The Black National Anthem
“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee;
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our GOD,
True to our native land
By James Weldon Johnson
(June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938)
Originally written by Johnson for a presentation in celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. This was originally performed in Jacksonville, Florida, by children.
Keynote and Honoree
Jennifer Jones Austin, Esq.
CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA)
A fourth-generation leader of faith and social justice, Jennifer Jones Austin fights for equity. As CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member agencies and faith partners, she has led and secured monumental changes in social policy to strengthen and empower the disenfranchised and marginalized. Jennifer brings to her work a profound understanding of the link between race, poverty, law and social policy in America, and the role religion plays.
Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of the United Way of New York City; the City of New York’s first Family Services Coordinator; Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services; Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer; and Vice President for LearnNow/Edison Schools, Inc.
Ms. Jones Austin chaired the NYC Racial Justice Commission, the first of its kind in the nation, where she led the development and passage by the New York City electorate in 2022 of three unprecedented proposals to amend the city’s charter to dismantle structural racism and embed racial justice and equity in all government functions. She has chaired several other influential boards and commissions, including the Mayoral Transition for Bill de Blasio, the NYC Board of Correction, where she presided over the promulgation of rules to end solitary confinement; the NYS Supermarket Commission; the NYC Procurement Policy Board; and the Community Engagement for Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez’s Justice 2020 Initiative.
She was lead advisor for NYC Full Day UPK Expansion in 2014-2015, and a lead advisor for the NYPD Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of National Action Network; member of the Feerick Center for Social Justice Advisory Board; member of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Advisory Board at Harvard University; Commissioner for the Close Rikers Commission; Commissioner for the 400 Years of African American History Commission; and member of NYS Governor Hochul’s Interfaith Council. Recently, she was a member of the COVID-19 “Roll Up Your Sleeves” Task Force created to ensure vaccine information and equitable access in Black and Brown communities, Visiting Scholar for the New York University Silver School of Social Work, and Scholar in Residence at Alliance University’s Center for Racial Reconciliation.
Jennifer co-hosts WBLS’ “Open Line”, guest hosts weekly the nationally syndicated radio program, “Keep’n It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton”, and appears frequently on the cable show, “Brooklyn Savvy”. She is a returning guest and contributor on the “Karen Hunter Show”.
Jennifer Jones Austin is the author of Consider It Pure Joy. Described as “a story that if not lived would make for a great novel”, it is the harrowing account of her year-long battle with a sudden, life threatening illness, and the power of faith and community to transform desperation into joy. She is the editor of God in The Ghetto: A Prophetic Word Revisited, the re-release of her father, William Augustus Jones Jr.’s seminal work deconstructing the “System” of racism, capitalism and militarism all working in concert to continually oppress people of color. Jones Austin is also the co-author of “Race and Reform: A Seat at the Table” in the soon to be released Leadership Reflections: How to Create and Sustain Reforms in Children and Family Services.
Ms. Jones Austin is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Rutgers University. A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including two honorary doctorates, she considers the eight honors bestowed upon her by her three alma maters especially significant.
Jennifer has two children and resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband.
12 pm, Dining Hall
Attend QC’s MLK Day Open House to learn about degree programs, admissions and financial aid options. Students will have the opportunity to speak with faculty and counselors.
Open to all transfer students, high school seniors and juniors, and families.
President Frank H. Wu
President Donovan Richards
Queens Borough President
Queens College Student Association President
Special Video Presentation Honoring Dr. King, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner
QC Black Student Union President