MSU held its 48th Annual Pan African Conference

Minnesota State hosted its 48th Annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Conference between Feb. 29 and March 1. The conference, named in honor of bell hooks’ essay “Homeplace: A Site of Resistance,” offered a variety of sessions.

Director of African American Affairs BalenciaSariah Crosby and assistant professor Danielle Scott both orchestrated the event, from the theme of this year’s conference to the keynote speakers. According to Crosby, they were able to work with the Pan African advisory council at MSU.

Crosby and Scott started working on the conference in July 2023. 

“Bell hooks was a phenomenal author and leader, and their writings still ring true,” said Crosby. “But this essay was important specifically because it really captures the purpose, I believe, of this work that we’re doing with the conference. This conference comes in, and it’s not widely accepted by a number of people at the institution or the community.”

According to Crosby, the essay “Homeplace: A Site of Resistance” offered something to everyone. Therefore, the main theme of the conference was intentionally named after the bell hooks’ work.

There were over 250 attendees over the days of the conference. Crosby said five groups from the community, each of which had 25 to 30 people, attended the sessions.

“We pulled every single chair that was off on the side for the breakfast and crafting area later in the afternoon,” said Crosby. “This way we made space for more guests to come.”

The conference offered a variety of sessions, including featured speakers. The keynote speaker this year was Mayor Nadia Mohamed, who is the first Somali-American mayor in the United States. 

“Mayor Mohamed graciously accepted the invitation to come and serve as keynote speaker,” said Crosby. “One of the main things that we wanted to do was to highlight and emphasize honoring black women to the 10th degree, so we went above and beyond to not only seek out and acquire and bring them onto the campus but also honor them as a way of giving her her flowers, is what we called it.”

Crosby said Mayor Mohamed was pivotal to the programming. 

“What they stand for, what they’re doing, what they’ve done prior to this appointment and served as the mayor of St. Louis Park, is admirable,” said Crosby. “It’s something that we wanted everyone to continue to know about.”

Some of the many topics discussed during the conference were Anti-Black Racism as a Social Determinants of Health by Danielle Scott, Herstory, Goddesses and the African Women’s Role in the Age of Aquarius by William Commodore and Cultivating Belonging for BIPOC in Queer Spaces by Zeke Sorenson. Additionally, Crosby said this year’s Pan African Conference involved more student leaders to help organize and participate in the event.

“This conference was made possible by many hands and I want to give a special thanks to the Pan African advisory council, including faculty, staff and phenomenal students who week after week, month after month, and then the days of the program were there from start to finish, helping to lift this mode,” said Crosby. “It has been a privilege and honor to serve alongside them in this capacity.”

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

One thought on “MSU held its 48th Annual Pan African Conference

  • danielsebold

    It would interesting to know what Doctor Fagin has to say about Hillary’s Wiki-leaked letters of her involvement in the overthrow of Kadhafi and the You Tube video of her cackling over his death by having knives shoved up his bum: “He came. He saw. He died.”

    It was the African Tawerghans from near Misrata who were slaughtered in mass from Hillary’s armed militia turning Libya into the African slave state it is today. So you know why she so badly wants Julian Assange dead.

    We can’t tolerate leaders who reject the almighty Dollar as did Khadafi with his attempt to create a pan African currency. Libya had the strongest economy in Africa when Khadafi did. It should be interesting to see what happens to the Dollar with the loss of this war in Ukraine, the result of the genocide in Israel and the coming BRICS system. American military dominence is coming to and end. The SWIFT system may well become as irrelevant as the Dollar giving a new dimmension to American multiculturalism. God forbid we would have to take care of our poor instead of sending all our money out of the country.
    The French will have to leave Africa, probably already have. I am sure CNN will let us know.

    Daniel Sebold
    English/Spanish alumnus and ’91 Gulf War vet writing from Islamic Ahemnabad, India.


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