2020 Students and Alumni of Color Symposium

May 08 2020
By Graduate Admissions Office

Students & Alumni of Color (SAOC), a student-led organization at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, held its 24th annual symposium on April 29, 2020, via the Zoom online platform.

SAOC's mission is to bring together students and alumni of the School to promote racial diversity, establish productive mentoring relationships, discuss ideas relevant to the social, political and professional development of students of color, and support the social and political development of the wider community.

In spite of social restrictions due to COVID-19, this event highlighted the importance of continued social action and strategic leadership during these uncertain times. Featuring alums Christina Henderson (MPA ’12, Candidate for DC Council At-Large), Angel Padilla (MPA ’13, National Policy Director, Indivisible), Shasti Conrad (MPA ’15, Chair, King County, Washington Democrats), Ricky Hurtado (MPA ’15, Candidate for North Carolina House of Representatives), Deni Taveras (MPA ’03, County Council Member, Prince George's County), and hosted by Clark Wheeler and Sujata Rajpurohit (MPA ’21), this symposium focused on “Political Representation in the Time of COVID-19.”

Panelists addressed topics on diverse representation in the political process, coordinating efforts towards political representation across communities of color, and re-engaging people and communities who have “checked out” with the political process. Underscoring the transformative nature of civic engagement, panelists spoke from positions of power and experience.

Although this symposium was conducted virtually, the passion and significance of becoming active participants in our democracy were palpable. The message was resounding: Get involved. Vote for your beliefs. Engage your community in the political process. And make your voice heard. 

We are tremendously proud of our students and alumni who are leading our communities and nation with a heart for public service.