UCLA Black Alumni Newsletter
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Shirlee Smith



Shirlee Smith is known as the "Queen of Common Sense."  This queen of common sense has grown tired of a society that permits kids to run the household, because she knows adults ought to be in charge. As simple as this seems, it's a controversial issue that leads to spirited thinking and dialogue on her show, in her workshops, at public speaking engagements, in her newspaper column and wherever she encounters parents.


Shirlee graduated from UCLA as Departmental Scholar in Sociology and has been helping families in the community for more than 20 years. She is a former appointee to the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families and a former appointee to the Los Angeles County Adoptions Commission.  A proven leader, Shirlee graduated the CORO Leadership Program for Women and later received the Congressional Recognition for Women In Business. As an opinion columnist, she received the first place Journalism Award from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club for Personal Commentary.


Although she has received many honors throughout her life, Shirlee's children are her pride and joy.  As a single parent she raised four children who all went on to become college graduates, and has been a foster parent to her daughter Brandi (age 18) since she was born. She also has three grandchildren and is a great-grandmother. Shirlee has been a foster parent to more than 12 special needs infants and in 2006, she was honored for her commitment and dedication to children with the Angel in Adoption Congressional Award.


She is the host and producer of an award-winning cable TV show, "Talk About Parenting with Shirlee Smith"  where she provides information on how to address parenting issues, teaches parents how to access benefits and resources, and shares insights on how to improve and strengthen the family. In addition, Shirlee develops materials to support parents and is also the author of "They're Your Kids Not Your Friends" and the Spanish version, "Son tus Hijos no tus Amigos."


Shirlee says, "When it comes to parenting, there's no such thing as an expert. There are certainly those who claim to be, but basically they are long on research and real short on time in the trenches." 


To learn more about the show and Shirlee's work, please visit



To contact Shirlee, please email shirlee@talkaboutparenting.org


We celebrate Shirlee Smith. GO BRUINS!

We love to recognize our fellow Bruins who are making an impact in their communities and in their careers.

If you or someone you know could be a candidate for UBAA recognition in our monthly newsletter, please email  info@uclablackalumni.org as soon as possible. Briefly describe what you do, your UCLA graduation year, etc.

NOTE: You must be a UBAA member to be recognized. If you are not, becoming a member will be required and should be done online: www.uclablackalumni.org.

Thank you!


ONCE A BRUIN, ALWAYS A BRUIN                        UCLA Bruins Logo

Do you know anyone dismissed from UCLA?

Help change that reality. The Bruin Readmission Program is designed to allow access to campus resources for academically dismissed UCLA students.

BRP, like SRRP, is a collaboration between College Academic Counseling (CAC), the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) and the Campus Retention Committee (CRC). Through group and individual learning, the program helps dismissed students build the skills and confidence necessary for success while regaining their admittance to the university. Please help us spread the word.

For more info:  

Questions? Call Mia at (310) 267-4348
Mia Watson Retention Advisor - UCLA Community Programs Office (CPO) 310.267-4348 | Phone       310.206.3175 | Fax
mwatson@cpo.ucla.edu  | Email


bunche logo 




Thursday, October 20, 2011 12 Noon Haines Hall 135 Bunche

Center Authors' Series: Erin Aubry Kaplan, Writer & Journalist
Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista  

You can read more about UBAA Board Member Erin Aubry:


Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12 Noon UCLA School of Law - Room 1357 Bunche Center Authors' Series

Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women

Mignon Moore, Associate Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies, UCLA Co-sponsored with the UCLA Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and the UCLA Department of Sociology

Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible-gay women of color-in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, the book explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status. Overturning generalizations about lesbian families derived largely from research focused on white, middle-class feminists, Invisible Families reveals experiences within black American and Caribbean communities as it asks how people with multiple stigmatized identities imagine and construct an individual and collective sense of self. To RSVP, please call 310-267-4382.


Read it today to get the latest information about what's happening at the Bunche Center. It's available on the website: www.bunche.ucla.edu 



UCLA Magazine Online


Here is the direct link to the latest UCLA Magazine article chronicling UCLA's Black Filmmakers of the 60s and 70s.


"Cinematic: Remember the Rebels"




Thank you for joining us and showing your committment to continuing our legacy at UCLA.  UBAA celebrates its members!  BEACH 3  


  • Louis Chitty  
  • Celeste Byrd 
  • Annamarie Francois 
  • Benita Osbey  
  • John Caldwell  
Have you graduated from UCLA and said, "I want to be more connected to UCLA's Black Alumni and be more involved"? 

Well, here is your chance! You can do this by becoming apart of a volunteer committee. We need your help and would love to have you. See the list below. If YOU are INTERESTED in ANY of these committees, email us at info@uclablackalumni.org. Thank you!

