We Will Rise Summit We Will Rise Summit
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Summit Welcome & Opening Remarks

Simone A. Francis is the Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Engagement in the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Office of the Executive Director, Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She identifies as a West Indian educator and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner grounded in community and creative practice. She aims to celebrate the phenomenal work of Black creatives and utilize her skillset to facilitate meaningful community building efforts amongst students, organizations, and social-justice driven groups. At her core, she believes that telling Black stories and amplifying Black narratives gives us the tools for radically reshaping our futures and driving social change.

Simone is the Founder of Anansi Creative Studio, an organization that centers authentic storytelling, community centered practice, creative expression, and (re)imagination as tools for building stronger communities and inclusive spaces, and offers unique cultural and educational engagement opportunities for a wide range of audiences with storytelling and creative expression at the core. She is also the Curator of reIMAGINED, a digital platform housed within Anansi Creative Studio, that celebrates the beauty and boldness of Black creatives. 

She currently serves on the Directorate Boards of the Pan-African Network and the Coalition of Multicultural Affairs in the American College Personnel Association. She has worked in local and international environments, including schools such as Indiana University, Stanford University, NYU, and NYU Shanghai in China. Beyond her various roles in the education world, you can find Simone caring for her plant babies, cooking, traveling, and vibing to reggae, dancehall, soca, and old school r&b. She enjoys stillness, quiet, and the solitude necessary to clear her mind and engage in deep reflection. 

Watch the recording here. Password: =JT74hiJ

Welcome to the We Will Rise Summit! 

Join us for opening remarks by Simone A. Francis, Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Engagement, to honor the land our Berklee Boston campus resides upon, welcome community members to the summit experience, and learn more about this year's Black History Celebrations. 

This opening features a wonderful performance by Berklee College of Music student, Romarna Campbell.