Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cave Hill Campus co-hosting conference in Memory of Sir Frank Worrell

The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Frank Worrell becoming the first Black captain of the West Indies cricket team in a complete test series, and of the famous "Tied Test" with Australia, in his first test as Captain.

In honour of this anniversary and in memory of Sir Frankl, the Third International Conference on Sport, Race, and Ethnicity will be held at The University of the West Indies Cave Hill, from July 15 to 18, 2010.

The conference will be co-hosted by the Academy of International Sport at George Mason University, Virginia, USA, and the CLR James Centre at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.

Frank Worrell Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott -The 3W's
Frank Worrell Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott -The 3W's

Uploaded on April 3, 2008 by faisal_c © All rights reserved.
The conference, under the theme "Beyond Boundaries - Race and Ethnicity in Modern Sports", is being held in Barbados, the birthplace of Sir Frank and many other great West Indian cricketers. These include Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Conrad Hunte, the late Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes.

In recognition of all these events, the UWI will hold two special panels:

-1. The Legacy of Sir Frank Worrell

-1. Assessing Africa¹s First World Cup
The UWI has also chosen a number of relevant conference themes including, but not limited to the following: Sport, social inclusion and reconciliation, Race, Ethnicity and Migration, Race, Ethnicity and Performance, Coaching and the management of sport, Sports Tourism, Key Moments in sports history related to race and ethnicity and Sports and Cultural Expression.

Presenters, who submitted papers to be part of the conference, will be informed of their acceptance no later than February 28, 2010. However, presenters who wish to have their papers considered for the collection published by Fitness Information Technology Press in the United States of America should submit these in full, by June 30, 2010. Editors are John Nauright, Alan Cobley, and David Wiggins.

The UWI has also noted that 2010 is a significant year, as it is also the 200th anniversary of African-American Tom Molineaux¹s title fight against White Englishman, Tom Cribb; as well as the 50th anniversary of Abebe Bikila¹s win, in the Marathon at the Rome Olympics - the first Olympic Gold Medal won by a Black African athlete. In addition, a young Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) won a Gold Medal in boxing at the Rome Olympics, while Wilma Rudolph became the first African American to win three gold medals in athletics in a single Olympics and apartheid South Africa competed for the last time. Moreover, 2010 marks two sporting events unimaginable in 1960, a tour of the West Indies by the South African national cricket team, and the holding of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

For Release Upon Receipt - January 28, 2010, Cave Hill. Contact * Office of Public Information * Tel.: (246) 417-4076 * Email: The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, Tel: (246) 417-4000, Fax: (246) 425-1327

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama Back in Swing as 'Teacher-In-Chief,' Say Movement Experts

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The President Obama who delivered the State of the Union Address was one not seen for a while, say movement experts Professor Karen Bradley of the University of Maryland and Professor Karen Studd of George Mason University.

The experts describe him as a teacher instructing a class, and then morphing into the guise of a principal forbidding students to engage in shenanigans.

Based on his physical movement and non-verbal communication, "He was back in the swing," Bradley and Studd add.

"Whereas in Obama's other recent appearances we've seen tenacity and constraint, during the State of the Union Address we saw resilience and strength. Where recently we've seen grimaces, during this address he smiled, openly and directly, at those who oppose him. He was upbeat, impactive, at times gravely serious and at other times lightly potent," say the two experts.

Professor Karen Bradley

Professor Karen Studd
See their complete analysis below.

Karen Bradley, associate professor of dance, is the director of graduate studies in dance at the University of Maryland and the director of research for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York.

Karen Studd, associate professor of dance at George Mason University, is director of the Modular Training Program in Laban Movement Studies.

Both are Certified Movement Analysts.


Karen Bradley, University of Maryland. 202-669-3927(cell)

Karen Studd, George Mason University, 703-786-5271.

Neil Tickner, UM Communications. 301-405-4622

Lincoln University to Honor Founders

[Jefferson City, MO] Lincoln University will honor its founders on Thursday, February 11, during the Founder’s Day Convocation. The program begins at 11 a.m. in Richardson Auditorium. Dr. Gary Kremer, Executive Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri will deliver the keynote address.

Dr. Kremer, a student of the African American history pioneer Dr. Lorenzo Greene, earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Lincoln University. A former member of the history faculty at Lincoln University, he is also currently the Director of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, a repository of primary source materials for the four University of Missouri campuses. He has authored, co-authored and co-edited ten books, including George Washington Carver; In His Own Words (1987); James Milton Turner and the Promise of America; the Public Life of a Post-Civil War Black Leader (1991); and Missouri’s Black Heritage (1993).

Dr. Gary Kremer

Dr. Gary Kremer is the executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. Before coming to the University of Missouri, Kremer taught history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City and William Woods University in Fulton. Between those academic appointments, he also served as Missouri's state archivist.

Faculty and staff members who will retire this year, as well as employees with 25 years of service at Lincoln University, will also be recognized during the Founder’s Day program. In addition, the Fingers/Tippin Family will receive Family of the Year Honors. ###

Founder's Day Convocation, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 28, 2010, Contact: Misty Young, (573)681-6032

Lincoln University - 820 Chestnut Street - Jefferson City, Missouri - 65101, 573-681-5000

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep Your Lamps Burning

CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien taps her foot in time and softly sings along with the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church Children's Gospel Choir as cherubic preschoolers join the honeyed voices of their older brothers and sisters, captivating a capacity crowd in Ira Allen Chapel. Gathered in celebration of the work of Martin Luther King Jr., the music captures the message of O'Brien's keynote speech. As the gospel song intones, "Keep your lamps trimmed and burning 'til your work is done."

"I don't believe in getting angry," O'Brien says before the event. "What are you aiming at? Go get that accomplished." Her power as a speaker reflects that attitude. O'Brien's mother, she says, got mad -- threw plates even -- so she takes a gentler persuasive tact, one based in her experience as a mixed-race first-generation American with black, Cuban, Australian and Irish roots; studying King's speeches, his private papers and interviewing his closest advisers; reporting on disaster both natural and societal.

Soledad O'Brien

"The only way you can lead effectively in a challenging environment is to serve," said Soledad O'Brien at her Jan. 26 speech in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. "By being a serving leader, (King had) the authenticity, the consistency, and ultimately the authority and his message came through." (Photo: Rajan Chawla)
This talk, the highlight of a week of events designed to explore King's ongoing relevance, was heavily shadowed by the earthquake and its aftermath in Haiti, where O'Brien was working just days ago. President Fogel, in his introduction, indirectly evoked circumstances there when he quoted from the Reverend Andrew Harris, found to be UVM's first African American graduate, class of 1838 (not George Washington Henderson as previously believed), in a speech he gave before the 1839 meeting of the American Antislavery Society:

"'If the groans and sighs of the victims of slavery could be collected, these walls would tremble, these pillars would be removed from their foundations, and we should find ourselves buried in the ruins of the edifice.'"
The connection between slavery in the U.S. and the current crisis in Haiti is one O'Brien would likely find apt. She was quick to point out that the earthquake was merely one event in a long history of human neglect.

The failure of Haiti as an infrastructure is a hundred years old," she says. "Haiti did not happen in a vacuum. They have a government that fails them. You cannot ignore a country for so long and then be surprised when there is a price to pay."

According to O'Brien, pre-earthquake Haiti had an 85 percent unemployment rate, 60 percent of the population had no access to healthcare, an estimated 225,000 children were working as slaves, farmed out as household help.

"As we sit and watch the pictures," she says, "we have to ask ourselves, 'Are we okay with this?'"

The current problems -- and solutions -- that O'Brien sees, beyond Haiti to what she deems a crisis in the education of young blacks and Latinos, are intimately connected with her close analysis of King's writings and of his unique characteristics as a leader. She views King as a shepherd, leading his people by serving, by example, by being as courageous and willing to suffer as he expected them to be.