Denette Boyd
Committees Where You Are Needed:  

1. Volunteers - Helping to organize and locate volunteers for various events throughout the year

2.  Fundraising - Helping to raise money for UBAA events and scholarships

3. Marketing - Finding innovative ways to publicize UBAA events and activities

4. IT - Helping to serve the technological needs of UBAA 

5. Membership - Helping to bring more Bruins together  

6. Campus & Community Relations - Keeping UBAA informed and engaged with campus activities that specifically affect Black Bruins

Issue: 10  



Greetings Bruins,

I'd like to begin with a special thanks to those Alumni who attended the 2011 Black Convocation. It's so important that the next generation witness our presence on campus, be inspired and know that we are there to guide and support them through their educational journey. Thank you fellow Alum!

UBAA Board Member Erin Aubry Kaplan has been featured in the UCLA Magazine Online where her work as an author and journalist are highlighted. Go to the UCLA Campus News section of this newsletter to read more about her accomplishments and next appearances at UCLA. 

Get ready to mix and mingle Friday, October 28th at our annual Fall Mixer 2011! Held at Phillipe Chow's in West Hollywood and co-hosted with Black N LA, this will be another fantastic time with other Black Bruins. All are welcome!

Don't forget that our Fundraising Dinner Gala honoring deserving Bruins will be February 4, 2012. This event will not only help to sponsor UBAA and our scholarship program but will also benefit the Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. The Bunche Center needs our continued support and we want you all to get involved, get your tickets early and spread the word!  


Remember, making a one-time donation or donating just $10 per month or more online can help us to succeed in our commitment to our UCLA legacy. Go to www.uclablackalumni.org to donate or to become a UBAA member.


Be a part of the Black Bruin Movement.

LaMonica Peters
UBAA President


                             Mark Your UBAA Calendar



October 7- December 17  


L.A. RUcla Film LA Rebellionebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema


Billy Wilder Theater. Tickets: $9; free to all UCLA students; $8 for other students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members. For more information, visit  


http://www.cinema.ucla.edu or call (310) 206-FILM.   


To read more about these film screenings & lectures:


October 18


Library Associates Author Reading with Erin Aubry Kaplan   

UCLA Library 4pm - 6pm            


Erin Aubry book cvr 

Los Angeles journalist and columnist Erin Aubry Kaplan will discuss her book Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista, a collection of essays, features, and literary pieces exploring the contemporary African American experience.


Kaplan has written about African American political, personal, economic, and cultural issues since 1992. She is a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times op-ed section and was the first black columnist in the paper's history. She has been a staff writer and columnist for the LA Weekly and has contributed to BlackAmericaWeb, Black Enterprise, Essence, the Independent, Ms., Oxford-American, and Salon, among others. In 2001 she won the PEN USA journalism award and in 2008 won the Center for the Study of Political Graphics's Historian of the Lions award.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kaplan holds a BA in English and an MFA from UCLA.  


For more information or to RSVP, visit

For more information on other readings, visit


October 28


Phillipe Chow L.A.UBAA Fall Mixer  

Phillipe Chow on Melrose    

6pm - 10pm      

FREE and open to the public   


Happy Hour Specials all night - $7


Join us at one of L.A.'s hottest spots for networking and fun. Co-hosted with premier Los Angeles event planning group BlackNLA, expect great cuisine, great people and a great time!    


Phillipe Chow     

8284 Melrose Ave

West Hollywood, CA 90046





February 4, 2012


UBAA Dinner Gala

Sheraton - Downtown Los Angeles

711 South Hope Street

Los Angeles, CA 90017


Reception/Registration - 6pm

Dinner & Program - 7pm 




GO TO  www.uclablackalumni.org/application.php

Thanks for your support!


We need several volunteers to serve on the UBAA Dinner committee. Our dinner is scheduled for February 2012 with Honorees to be announced. Those with planning experience are especially needed. Please reply to info@uclablackalumni.org with Dinner Volunteer in the subject line.


UCLA: The First Century

It's the 1st in-depth history of UCLA in over 40 years.

If you order your book now, you get $20 off!




The UCLA Alumni Association has launched BruinWorks, an online, interactive network exclusively for UCLA graduates. This dynamic site allows alumni to connect professionally and personally. BruinWorks is a UCLA graduate's most valuable resource. Go to www.bruinworks.com now!     


Alumni Mentors 

Interested in Being an Alumni mentor to a UCLA Black Undergrad Student? Sign up to be a mentor through ASP's African Brothers and Sisters Mentorship Program. Info and application are below.


The directions to submit the application are as follows:

1) Download the application at this URL address:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B8s1uv-mXeI2YjhjZjBlZWUtYWEzYS00ZTVlLWExYjQtMDA1N2MzZDdmMWVl&hl=en&authkey=CLCSuaYF 2) Fill out the application

3) E-mail the completed application to africanbrothersandsisters@gmail.com or print it and turn in the hard copy to ASP cubicle located in Student Activity Center Room 105


Renew Your Dues Today

Please renew your membership online at www.uclablackalumni.org. Your membership helps us to assist alumni, students and the community. Annual Membership is only $50. Thank you!

We have created an UCLA Black Alumni page on the linkedin.com website. If you would like to connect with other Black Bruins in a professional networking environment. We will add job postings as they become available to us!
View our profile on LinkedIn

Reconnect with other UCLA Black Alumni Association. 
Find us on Facebook 
We are on twitter.com @BlackBruinAlum.
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