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A Letter from the BLN President




January 2021

Hello University of Houston faculty, staff, and students! 

Happy new year and welcome to the first day of Spring 2021 classes!
We are definitely living in interesting and uncertain times.  Last March when we all moved to working remote from home most of us thought it would only be for a few months and things would be back to normal. Here we are now into a new year and COVID-19 is still here, we are continuing to wear masks, frequently washing our hands, practicing social distancing and there are challenges in the distribution of the vaccine in many of our communities.

Although there have been many challenges, I am very proud to announce that The Black Leadership Network had another very productive year and we are looking forward to more opportunities to serve our faculty, staff, students and the community in 2021.  BLN’s mission statement is to “Support and celebrate the inclusion and progress of UH System Black faculty, staff, students, alumni and community.” 

Due to COVID-19 BLN transitioned to virtual zoom meetings and events in March, which has tremendously increased awareness of BLN and participation.  The expansion of membership across all the University of Houston System campuses to include UH, UH Clear Lake, UH Downtown, UH Sugarland and UH Victoria campuses has helped increase membership virtually! 

In 2020 BLN made several significant achievements including:

  • Extending Monthly General Body Meetings through the Summer
  • Hosting the Voter Education & Awareness Campaign
  • Holding the FY21 Annual Election
  • Hosting BLN UH System Membership Drive

Yes – all done virtually!

I am also very pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Black Leadership Network Executive Committee officers; MJ Jackson Vice President, Shanta Hamilton Treasurer, and Joy Thomas, Faculty Affairs Chair. We do have a few vacancies that we expect to have filled shortly.  I would also like to welcome our new BLN Board Chair Chief Ceaser Moore. Please visit the BLN website for a listing of all board directors. Elections will be held in April 2021 to allow eligible members to vote on new officers and board positions for the upcoming FY22 fiscal year.

The new BLN directors and executive officers have outlined new goals and initiatives for BLN to include:

  • Increase Employee Membership & Participation
  • Offer Student Membership & Participation
  • Award Student Scholarships
  • Increase Donations & Fundraising Efforts
  • Expand Communications & Awareness 

I have served as the President of the Black Leadership Network for the past five years and am amazed at the continued growth and development over the years.

BLN is here to serve our UH System faculty and staff and provide opportunities for our students.  But in order to so we need your help in letting us know what is important to you.  Please read the BLN monthly newsletters and visit the BLN website at ( to learn more about who we are and what we do.

We are continuing to make changes on the website; therefore please make it a point to visit the BLN web site frequently in order to review current information.  Please contact us via email at to share any upcoming events, ideas, or issues that you feel BLN can help with.  

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Please plan to join us the first Tuesday of the month for our BLN general body meetings online. Again, thanks to all those who continue to support the Black Leadership Network and please join BLN and help us help you! We look forward to continued support of our faculty, staff and students this year.  

Be safe!


Debbie Samuels