"The only way you can lead effectively in a challenging environment is to serve," says O'Brien. "By being a serving leader, (King had) the authenticity, the consistency, and ultimately the authority and his message came through.

O'Brien clearly states that King's goals went deeper than feel-good relations between blacks and whites. She is purposeful in quoting pieces of his "I Have a Dream" speech that go beyond the easy and familiar. From that same speech she quotes King:

"The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges." And, "The negro has come to our nation's capital to cash a check."

King wanted, she notes, economic justice and justice before the law. And he believed in the ongoing fight, even as he foreshadowed his own death in his Memphis speech the day before his assassination. Personalizing that same confidence, O'Brien tells the story of her parents, their races making marriage illegal in Maryland where they both attended Johns Hopkins University, friends telling them, after they married in another state, not to have children at least.

But they had six and persisted in a faith in this country that went beyond their present reality, being spat upon on the street, even years later having a daughter told by a Harvard adviser to drop her major because blacks and women don't do well in physics. She didn't listen either. Now she's a Ph.D. and an M.D.

Their parents had told them, says O'Brien, "America is better than this. We won't settle for it because the goal is greater and when the goal is greater the risks are greater. Just because people tell you that you won't succeed doesn't actually have any correlation to whether you will succeed or not."

And so O'Brien is staunch about the morality of service. She says that was clearest to her watching the grim effects of inaction during Hurricane Katrina with an overwhelming sense of abandonment of people.

It recalls for her Dante's quote, "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."

"Think about that," she says. "There is nothing worse than doing nothing and saying nothing when your voice is needed. Even the perpetrator of something bad is less bad than the person standing by who has an opportunity to speak or to act and chooses not to."

In O'Brien's channeling of King, a world where some people fail is a world that has failed. "There are talkers and there are doers," she says. "Which are you? Which am I?"

Release Date: 01-27-2010 Author: Lee Ann Cox1 Email: LeeAnn.Cox@uvm.edu2 Phone: 802/656-1107. Fax: (802) 656-3203

Monday, January 25, 2010

Navy Names Ship For Renowned Howard Surgeon and Blood Pioneer Dr. Charles Drew

The USNS Charles R. Drew will be christened on March 27.

WASHINGTON (Jan. 24, 2010) -- Dr. Charles Drew, the former chair of the Department of Surgery at Howard University College of Medicine who saved an untold number of lives through his pioneering work with blood, is being honored by the U.S. Navy with a ship.

Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter recently announced that a 689-foot, 42,000-ton Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ship, T-AKE 10, will be named the USNS Charles R. Drew in honor of the physician and medical researcher whose pioneering work led to the discovery that blood could be separated into plasma.

Dr. Charles Richard Drew, M.D., C.M., MED. D.Sc.The model for blood and plasma storage developed by Drew in the 1930s and 1940s -- separating the liquid red blood cells from the near solid plasma and freezing the two separately -- has saved millions of lives over the years and is the same process used today by the Red Cross.

Drew's system for the storing of blood plasma, the “blood bank,” revolutionized the medical profession.
When America went to war in 1941, Drew was named as director of the blood bank for the National Research Council, collecting blood for the U.S. Army and Navy. He established the American Red Cross blood bank, of which he was the first director. Drew also organized the world's first blood bank drive, nicknamed "Blood for Britain."

In 1942, he returned to Washington, where he became head of the College of Medicine’s Department of Surgery and chief surgeon at Freedman's Hospital.

The following year, he became the first African-American surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery.

A year later, he was elevated to Freedmen Hospital’s chief of staff and medical director, a position he held until 1948. While still at the College of Medicine, he was killed in an automobile accident in 1950 on the way to a medical conference in Tuskegee, Ala.

Dr. Bernard Kapiloff, who graduated from the College of Medicine in 1945 and was an assistant fellow in surgery and surgical assistant under Drew, applauded the award.

“He’s worthy of anything and everything this country can give him,” said Kapiloff, 92, a retired plastic surgeon and Baltimore resident who also taught at the College of Medicine for more than 15 years. “It’s amazing that his work on blood plasma was his Ph.D., thesis. He saved many lives, and he established the department of surgery, as far as I’m concerned.”

While still at the College of Medicine, Drew was killed in an automobile accident in 1950 on the way to a medical conference in Tuskegee, Ala.

Dr. LaSalle Leffall, one of the world’s most prominent cancer surgeons, first black president of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons and a long-time professor at the College of Medicine, was a member of the last class that Drew taught.

“He was an excellent teacher, and he had a reputation among surgical residents and patients as an excellent surgeon,” said Leffall, who has taught over two-thirds of the more than 7,500 College of Medicine graduates.

“He had a saying, ‘Excellence of performance will transcend artificial barriers created by man.’ What he was talking about was discrimination. That is a message that I have carried with me all of my life.”

Winter announced that three other new Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ships are being named in honor of American explorers and pioneers.

The ships will be named after U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry (1794-1858), aviation pioneer Navy Capt. Washington Chambers (1856-1934) and William McLean (1914-1976), a Navy physicist who developed the heat-seeking Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

The four ships are being built by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The ship named for Drew will be christened March 27, and Leffall will speak at the ceremony.

Howard University, 2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059, Phone: 202-806-6100 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Ron Harris, Director of Communications. Office of University Communications 202.683.0182

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Former boxing champ, entrepreneur George Foreman to meet with students, participate in public panel discussion

LAWRENCE — Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and internationally known entrepreneur George Foreman will visit the University of Kansas on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Foreman will take part in a panel discussion and book signing and visit with students in the McNair and Multicultural Scholars Programs while on campus.

The Heavyweight Boxing Symposium will take place at 7 p.m. at the Kansas Union ballroom. It is free and open to the public. Foreman will be joined on the panel by George Kimball, a renowned boxing journalist and KU alumnus, and Robert Rodriguez, associate director of KU’s McNair Scholars Program and lecturer in Latin American studies. Rodriguez, a boxing journalist, will begin the program with “A Heavyweight for the Ages: George Foreman,” a presentation about Foreman’s extraordinary life and boxing career. Rodriguez will incorporate his own photos and writings.

George Foreman

George Foreman
Kimball, a longtime boxing writer for the Boston Herald and author of the recently published book “Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing,” will follow with “The Last Great Heavyweight Rivalry: Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton,” a discussion of Foreman and great heavyweight boxers of the 1970s.

Kimball’s book quickly became the best-selling boxing book in the United States, Great Britain and Ireland. Named one of the top 10 sports books of the year by the American Library Association, it is the subject of a documentary film currently in production.
In 1986, Kimball was awarded the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, the highest honor for boxing writers.

“He has covered most of the great boxing events of the past three decades,” Rodriguez said of Kimball.

Foreman will then present “From Heavyweight Champion to Knockout Entrepreneur,” an overview of his transition from a heavyweight boxer to a successful businessman. A short question-and-answer session will follow, then all three panel members will sign copies of their books. Oread Books will have copies for sale of Foreman’s “Knockout Entrepreneur,” Kimball’s “Four Kings” and “American at Large,” for which Foreman wrote the foreword, and Rodriguez’s “The Regulation of Boxing: A History and Comparative Analysis of Policies Among American States.”

Foreman first entered the public spotlight when he won the Olympic boxing gold medal in 1968. He won the heavyweight championship in 1973 with a knockout victory over Joe Frazier. He then lost the title to Muhammad Ali in 1974. In 1977, he retired and dedicated his life to his ministry. Foreman returned to boxing in 1987. In 1994, at age 45, he became the oldest man to win the heavyweight title when he knocked out Michael Moorer.

After his boxing career, Foreman perhaps became more famous for his invention, the George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. The grills sold millions of units and spawned a whole line of related products.

