Alumni Features, University Resources Honor Black History Month

By Melissa Graham  |  February 9, 2021

Alumni Spotlights

Named Plano Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 2017, Kanvin Ravin MPA’08 has built a successful 20-year career as a police officer through his outgoing personality and penchant for problem-solving.

Shy Amos BA’09, MS’11, MBA’17 launched her career as a spoken word artist in 2011 using the business acumen she gained as a student at UT Dallas. Under the stage name ShySpeaks, Amos performs across the Metroplex at conferences and events.

As a student, Brian Beck-Smith BS’05 used his skills to teach pre-calculus, calculus and linear algebra through the Academic Bridge Program. Now, he’s the lead teacher of the Future Comets program and a math teacher at DeSoto High School.

Ciara Elle Bryant BA’16 uses her platform as a mixed-media artist to show how Black bodies are portrayed in the media and bring awareness to systemic racism. Last fall, Bryant became the second Black female artist to be shown at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Although she didn’t grow up dancing, Candace Galbreath BS’15, MS’16 turned what started as a hobby into a profession when she worked her way onto the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers.  

University Resources

On Friday, Feb. 12, the School of Arts and Humanities will host a roundtable discussion titled “Teach-in: Living Legacies of White Supremacy at UT Dallas & Beyond” beginning at noon. The discussion, which will take place via Microsoft Teams, will cover the history of racism and white supremacy in urban Texans through a conversation with distinguished historians. 

For information on the origins and psychology of prejudice, as well the importance of student activism, you can listen to Comets Discuss. The podcast, produced by the Office of Communications at UT Dallas, features conversations with UT Dallas faculty and staff. Its second series on prejudice includes eight educational episodes.

In a virtual speaker series event last fall, the Student Union & Activities Advisory Board (SUAAB) featured Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors in a Q&A about her activism and how others can fight racism. Read an overview of the discussion.

In its annual workshop, the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Dallas featured an impactful conversation on how inclusion is perceived in organizations and how bias is experienced. “Bias Barriers: Allyship, Inclusion and Everyday Behaviors” can be viewed here.