faculty, and staff, continue to flood college campuses, we must celebrate our cultural and social capital,” said Dr. Shatoya Black, coordinator of the TRIO/Student Success program, which oversees the celebration. “Academic and student affairs professionals and faculty play a vital role in shaping and developing students and each other.”
Under the theme, Hidden Figures–Power of LEGACY (Leadership, Education, Growth, Advocacy, Community, Yielding), the virtual celebration will be from November 2-6. Hosted by the University College TRIO program, the event is sponsored by University College and Enrollment Management and Academic Services (EMAS).
“In many ways, first-generation students and professionals are hidden due to lack of access and inequalities, yet they bring so much social and cultural capital to campus,” said Black. “We want to find a way to create spaces for first-generation students and professionals to share resources, insights, strategies, and support in building commUNITY.”
More details regarding access to the First Generation Celebration events are available on Redbird Life.
November 2: Hidden Figures
The celebration will kick off with a welcome from University College TRIO, followed by a presentation from Illinois TRIO President DeAndre Butler. Presenters will then highlight first-generation professionals around the Illinois State campus.
November 3: First Generation Vote
November 3 is a statewide holiday for the elections. All students are encouraged to take part in the democratic process. Information on voting, including early voting on campus (October 26-30), can be found on the Voter Guide.
First-generation students are encouraged to wear their Illinois State gear, and post pictures of themselves after voting with the hashtag #ISUFirstGenVote.
November 4: Lead with LEGACY–ISU Professionals
Workshops through the day will be hosted by first-generation campus professionals. A Legacy Lunch via zoom will celebrate Illinois State professionals who are first-generation in higher education.
November 5: Lead with LEGACY–ISU First Generation Students
A Lunch with Leadership will be from noon-1 p.m. via Zoom. Students will have the chance to connect with first-generation professionals in leadership and have conversations in different breakout rooms led by the leader.
The Dean of Students Office LEAD team will facilitate a mixer for ISU and TRIO first-generation students from 4-6 p.m. Breakout sessions will focus on “How your identity is an identity of leadership.”
November 6: LEGACY and Community
November 6 will mark the unveiling of the implementation of a new TRIO First-Gen Podcast and the launch of a new combined affinity group to connect first-generation professionals and alumni.
There will also be a workshop for first-generation students on “The Impact of Owning Your Narrative” facilitated by Phoebe McLean, an academic advisor for the TRIO program. Pre-college, college, professionals, and community members are welcome.
Registration for all activities is available on Redbird Life. Those with questions can contact Dr. Black, program coordinator of TRIO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.