Rodriguez, who organized a boxing symposium at KU for Hispanic Heritage Month featuring John Ruiz, the first Latino world heavyweight boxing champion, said he wanted to host a similar event during African-American History Month. He added that Foreman’s career longevity and duality compelled him to invite him to campus.

“When I ask students if they know who George Foreman is, they say ‘of course, he’s the grill guy,’ ” Rodriguez said. “But he had an extraordinary boxing career before that.”

While at KU, Foreman will visit with students in the McNair Scholars Program and Multicultural Scholars Program. The McNair program works to prepare low-income, first-generation college students and underrepresented minorities for doctoral studies. The Multicultural Scholars Program recruits students from underrepresented backgrounds for a variety of majors and provides resources and support for them to be successful students and professionals.

Foreman’s visit and the panel discussion are sponsored by the McNair Scholars Program, Multicultural Scholars Program, Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity, Oread Books, Genovese Restaurant, the Oread and Coca-Cola.

Media advisory: Foreman, Kimball and Rodriguez will be available to media from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Paul Adam Lounge in the Adams Alumni Center, 1266 Oread Ave. -30-

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

Jan. 22, 2010, Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Her Story: Margo Humphrey. Lithographs and Works on Paper

surveys the career of the renowned printmaker Margo Humphrey. Works representing more than 40 years of the artist’s practice will be on view from February 4 through March 12, 2010 at the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland. Her Story was jointly curated by the Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Robert E. Steele, and curator, Dr. Adrienne L. Childs. On Thursday, February 4 between 5:00 and 7:00pm the Driskell Center will present the public opening of the exhibition and a discussion between Margo Humphrey and Dr. Childs. These events will be held at the Driskell Center’s gallery, 1207 Cole Student Activities Building, at the University of Maryland.

The works presented highlight more than 45 years of artistry by one of America’s most unique talents. Margo Humphrey’s bold, expressive use of color and freedom of form defy the two dimensionality of the printmaking medium, creating a body of work that is engaging, exuberant and alive.

The Last Bar-B-Que, 1987. Lithograph

The Last Bar-B-Que, 1987. Lithograph
Through personal narrative Humphrey takes the viewer on a voyage of self-discovery that chronicles her life, loves, family, fears, joys and more. Although often intimate and idiosyncratic, Humphrey’s personal stories can be linked to the political dynamics of the feminist art movement that emerged in the 1970s during her early years of development as an artist and printmaker.
Her lithographs The Last Bar-B-Que (1987) and The History of Her Life Written Across Her Face (1991) have become iconic images in American visual culture, demonstrating her ability to capture aspects of a larger African American cultural experience through personal memory, confessional, and a unique symbolic language.

Her Story features works on paper in a variety of media including lithography, monoprint, woodcut, etching and drawing. This array of works demonstrates the extraordinary skill Humphrey developed as one of the earliest African American female artists to distinguish herself as a lithographer in a highly technical, male dominated profession. She eventually produced prints at some of the most important printmaking ateliers in the Nation including Tamarind Institute, The Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper (now the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions) and Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop

Born in Oakland, California in 1942, Margo Humphrey was an artist from birth. She went to public schools in Oakland and graduated from California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) with a BA. She received an MFA from Stanford University in 1974 and taught art at University of California Santa Cruz from 1974 to 1982. Humphrey is currently a professor of Art in the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she has been since 1989. Humphrey’s works have been exhibited internationally in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa; she has held grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Her works are in the Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, among many others. Humphrey lives in Hyattsville, Maryland where she continues to work.

The illustrated monograph Margo Humphrey, by Adrienne L. Childs, Volume VII in the David C. Driskell Series of African American Art, will be available for sale. Published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc. independently of the exhibition, the book presents over 45 color palates from the artists early experiments in abstraction to groundbreaking lithographs in her signature “sophisticated naïve” style. The text includes a foreword by David C. Driskell and a text by Adrienne L. Childs that considers the memories and events that have inspired her powerful body of work.

Her Story is one part of a year of programming by the David C. Driskell Center that celebrates the contributions and significance of African American women artists. The year will culminate in two special events, Autobiography/Performance/Identity: A Symposium on African American and African Diasporan Women in the Visual Arts, March 5 and 6, co-sponsored by the University of Maryland University College and the Ninth Annual Distinguished Lecture in the Visual Arts in Honor of David C. Driskell featuring Elizabeth Catlett on April 15, 2010.

The David C. Driskell Center celebrates the legacy of David C. Driskell – Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector and Curator – by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. The Driskell Center is committed to preserving, documenting and presenting African American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African American art. This exhibition is supported, in part, by a special fund from the Office of the President at the University of Maryland, and a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

All exhibitions and events at the David C. Driskell Center are free and open to the public. The facility is wheelchair accessible. The Driskell Center Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 11:00am to 4:00pm with extended hours on Wednesday until 6:00pm. The Driskell Center observes all University of Maryland closings including snow days and holidays. For further information regarding this exhibition and future activities at the Driskell Center, please call 301.314.2615 or visit

NEWS RELEASE, Date: January 21, 2010. Contact: Ms. Dorit Yaron. Title: Deputy Director. Phone: 301.405.6835. Email:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Depressed African American dads less likely to spend time with kids

Treating depression may be an important means to help dads play a more active and positive role in their kids’ lives.

African-American fathers who do not live with their sons and who suffer from depression are less likely to spend time with them, according to a University of
Michigan study.

Dads who don’t live with their children can still have a positive impact in their kids’ lives however, and treating their depression could help them play a more active and positive role in their lives, says U-M pediatrician R. Neal Davis, M.D., a fellow with the Child Health Evaluation and Research unit and a lead author in the study which appeared in the December issue of Pediatrics.

Depressed African American dadsDavis and his colleagues analyzed data for 345 participants in the Fathers and Sons program, which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program is for pre-teen boys and African-American fathers who did not live with their children.
The program’s goal is to prevent unhealthy behaviors in adolescent boys by increasing positive involvement with their fathers. Data collected from those participants found that 36 percent of fathers in the program suffered from moderate depression and 11 percent had severe depression.

Researchers found that fathers with depressive symptoms were up to three times more likely to report lower levels of contact with their preteen sons. They also had less closeness, less monitoring of activities and higher conflict in relationships with their sons.

The findings are significant because children who don’t have positive father involvement are at higher risk of mental health conditions, such as depression, and unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, drug use, sexual activity, and not taking recommended medicines.

"Addressing paternal depressive symptoms may lead to increased support and protection for many children and adolescents at increased risk for adverse health and health behaviors," Davis says.

In the last few years, many responsible fatherhood programs have been established in communities around the United States. These programs should include efforts to identify and follow up on fathers’ depressive symptoms, he adds.

Because African American fathers who do not live with their sons can still have a positive impact on them, health care providers should recognize that and try to understand factors that influence their involvement, such as depressive symptoms, he adds.

Additional authors: Cleopatra Howard Caldwell, PhD, Sarah J. Clark, MPH, Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, all of the University of Michigan

Journal reference: DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0718

January 20, 2010 Media contact: Margarita Bauza. E-mail: Phone: 734-764-2220

Monday, January 18, 2010

Civil Rights Pioneer Diane Nash to Speak Feb. 4 at Ohio Wesleyan University

Nash Spearheaded Nashville Sit-In Efforts in 1960, Contributed to 1963 March on Washington.

DELAWARE, OH – In 1960, 21-year-old Diane Nash and other Nashville residents quietly began to challenge the exclusionary racial policy of the city’s downtown lunch counters. February marks the 50th anniversary of their now-legendary sit-ins, which elevated the struggle for racial equality to a new level and set the stage for the civil rights crusade of the 1960s.

Nash will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Benes Rooms of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Her presentation, “The Civil Rights Movement: A Fifty-Year Perspective,” will include time for audience questions, and is free and open to the public. Her presentation kicks off the university’s commemoration of Black History Month.

