Watch: BEAD'S 2023 Black History Month Luncheon

Over 80 staff, faculty, and students attended the annual Black History Month Celebration hosted by Black Employees as Drexel (BEAD) with the theme Permission to Be. The celebration included staff, faculty, and student performers and speakers who shared their insights and talents connected to the theme. Drexel President John Fry offered remarks and an inspiring keynote speech was shared by Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Education and Director of the JOY Lab in Drexel’s School of Education. Attendees also had an optional remote lunch experience, with meals catered by a local Black owned restaurant available for pick up at the Center for Black Culture. Watch the full program above!


  • Ahaji Schreffler, BEAD President: Welcome
  • John A. Fry, Drexel University President: Remarks
  • Jonecia Lewis, Associate Director, Diverse Alumni Engagement: Black National Anthem
  • Kimberly Gholston, Chief Diversity Officer: Remarks
  • Kaisha Blackstone, Assistant Teaching Professor, Music Industry: Permission to Be Creative
  • Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Education: Keynote Address
  • Katelyn Odom, Drexel student: Poem
  • Onyekachi “Kachi” Abonu, Drexel student: Beyoncé’s "Listen"
  • Robia Smith-Herman, Therapist and BIPOC Specialist: Permission to Be Well
  • Allen Riddick, BEAD Vice President: Closing

Watch (Drexel sign-in Required)