The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Virtual speaker series to celebrate African American History Month

Virtual speaker series to celebrate African American History Month - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Kimiya Factory and Valerie Reiffert will be the two local Black women activists discussing their personal lives, how they are both active in the community, and both of their views on the 2020 election. Flyer Courtesy of Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Office of First-Year Experience.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio will host “Being Black in the USA: The Crowns We Wear”  as part of its speaker series in honor of African American History Month.

Coordinated by the Office of Common Experience, the live speaker session will be at 5:30 p.m. March 10 on Zoom. 

There will be no deadline to attend this event. It is open to the public as well as students, faculty and staff of A&M-San Antonio. To RSVP, students should visit JagSync to register and receive the Zoom link:

“I’m excited for me as a Black woman. I’m getting to see another person speak about their life and how they overcome it, how they got engaged and that can inspire me. That I can inspire others, not just black women but anybody to be engaged” Beyonce Lane, nursing junior and engagement peer leader said. 

The two speakers, Kimiya Factory and Valerie Reiffert, will discuss their lives as local Black activists.  

Factory is president of the Black Freedom Factory in San Antonio. The organization aims to construct “a more racially and socially just society by cultivating racial equity across San Antonio,” according to the group’s website. The group offers resources and services such as mentorship, advocacy, anti-racism training and consulting.  

Reiffert is a founder of Radical Registrars, a grassroots collection of Volunteer Deputy Registrars with a mission of increasing voter registration rates and voter participation in elections through awareness and education.

“Our reach for this semester is voting, civic engagement and these women hold an important role in the community with getting the people involved in voting, activism.” Lane said. “We just want to touch base on their personal lives, getting a little background information on how they got involved in activism and for advice on how to do activism in our community.”

“The Crowns We Wear” is an addition to a speaker series A&M-San Antonio hosts every semester. The importance of this event is to create inspiration for the small percentage of Black students on campus among every staff member, professor or member of the community to get involved in civic engagement.  

Common Experience is part of the university’s Office of First-Year Experience. 

For more information, email First-Year Experience at or follow on social media for updates on the event at @tamusafye.  

About the Authors

Michele Stockton
Michele Stockton is a Communications senior with a minor in Kinesiology-Coaching at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. When not studying, she works part-time at Fairfield Inn and Suites. Her life is happily consumed by her three sons and husband, who she does freelance work for his professional football career since 2018. She plans to use her degree in sports public relations following graduation.
Lauryn Maldonado
Lauryn Lexi Maldonado is a communications junior with a minor in psychology at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Palo Alto College. In her spare time she enjoys music and is a food lover. She plans to continue her work in higher education following graduation.

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