Diane Nash

Diane Nash, a leader of the civil rights movement, will speak Feb. 4 at Ohio Wesleyan as part of the university’s celebration of Black History Month.
Photo courtesy of Diane Nash
“Ms. Nash is a towering figure in the freedom struggle,” said history professor Michael Flamm, Ph.D., who is coordinating her Ohio Wesleyan visit. “She provides a personal and inspirational perspective that no textbook or lecture could. I hope everyone comes to hear her speak about her extraordinary life and her timely thoughts on civil rights and race relations in the 21st century.”

In spring 1960, Nash publicly questioned Mayor Ben West about the morality of segregation, resulting in his pronouncement that Nashville’s lunch counters should be open to everyone. She then helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, through which she planned and publicized lunch counter sit-ins and “freedom rides” throughout the South.

In 1962, while living in Mississippi, Nash was jailed for teaching African American children the techniques of direct nonviolent protest.
Her ideas and efforts were instrumental in 1963’s March on Washington, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Later, she helped to develop the strategy for the Selma, Ala., right-to-vote movement, which led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For her efforts, Nash received a “Rosa Parks Award” from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, presented in 1965 by Dr. King himself.

Nash has earned countless additional honors throughout her lifetime, including a “Distinguished American Award” from the John F. Kennedy Library in 2003. Her work also has been discussed in books including “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice” by Raymond Arsenault and “Freedom’s Daughters: A Juneteenth Story” by Lynne Olson.

In addition, Nash has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” NBC’s “TODAY,” and in Spike Lee’s film “Four Little Girls.” She also has appeared in the award-winning documentary “A Force More Powerful” and the PBS series “Eyes on the Prize,” a 14-hour television documentary chronicling the American civil rights movement.

Nash’s Ohio Wesleyan visit is co-sponsored by the Department of History, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Union on Black Awareness, Sagan Fellows Fund, and Joseph and Edith Vogel Lecture Fund.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Black History Month commemoration also will include a Poetry Slam hosted by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. The poetry slam, free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Bishop Café on the lower level of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 45 states and 39 countries.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Northwest commemorating Martin Luther King Day

Maryville, Mo. – Northwest’s Office of Intercultural Affairs will host a series of discussions on Monday, Jan. 18 to mark the national holiday honoring the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

There will be no classes on Monday, and university offices will close in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Monday in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room, students at the Intercultural Affairs office will be compiling care packages for area shelters. Students also be watching the documentary “A Great And Mighty Walk,” which chronicles the life and times of the African-American historian, scholar and activist John Henrik Clarke.

Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Dr. John Henrik Clarke
At 11:15 a.m., in the Student Union Ballroom, the students will lead discussions covering four topics – the academic achievement gap; sustainability; religion, radicalism and security; and poverty. Students will then brainstorm innovative solutions for each issue.

Although King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, his birthday has been observed as a national holiday on the third Monday of each January since 1986.
King was a Baptist minister who helped lead the American civil rights movement during the 1950s and ’60s. He is remembered for leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, which dramatically raised public consciousness about civil rights and established King as a world figure. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

For more information about the Martin Luther King Day events, contact Ame Lambert, director of intercultural affairs, at 660.562.1517 or

For more information, please contact: Mark Hornickel Media Relations Specialist
E-mail: Phone: 660.562.1704, Fax: 660.562.1900. Northwest Missouri State University, 215 Administration Building. 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lawyer Who Argued Against Brown Had No Regrets

The outcome of Brown v. Board of Education cemented the American government’s condemnation of institutionalized segregation. How, then, could a man argue on behalf of a state that made “separate but equal” a matter of official policy, even as he himself acknowledged that the tide of public morality was flowing away from it? How could he reconcile his personal disgust with segregation with the task of defending its enabler? How could he sleep?

Utah Valley University History Professor David Wilson says there would be no regrets, no shame, no embarrassment. It was just a job. And Wilson would know, the assistant attorney general for the state of Kansas who argued on behalf of his employer before the United States Supreme Court in that fateful case, was Paul E. Wilson, his father.

Opinion in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 08/31/1951

Opinion in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 08/31/1951
“Of course he was happy to take the case,” David says from his office in UVU’s Liberal Arts building, surrounded by stacks of kitschy memorabilia and American history books. “It had nothing to do with segregation. It had to do with a 36-year-old lawyer who was something of a hayseed getting to argue in front of the Supreme Court.”

One book chronicling the case called the elder Wilson, who went on to have a distinguished legal career and became a law professor at the University of Kansas as “by Eastern standards… a hayseed.” The characterization didn’t chafe Paul Wilson, though, as the arguments he gave before the highest court in the land were the first he had ever made in an appellate court after spending years operating a tiny, rural practice.
In 1998, not long before his death, Paul Wilson returned to the Supreme Court chambers to reminisce and relive the great case at the invitation of the Supreme Court Historical Society. His introduction at that event – from no less than Supreme Court Justice David Souter — painted a glowing picture of a man who, at the end of the day, was a consummate professional and dedicated litigator.

“What do we make of the lawyer who argued not the cause that history has made popular, but the cause that it has so signally marked as unpopular?” Souter asked.

The judge posited that such a lawyer would “reconcile his duty to put client’s best foot forward with his duty to serve the court” and have “respect for reasonableness and respect for truth.” “When judges dream,” he said, “they dream of lawyers who look at their job as Professor Wilson has described.”

That description, which Souter quoted from Wilson’s book on the case “A Time to Lose: Representing Kansas in Brown v. Board of Education,” describes Wilson’s duty to separate his personal feelings from his professional duty.

“As a human being applying personal standards of conscience and rationality, I felt that the position of the state of Kansas was indefensible,” Wilson wrote. “At the same time, I did not regard my personal view and bias as relevant. The issue was one of law. Brown afforded me an opportunity that few lawyers of my generation have enjoyed: The privilege of supplying info to the Supreme Court of the United States to be considered in deciding one of the most important cases in American judicial history.”

The younger Wilson said it was never an emotional stumbling block for him to grow up in the household of a man who was asked to defend segregation policies. He knew a father who was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was the head of what David called one of the “more liberal” households in Kansas at the time.

“I really didn’t know much about it growing up,” David says. “I did know that he was active in Head Start programs and housing projects in Lawrence (Kan.) when there were civil rights questions.”

Instead of the case relegating him to infamy, it provided Wilson with the chance to rub shoulders with some of the era’s finest litigators, including South Carolina attorney and one-time presidential candidate John W. Davis, who acted as the lead attorney for the defense in the Brown lawsuit. In fact, when Wilson was inducted into the Supreme Court Bar, it was Davis who sponsored him.

Wilson only entered the high court once more – for his 1998 presentation – but his reflection on the importance of Brown v. Board of Education and his role in it crystallized later in his career. He clung to the “naïve belief that, in the long run, history is just,” and that his role was that of a lawyer doing his duty to represent his client in the light of the law. Nothing more, nothing less.

“That the court found the arguments of my adversaries more favorably than mine does not, in my view, reflect unfavorably on my character or the quality of my advocacy,” he wrote. “The lawyer takes his cases as they come to him. He creates neither the facts nor the law. His job is to see that the forum is right, the issues are properly drawn and that the court is fully and fairly informed as to his client’s view of the facts and his understanding of the law. I did those things as well as I could.” ###

January 14, 2010 For Immediate Release. For more information: David Wilson (801) 863-6916. University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Alex Strickland (801) 863-6351

Friday, January 15, 2010

Farai Chideya to Speak at Scripps College In Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

CLAREMONT, Calif. (January 15, 2010) — In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Farai Chideya, provocative author, broadcaster, and sociopolitical pundit, will speak at Scripps College on Tuesday, Jaunary 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Balch Auditorium. Her talk is part of the Alexa Fullerton Hampton Speaker Series: Voice and Vision. A book signing and reception will follow the event in the Hampton Living Room, Malott Commons. The event is free and open to the public.

