2020-2021 PAN Chair:
Steven Johnson, Jr.

Greetings, all – 

Reconvening at the annual convention is one of my favorite times of the year! I know that in this space I will be affirmed in my personal and professional identities, develop in meaningful ways through active participation in convention programs, and make intentional connections with other practitioners and educators. As you connect within and outside of the Pan African Network (PAN) spaces, I hope that you also will feel reinvigorated, reenergized and restored. 

I first connected with PAN at the 2014 ACPA Convention in Indianapolis, IN, and later joined the network following the 2017 ACPA convention in Columbus, OH. When I was afforded the opportunity to share my vision and goals for PAN at last year’s convention, I shared the ways in which I felt inspired by connecting with so many Black professionals who were masterfully pursuing their passions, charting their own paths and purposefully serving in their home communities. At program sessions, networking events, and even in local restaurants, I encountered Black professionals who helped me to feel welcomed and valued at convention. The sense of pride and togetherness that I felt in those moments encouraged me to become more involved both in the association and also in my campus community.My hope is that your existence as a Black professional will be affirmed through your engagement with PAN leadership, members, and other conference attendees.

Further, that you feel a sense of community throughout convention and beyond. As I prepare for my transition into the role or chair for the network, I continue to think about ways to prioritize community and togetherness. As such, it is a goal of mine to remain connected with you, and encourage your participation and collaboration in the functions of our work this year. Reflecting on our two most previous convention PAN themes, “Radical Black Love” emphasized the recognition and celebration of our varied experiences within the Pan African diaspora, honoring that there is no ‘one black experience’ and that all are welcome to come as they are. “NextUp” highlighted the power of community and mentorship, and focused on a shared responsibility in developing the next generation of leaders and educators in the field.

Building on these themes, I am excited to introduce our 2020-2021 PAN theme: “re·CALI·brate (rēˈkalibrāt/).”
By dictionary definition, recalibrate describes the act correcting or adjusting the graduations of something that measures, in comparison to a certain standard. In thinking about recalibration in the context of PAN, I encourage us to evaluate our work, ensuring that we are honoring the history of our network, working in congruence with our mission and value, evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our membership.

Further, I embolden us to think about our individual journeys in the field, reflect on what inspired us to pursue this work, and fervently follow our passions with this new alignment.As our values outline, PAN endeavors to accomplish its purpose through educational leadership, collaboration, fellowship, advocacy, professional development, and mentoring. This work can (and should) be a collective effort and I thank you in advance for your partnership. I am eager to connect with you soon!

 

Yours In Radical Black Love,

Steven Johnson, Jr.

2020-2021 Chairperson

ACPA Pan African Network