Each year Johns Hopkins' Black Faculty and Staff Association hosts a fall leadership welcome reception to bring together its members as a new academic year begins. This year the guest list expanded as university leaders—administrators, faculty, staff, students, and representatives of employee resource groups—were also invited to the early evening festivities, which took place Oct. 26 in Scott-Bates Commons on the Homewood campus. Formerly known as Charles Commons, the facility was recently renamed to honor trailblazers Frederick Scott, a 1950 Engineering alum, and Ernie Bates, a 1958 Arts and Sciences alum, who were two of the university's first Black undergraduates.
Among those from JHU and JHM joining the newly elected executive board and members of the BFSA were university President Ron Daniels, who addressed the assembled group; recently arrived Provost Ray Jayawardhana; Katrina Caldwell, chief diversity officer; James Calvin, associate dean for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Carey Business School; leaders from the Black Graduate Student Association; and Vivien Thomas Scholars. Also speaking at the event, which drew more than 100 attendees, was BFSA President Jerrell Bratcher, a senior special events coordinator in the Whiting School of Engineering and a former principal gifts officer in Development and Alumni Relations.
The BFSA was founded in 1995 by seven Black faculty and staff members from different departments to help ensure the fair and equitable treatment of Blacks at JHU. Its mission is to help foster a culture of oneness by serving as an advocate for promoting and enhancing identity and professional welfare and growth, and to be a critical resource for the continued success of Johns Hopkins in pursuit of its objectives toward an inclusive community.