Farai Chideya has combined media, technology, and social justice during her 20-year career as an award-winning author and journalist. Most recently, she hosted News and Notes, a daily national program about African-American and African diaspora issues.

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya
Chideya has received awards for her commentary, including a National Education Reporting Award, a North Star News Prize, and a special award from the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association for coverage of AIDS. Chideya has also been a correspondent for ABC News, anchored the prime-time program Pure Oxygen on the Oxygen women's channel, and also worked for CNN, BET, Fox, MSNBC, and Newsweek.
Chideya has written four books: Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters; The Color of Our Future; Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans, and a novel, Kiss the Sky, which was an Essence Magazine book club selection for May 2009. Chideya was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated with a BA from Harvard University, magna cum laude, in 1990.

Chideya's talk takes place during the inaugural year of Scripps College's eighth president, Lori Bettison-Varga. This year, Scripps College has selected the theme "The Genius of Women." Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, guest speakers, writers, scientists, artists, and other thought leaders will engage students and faculty in discussions about the transformative power of genius, and how creative and intellectual genius are so essential in today's changing world, especially from women, for women.

For more information about the event, please contact the Malott Commons Office at Scripps College: (909) 607-9372, or visit the Web at:

The Alexa Fullerton Hampton Speaker Series – Voice and Vision was established through the generous bequest of Scripps College alumna Alexa Fullerton Hampton '42. The series brings a broad range of renowned presenters and artists to Scripps College each year to share their unique voice and vision, as well as to enlighten and inspire the audience — exposing them to new ideas and perspectives.

For Immediate Release, Media Contact at Scripps: (909) 621-8280 E-mail:

Pitt to Host Jan. 19 Lecture by Mae Jemison, First African American Woman Astronaut to Travel in Space

Lecture is part of a weeklong series of events honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and sponsored by Pitt's Black Action Society

PITTSBURGH-American astronaut and physician Mae Jemison, most notably known as the first African American woman to travel in space, will be the featured speaker during a University of Pittsburgh Black Action Society (BAS) event titled “Dr. King's Legacy: A Call to Action.” The presentation-at 8:45 p.m. Jan. 19 in Room 120 of David Lawrence Hall, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland-will be part of a series of free Jan. 15-21 public events honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. A meet-and-greet and question-and-answer session will be part of the evening's activities.

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison
Becoming the first Black woman in space, aboard the shuttle Endeavor in 1992, was just one of Jemison's many accomplishments. Prior to joining NASA in 1987, she worked in the Los Angeles area as a general practitioner with the INA/Ross Loos Medical Group. She then spent more than two years as an Area Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia. On her return to Los Angeles, she worked as a general practitioner with CIGNA Health Plans of California.
Jemison was a NASA astronaut for six years. As the science mission specialist on the Endeavor flight, she conducted experiments in life and material sciences and was a coinvestigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission.

After leaving NASA in 1993, Jemison founded The Jemison Group, Inc., a technology design and consulting firm, and the BioSentient Corporation, a medical technology firm. She also established and currently chairs The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and has directed the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries. She is an A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and was a professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

A Chicago native, Jemison entered Stanford University at the age of 16 and earned a BS degree in chemical engineering and fulfilled the requirements for a BA degree in African and Afro-American Studies; she went on to earn her MD at Cornell University Medical College. Among her awards and honors are election to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and induction into the National Medical Association Hall of Fame. She has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates, including Doctor of Humanities from Princeton University. Her book “Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life” (Scholastic Press, 2001), written for teenagers, features autobiographical anecdotes about growing up.

Other events in BAS' weeklong series include a Unity Brunch, an Interfaith Service, an oratory contest, and a citywide day of service. For more information about these events, visit

In addition to BAS, other Pitt sponsors are the Pitt Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Cross Cultural and Leadership Development Office (CCLD), Dean of Students Kathy Humphrey and the Division of Student Affairs, and the University of Pittsburgh Chaplaincies.

For more information, contact Jacquett C. Wade, coordinator of CCLD, at 412-648-7834. ### 1/15/10/amm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Patricia Lomando White, 412-624-9101 (office); 412-215-9932 (cell)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

UGA professor studies link between stress, drug use vulnerability in African Americans

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia counseling psychology professor Ezemenari M. Obasi believes that the interaction of the environment and one’s genetic makeup can increase drug use vulnerability in rural African Americans.

Obasi has received a two-year $471,683 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to conduct research that examines the link between stress and the risk of drug addiction among rural African Americans.

“African American drug use and abuse behaviors are often characterized by oversimplified models that are rooted in research studies that rarely include them,” said Obasi, a Fellow in UGA’s Institute of Behavioral Research and an assistant professor in the College of Education’s department of counseling and human development services.

Ezemenari M. Obasi, Ph.D.

Ezemenari M. Obasi, Ph.D.
There are a wide range of risk factors related to drug addiction, from personality traits, personal history and genetic disposition to environmental stressors, said Obasi. He questions whether those risk factors are universal, predictors of all people or group-specific.In this study, he will investigate the possibility that chronic stress is a risk factor experienced by African Americans.

Such stressors experienced by African Americans residing in a rural community include low socioeconomic status, educational attainment and experiences of discrimination.Counter to popular beliefs, African Americans have a very low drug use rate in comparison to other ethnic groups.
Unfortunately, they tend to disproportionately suffer from the negative consequences associated with drug use—including cancers, organ failure, contraction of HIV/AIDS, diminished mental health and treatment in the criminal justice system.

The study will look at two main questions including whether one’s genetic makeup interacts with environmental variables to affect physiological responses to acute stress and whether stress dysregulation—the inability of the body to return to a normal state after it experiences stress—predicts drug-related attitudes, craving and history of drug use.

Participants will be recruited from rural counties throughout the state of Georgia.Some of the measured variables will include genotype, hormones, autonomic nervous system responses (heart rate variability and skin conductance), chronic environmental stressors, implicit drug-related cognitions, drug craving and drug use history.

The study will ultimately initiate a multidisciplinary program of research aimed at investigating the impact of the relationship between genetic makeup and environment on drug use vulnerability.According to Obasi, such research is needed in order to inform theory, research, prevention and intervention efforts aimed at the elimination of health disparities that disproportionately impact the African-American community.

The Hwemudua Alcohol and Health Disparities Laboratory, an experimental laboratory developed by Obasi and used to explore the biological, psychological and social pathways concerning the intersection of alcohol use/abuse and health disparities impacting Africans/African Americans residing in the United States, will serve as the setting for this research.

Obasi is working on a research team that was recently awarded a five-year, $5.9 million Core Center of Excellence grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the ways genetic tendencies combine with family and community environments to predict drug use and abuse and risky sexual behavior among children, adolescents and young adults. The team is headed by Gene H. Brody, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Child and Family Development in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Obasi joined the UGA faculty in 2008.He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Ohio State University. ##

Writer: Genevieve di Leonardo, 706/542-5889, Contact: Ezemenari M. Obasi, 706/542-4792, Jan 13, 2010, 14:57

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Study finds NFL's Rooney Rule does little to help minority head coach hiring

Black head coaches are few and far between in the NFL, with only six African-American head coaches currently leading one of the 32 teams despite vigorous league-wide efforts to increase diversity.

But a new study by University of Iowa researchers finds little evidence of discrimination in the promotion of assistant coaches to head coach. Moreover, the study suggests the NFL would do better to focus on recruiting African-Americans into positions as entry-level position coaches if it wants to increase the number of black head coaches.

"The results suggest that race is not an important factor in promotion decisions for head coaches," said John Solow, an economics professor in the UI's Tippie College of Business. "However, experience, age and performance as an offensive or defensive coordinator are significant factors for NFL teams."

John Solow

John Solow
Solow's paper, "Moving On Up: The Rooney Rule and Minority Hiring in the NFL," was co-written with Benjamin Solow, his son and an Iowa graduate now attending graduate school at the University of Bologna in Italy, and Todd Walker, an economics professor at Indiana University.

Their study looked at the impact of the NFL's Rooney Rule, a league requirement since 2002 that NFL teams with a head coaching vacancy interview at least one minority candidate.
While some view the lack of minority representation among head coaches as evidence of discrimination because 75 percent of the league's players are African-American, Solow said his research doesn't bear out that NFL teams are engaging in racially biased promotion practices. Only a small percentage of NFL head coaches had significant careers as players; most went into coaching shortly after playing in college.

He and his co-investigators looked at every promotion of a top-level assistant coach -- meaning an offensive or defensive coordinator -- to fill a head coaching vacancy in the league from the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 through 2008. Although teams sometimes hire head coaches from the college ranks, Solow said that most head coaching vacancies were filled from the ranks of offensive or defensive coordinator positions. During those years, 80 seasons were played by teams with African-American head coaches, compared with 2,058 team seasons headed by white coaches.

From the coordinator group, Solow said teams most value the combination of youth and experience when assessing head coaching candidates. During the study period, the mean age of a first-year head coach was about 49, with 13 years of professional coaching experience.

"And, as expected, their success as a coordinator was also an important factor," he said. "Coaches with good records get promoted, those with bad records don't. NFL teams want to win, so they hire the candidate who gives them the best chance to win."

Given this, he said the Rooney Rule's focus is misplaced if the league wants to increase the number of minority head coaches. Coordinator positions are usually filled from lower-level position coaches, so Solow said a better option for the NFL would be to work to recruit African-Americans into positions as positional coaches. That way, he said they develop the experience and leadership ability as they work their way up the coaching ladder that NFL teams look for in a head coach.

Unfortunately, the Rooney Rule applies only to head coaching vacancies so it has little effect on filling positions where it's most important. At the start of the 2009 season, only 12 minorities held one of the league's 67 coordinator positions, a mere 18 percent representation in the pool from which most head coaches are selected.

"If the league introduced African-American coaches into the front of the pipeline instead of at the end, more of those coaches would have the experience teams are looking for and be more likely to be hired as head coaches," Solow said. "By encouraging minorities to think earlier in their careers to consider coaching when their collegiate playing careers end, the NFL could increase the number of minority assistant coaches generally and ultimately, their representation among head coaches."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),

UCSF study finds African-Americans bear disproportionate burden of smoking costs in California

African Americans comprise six percent of the California adult population, yet they account for over eight percent of the state’s smoking-attributable health care expenditures and 13 percent of smoking-attributable mortality costs, according to a new analysis by UCSF researchers.

In order to provide an objective picture of the disproportionate economic burden of tobacco use for African American Californians, the UCSF team assessed data from 2002, including health care costs related to smoking and productivity losses from smoking-caused mortality. Study findings are published in the January 2010 issue of the “American Journal of Public Health.”

cover of the AJPH January 2010 issue

cover of the AJPH January 2010 issue
“California has one of the most comprehensive tobacco control programs in the world, and smoking prevalence in the state has been declining steadily as a result. However, not all Californians have benefited equally from these efforts,” said lead author Wendy Max, PhD, professor-in-residence of health economics and co-director of the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging, School of Nursing. “Hopefully these data can be used to strengthen tobacco control programs and smoking cessation efforts throughout African American communities.”

Researchers analyzed smoking-attributable costs for diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease,
for which incidence is identified in the 2004 US Surgeon General Report as causally related to cigarette smoking. They focused on expenditures for ambulatory care, prescription drugs, inpatient care, and home health care. The team also assessed smoking-attributable mortality for Californians aged 35 years and older using three measures: deaths, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses.

Findings include:

• African Americans lose more years (16.3) of life per death than other Californians (12.5 years) due to smoking-attributable causes. A total of 3013 African American Californians died of smoking-attributable illness in 2002, representing a loss of over 49,000 years of life and $784 million in productivity.

• Adult smoking prevalence in 2002 for African Americans was 19.3 percent compared with 15.4 percent for all Californians.

• The total cost of smoking for the African American community amounted to $1.4 billion in 2002, or $1.8 billion in 2008 dollars.

“It is clear that we need to tailor more tobacco control programs to African Americans in California,” said Max. “In addition, there exists a long history of tobacco industry promotions and economic support targeted to certain ethnic groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics. I would encourage these communities to carefully consider the benefits of such programs in light of the tremendous economic and human costs.”

The study included a national advisory panel of members of African American and Hispanic community organizations. Panelists advised the study team on the application of research models and are helping disseminate findings throughout California communities.

Co-authors are Hai-Yen Sung, PhD; Lue-Yen Tucker, BA; and Brad Stark, BA; all with the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging, School of Nursing at the time of the study. The research was supported by funds from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program of the University of California.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. ###

Source: Karin Rush-Monroe 415-476-2557, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Learn about Tennessee's civil rights movement on MLK Day

African Americans have always had a civil rights movement in Tennessee, even during slavery, according an historian who will lecture at Tennessee Tech University on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 18.

While many books have focused on the national civil rights movement and prominent leaders such as King and Malcolm X, Bobby L. Lovett, a history professor at Tennessee State University, has written the first book to examine Tennessee’s civil rights movement. In “The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: a Narrative History” (University of Tennessee Press, 2005), Lovett reveals African American and white leaders in the fight for equality in the state, and he relates the movement with African Americans’ pursuit of inclusion in society nationally.

Bobby L. Lovett

Bobby L. Lovett
Lovett will present "The MLK Connection to the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee, and How the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee influenced MLK, 1957-1968” at noon in Derryberry Auditorium.

“This book fills a gap in the historical record of the civil rights movement and is an important addition to studies of the movement both in Tennessee and in the nation,” said Lovett.
Lovett drew from special collections in libraries across the state, personal papers, manuscript collections, conversations, observations, books, scholarly articles, and newspapers. He covered the entire state, but concentrated on the four major cities: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville.

The book gives short descriptions of local interest to bring the movement alive, as well as sketches of main players, federal judges, and more than three dozen court cases that have affected race and civil rights in Tennessee. Lovett explores early Jim Crow Tennessee, public school desegregation since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, sit-in and public desegregation activities, politics and civil rights, and the desegregation of higher education.

Lovett, a native Tennessean, received his doctorate from the University of Arkansas. He earned a master’s degree in American history and teacher certification at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Lovett joined TSU in 1973 as an instructor and has served as department head, assistant dean, associate dean, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 17 years. He currently is a senior history professor. Lovett’s latest two books—“America’s Black Colleges and Universities: A Narrative History 1837-2010” and “A Touch of Excellence: History of Tennessee State University,1911”—are scheduled to be published by TSU’s university press, respectively, in 2010 and 2011.

TTU’s Commission on the Status of Blacks, with support of the Muslim Students Organization and the Upper Cumberland Islamic Society, is sponsoring the event.

The noon lecture will be followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Wali Kharif at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shadow and Substance: African American Images

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery Presents Shadow and Substance: African American Images from The Burns Archive, January 25 - March 19, 2010.

The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Shadow and Substance: African American Images from The Burns Archive, on display from January 25th through March 19th. The exhibition is curated by Modupe Labode and organized by the Indiana State Museum.

Since the early years of photography, African Americans appeared in front of and behind the camera. In some images, they were the loving focus of the picture. In others, the photographer scarcely recognizes their humanity.

African American Images from The Burns Archive The images in this exhibition allow us to perceive how African Americans were seen by others, and how they wished to be seen. They do not tell a complete story of the past, but their eloquent shadows provide unique glimpses into the lives of African Americans over the past 160 years.

Dozens of rarely seen photographs of men, women and children reveal the span of emotions of the African American experience. Shadow and Substance celebrates the strengths and accomplishments of African Americans in the face of oppression, subjugation and political disenfranchisement.
From early images of slaves and Civil War soldiers to new voters and political activists, the exhibit is filled with shocking evidence of intolerance and remarkable illustrations of achievement.

The 113 images in Shadow and Substance include portraits, snapshots and photographs documenting industries, property and events related to the African American experience from the beginning of photography to today. The exhibition focuses on a wide range of themes: Bondage and Freedom; Civil War and Reconstruction; The Nadir; Jim Crow and Lynching; Community Life; Family Albums; Black Reflections on Black Life; and Celebrations.

About The Burns Archive
The Stanley B. Burns Collection is generally recognized as the preeminent private specialty collection of 19th century historic photography. The Burns Archive of Historic Vintage Photographs is comprehensive with specializations in medicine and healthcare, death and dying, African Americans, and sports and recreation photography. The collection has been featured in more than 100 exhibitions, and on television and videos. Dr. Stanley B. Burns, an ophthalmologist, collector and curator in New York City, was a founding donor to several photography collections, including those at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. He is the author of several books.

Gallery Information
The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery serves as one of the principal art galleries in the Baltimore region. Objects from the Special Collections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over the world, are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for the University community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitions are occasionally presented, and the Gallery sends some exhibits on tour to other institutions nationwide. Admission to the Gallery and its programs is free.

Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri: 12 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursday: 12 pm - 8 pm
Sat/Sun: 1 pm - 5 pm

General Gallery information: 410-455-2270

UMBC is located approximately 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore and 20 minutes from I-495.
-- From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
-- From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
-- From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
-- Daytime metered visitor parking is available in the Walker Avenue Garage. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days

Contact: Thomas Moore Director of Arts & Culture 410-455-3370

Experts Advisory: Black History Month Experts at the University at Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 7, 2010) -- The life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., black heritage, issues affecting people of African descent and African American literature and poetry are topics covered by UAlbany's faculty experts.

BLACK HERITAGE is celebrated throughout Black History Month. Africana Studies and History Professor Allen Ballard offers insight into the history and culture of African Americans, as well as the history of the Civil War. Ballard has published several books, including The Education of Black People (1973) and Carried by Six (2009). He was also one of the first two African Americans to integrate Kenyon College.

AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE includes stories about the unsung heroes in African American history and the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Martin Luther King jr.Africana Studies and English Professor Leonard Slade Jr. discusses the contributions of black authors to America's literary landscape. Slade can also offer insight into the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. He is the editor of Black Essays (1995), a collection of short pieces by African American critics and scholars.

AFRICAN PSYCHOLOGY, including issues affecting people of African heritage, enslavement and colonial experiences of people of African descent, HIV/AIDS,
and transracial adoption are among the areas of expertise of Marcia Sutherland, chairwoman of UAlbany's Department of Africana Studies Department. Sutherland is author of Black Authenticity: A Psychology for Liberating People of African Descent (1997).

Contact(s): Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

Thursday, January 7, 2010

NCSU African American Cultural Center to host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

The NCSU African American Cultural Center invites you to attend the 2010 Dr. MLK Jr. Campus Commemoration on Wednesday, January 13, at noon in Stewart Theatre on the second floor of the Talley Student Center. Our guest speaker, Lani Guinier, is the first African American woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law. She is also the author of Lift Every Voice; The Tyranny of the Majority; Who's Qualified?; and The Miner's Canary. Attorney Guinier's speech is entitled "Lift Every Voice."

The following titles are available at the NCSU Catalyst Bookstore: Lift Every Voice; Who's Qualified?; and The Miner's Canary. Books will be on sale prior to and following the event.

Lani Guinier

Lani Guinier
A book signing will be held in the Stewart Theatre lobby immediately following the program.

The 2010 MLK Jr. Commemorative programs are co-sponsored by the Union Activities Board Black Students Union and the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. We hope you can join us to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Release Date: 2010-01-05 Contact: Toni Thorpe

For more information, see the online flier in PDF format.

'From Civil Rights to Hip Hop' is topic for PHCC’s MLK speaker

Pasco-Hernando Community College’s 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture Series will feature professor and author Mark Anthony Neal, who will discuss “From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: How Popular Music Impacts Social Change.”

Mark Anthony Neal is professor of black popular culture in the department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. He holds a doctorate in American studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Neal is a frequent commentator for National Public Radio, and contributes to several online media outlets, including, and

Neal is the author of four books including, New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity. His essay “Music: Bodies in Pain” was included in the 2009 edition of The Best African-American Essays, edited by Gerald Early and Debra Dickerson.

Mark Anthony Neal

Mark Anthony Neal
“I’m certain the community will enjoy the dynamic presentation by Professor Neal. He bridges the past to the future in a way that is exciting, informative, and creative,” said Imani Asukile, PHCC’s district coordinator of multicultural student affairs and equity services.

Two presentations of “From Civil Rights to Hip Hop” will be given on Thursday, January 14.
The first will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Performing Arts Center on the New Port Richey campus, 10230 Ridge Road. The second will be given at 7 p.m. in room E-130 on the Dade City campus, 36727 Blanton Road. Both lectures are free and the public is invited to attend.

School and organization groups are welcome. For more information, contact PHCC’s information center at 1-877-TRY-PHCC.

Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) is a dynamic, learning-centered educational institution, with a faculty and staff who are dedicated to student success, teaching excellence and community service. --END--

Contact: Courtney Boettcher, marketing coordinator • 727-816-3738

Imani Asukile, district coordinator of multi-cultural student affairs and equity services • 352-518-1235

Pasco-Hernando Community College 10230 Ridge Road New Port Richey, FL 34654-5199

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

9th Circuit appeals bench would allow felons to vote

Washington’s longtime constitutional ban on voting by felons has been tossed out by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state is expected to appeal.

The surprise ruling contradicts holdings in three other circuits, with cases out of New York, Massachusetts and Florida, and it may well be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the conflict. If Tuesday’s ruling were the last word on the case, it would allow inmates currently behind bars to vote in Washington. The ruling could also be the basis of litigation in the eight other states in the 9th Circuit – Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, plus Guam.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, Washington’s chief elections officer, said, “We were quite surprised at today’s 2-1 ruling by the 9th Circuit, and we would expect to appeal the decision. We certainly support racial equality and efforts to make our criminal justice system free of bias. But we also support our state constitutional ban on voting by felons who are under Department of Corrections supervision.

“We believe that the loss of voting rights is an appropriate and reasonable sanction for society to demand of felons while they are incarcerated or on community supervision. Most states have this sensible policy. Once inmates satisfy their prison sentence and community supervision, our Legislature has recently provided that they may apply to have their voting rights restored as part of reintegrating back into the community.

“We are hopeful that this longstanding policy will be upheld as this case is appealed further. We look forward to the courts giving some finality to this question, which has been in litigation since 1996.”

The case was originally brought nearly 14 years ago in U.S. District Court in Eastern Washington by Muhammad Shabazz Farrakhan and three other black inmates, and by a Native American and a Latino inmate. The inmates said minorities are disproportionately prosecuted and sentenced to prison, and that their automatic disenfranchisement violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

The Appeals bench concurred with the inmates that the state’s criminal justice system is “infected” with racial discrimination and that the challengers don’t have to prove that that it is intentional or racially motivated discrimination. The court said that “based on uncontroverted facts,” it would rely on academic research that showed Washington’s African Americans were over nine times more likely to be in prison than Caucasians, even though the ratio of black-to-white arrest for violent crimes was less than 4:1. Another study showed that Native Americans were twice as likely to be searched by state troopers than whites, blacks more than 70 percent more likely to be searched and Latinos more than 50 percent more likely. Other studies were cited.

The challengers didn’t assert that the felon disenfranchisement law was enacted with intent to discriminate, but said that when the law is applied in the context of the criminal justice system, it is more likely for minorities to lose their voting rights. That’s illegal, they contended.

The court held that the Voting Rights Act, adopted by Congress in 1965 for the purpose of eliminating racial discrimination in voting, does not permit disenfranchising voters who are behind bars when the criminal justice system is skewed toward greater incarceration of minorities. The judges also said it is irrelevant that the state Legislature last year approved a new law that takes away a felon’s voting rights only while in the direct custody of the Department of Corrections. Previously, voting rights were restored only after restitution and other costs were repaid, a matter of years for some ex-cons.

Three other circuits, the First, Second and Eleventh, have reached the opposite conclusion about felon voting. The decision in the First, out of Massachusetts, was in 2009; the 2nd Circuit decision, in a New York case, was in 2006; and the 11th Circuit, out of Florida, was in 2005.

In a strongly worded dissent, Judge M. Margaret McKeown said her colleagues have “charted territory that none of our sister circuits have dared to explore.” At the least, the court should have remanded the case for further fact-finding on some of the key points, she wrote.
State Elections Director Nick Handy said the conflicting opinions makes it likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to take the Farrakhan case on appeal.

The 9th Circuit opinion was written by Judge A. Wallace Tashima and signed by himself and Stephen Reinhardt.
Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even of the Attorney General’s office said attorneys will review the lengthy opinion and consider the next steps. The state could ask the full 9th Circuit, rather than a three-judge panel, to consider the case. That would involve a hearing before 11 judges. Another option would be to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, he confirmed.

The case has had a very long shelf life. It was originally filed in Spokane in 1996. The District Court upheld the state’s disenfranchisement law. That was appealed to the 9th Circuit, which reversed and sent it back to the district court for further consideration. The court’s subsequent ruling, along in favor of the state, was appealed a second time to the 9th Circuit. Last year, the state Legislature, at Reed’s request, amended the law to allow restoration of voting rights after an ex-convict completes his or her prison sentence and community supervision. Previously, an ex-convict also would have to satisfy all outstanding financial obligations, including court costs and restitution, before applying for restoration of voting rights.

News Release Issued: January 05, 2010 Washington Secretary of State Legislative Building PO Box 40220, Olympia WA 98504-0220 (360) 902-4151

Monday, January 4, 2010

Poor Face Greater Health Burden than Smokers or the Obese

The average low-income person loses 8.2 years of perfect health, the average high school dropout loses 5.1 years, and the obese lose 4.2 years, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Tobacco control has long been one of the most important public health policies, and rightly so; the average smoker loses 6.6 years of perfect health to their habit. But the nation’s huge high school dropout rate and poverty rates are typically not seen as health problems.

This new study published in the December 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, shows that poverty and dropout rates are at least as important a health problem as smoking in the United States. These researchers define “low-income” as household earnings below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, or roughly the bottom third of the U.S. population.

Peter Muennig, MD

“While public health policy needs to continue its focus on risky health behaviors and obesity, it should redouble its efforts on non-medical factors, such as high school graduation and poverty reduction programs,”

— Peter Muennig, MD, assistant professor of health policy and management
On average, poverty showed the greatest impact on health. Smoking was second, followed by being a high school dropout, non-Hispanic Black, obese, a binge drinker, and uninsured. The findings are based on data from various national datasets that are designed to measure both health and life expectancy. Healthy life lost combines both health and life expectancy into a single number, sometimes known as quality-adjusted life years.

“While public health policy needs to continue its focus on risky health behaviors and obesity, it should redouble its efforts on non-medical factors, such as high school graduation and poverty reduction programs,” according to Peter Muennig, MD, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health and principal investigator of the study. Specific policies that have proven successful in the past include reduced class size in grades K-3 and earned income tax credit programs, according to Dr. Muennig.
To analyze the medical and non-medical policies that might affect population health, the researchers examined such policy goals as smoking prevention, increased access to medical care, poverty reduction, and early childhood education to provide policymakers with a sense of how different policy priorities might influence population health.

Building on prior research, the researchers examined health disparities resulting from an individual’s membership in a socially identifiable and disadvantaged group compared with membership in a non-disadvantaged counterpart. Although public health policy has always been directed at individual social and behavioral risks, until now there had been little systematic investigation of their relative contribution to U.S. population health. The researchers were not able to capture all population health risks. For instance, they did not include an analysis of transportation policy, which can affect health through reduced accidents, reduced pollution, and increased exercise.

“The smaller impact of schooling in our analyses probably had a lot to do with the fact that we are only measuring the health of people in the general population. We miss those in prisons and chronic care facilities, most of whom lack a high school diploma. If we captured these individuals, the numbers would be higher.

“As with other burden of disease studies, the policies we identify will not eliminate the risk factor in the population; our estimates can only serve as guideposts for policymakers,” says Dr. Muennig.
About the Mailman School of Public Health

The only accredited school of public health in New York City and among the first in the nation, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting millions of people locally and globally. The Mailman School is the recipient of some of the largest government and private grants in Columbia University’s history. Its more than 1000 graduate students pursue master’s and doctoral degrees, and the School’s 300 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as infectious and chronic diseases, health promotion and disease prevention, environmental health, maternal and child health, health over the life course, health policy, and public health preparedness.

Contact Us: Stephanie Berger 212-305-4372. Email:

NKU to host MLK Commemoration Week Jan. 11-18

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University Office of African American Student Affairs will present NKU's inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Week from Jan. 11-18. The theme of this week of action, celebration, reflection and remembrance will be "Justice Beyond the Dream."

The week's activities will include:

Monday, January 11
4 p.m. MLK Commemoration Week Kickoff/Unity Reception
Guest Speaker: Al DeJarnett, retired Procter & Gamble executive and Cincinnatus vice chairman Student Union 102 (Multipurpose Room) Sponsored by the Office of African American Student Affairs and the Black Faculty and Staff Association

6:30 p.m. Behind Every Good Man Is a Great Woman: An in-depth look at the women of the modern day Civil Rights Movement Student Union 107 B and C Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Black Women's Organization

Tuesday, January 12 6 p.m. Viewing of Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Man & The Dream
Otto Budig Theater Sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Candle Light Vigil for Justice (immediately after program) Sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Wednesday, January 13 Noon to 2 p.m. Public Reading of Dr. King's writings and speeches Student Union 2nd Floor Lobby Sponsored by the NKU Honors Program

5 p.m. WWMLKD? (What Would MLK Do?) Student Union 108 Sponsored by Black United Students and E.N.V.I.

7 p.m. Memories of MLK Student Union 109 Sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Thursday, January 14 5 p.m. "I HAVE A DREAM" Student Union 102 (Multipurpose Room) Sponsored by W.A.T.E.R.

7 p.m. Scholarly Series Student Union 102 (Multipurpose Room) Sponsored by Black Men's Organization

Friday, January 15 12:15-1:30 p.m. MLK Commemoration Program featuring Minnijean Brown-Trickey of the Little Rock Nine Student Union 107A/ Sponsored by Office of African American Student Affairs, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Department of History and Geography, Black Studies, Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, Campus Recreation, Latino Student Affairs, College of Education and Human Services, Department of Communications, Honors

1:45 p.m. MLK Unity March Sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Saturday, January 16 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Social Justice Student Leadership Conference
Student Union 104 Sponsored by the Office of African American Student Affairs and the Northern Kentucky University NAACP

Monday, January 18 Noon to 5 p.m. NKU MLK Day of Service (various projects throughout the region)

5-6 p.m. NKU MLK Day of Service celebration Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robert Wallace, Professor, NKU Department of English Student Union 107A Sponsored by the Office of African American Student Affairs and the Office of Student Life

For more information, contact the NKU Office of African American Student Affairs at (859) 572-5214 or These events are free and open to the public.

### NKU ### News from NKU ... Monday - Jan. 4, 2010 For immediate release...