Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Special guests highlight African American Dance Company's spring concert April 10

Students selected the theme "Environmental Justice (Injustice?)"

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's African American Arts Institute Dance Company will feature guest dance and musical performers as part of its 36th annual spring concert on April 10.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington.

"The concert will demonstrate and illustrate the passion that dance company students have for the dance discipline," said Iris Rosa, director of the African American Dance Company and a professor in IU's Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.

Bernard Woma

Bernard Woma will be one of the special guest performers.

Dance Company

African American Dance Company. Photo by Mark McCullough.
"The students have had the opportunity to explore dance techniques, forms and styles of performance in the Black dance aesthetic from Africa to Argentina."

The students selected the theme "Environmental Justice (Injustice?)" for their Collaboration 2010 pieces. They will discuss and interpret through dance, the many ways to address the industrial waste and environmental pollution driven by political and economic decisions which adversely affect our communities.

The concert will feature performances by guest artists Evelyn Yaa Bekyore and Bernard Woma.

Bekyore is an internationally known dancer and teacher who has toured with the Saakumu Dance Troupe for more than 10 years as a senior performer and artist. She is principle teacher at the Dagara Music Center and has collaborated with many choreographers in Ghana, Burkina Faso and the United States. She frequently tours to perform and teach traditional dance and songs of Ghana at universities and colleges across the country. She has been in residency with the African American Dance Company since September.

Woma has toured the world as xylophonist and lead drummer of the National Dance Company of Ghana.
He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and has been in residency with national and international performing groups. He is the director of Saakumu Dance Troup and the Dagara Music Center in Ghana, West Africa, where he is celebrating his 10th anniversary year. He currently is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the African Studies Program at IU.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $10 for children and students with ID (limit 2 per student).


Media Contacts: Olivia Hairston African American Arts Institute 812-855-5427 George Vlahakis University Communications 812-855-0846

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ambassador Andrew Young to deliver Mary Frances Early Lecture

Athens, Ga. – Andrew Young, a former ambassador to the United Nations and Civil Rights leader, will deliver the 2010 Mary Frances Early Lecture on April 6 at 4 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. The tenth annual lecture honors Mary Frances Early, the first African-American to earn a degree from UGA, and her legacy at UGA.

Young first came to national prominence by serving as a top aide and ordained minister to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights movement. He played a key role as a negotiator in Civil Rights protests across the South.

In 1972, Young was elected to the House of Representatives from Georgia’s 5th District. After serving four years in Congress, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations.

Andrew Young

Andrew Young Photo Credit: University of Rochester.
He later served two terms as Atlanta’s mayor and co-chaired the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

In recent years, Young has extensively worked on humanitarian efforts across the world. He is the co-founder and chair of GoodWorks International, an organization that promotes international business in Africa and the Caribbean.

Young has traveled to more than 150 countries to build the economies of developing nations with a business model that combines education, religion, democracy and free enterprise.

The Mary Frances Early Lecture was established in 2001 by Graduate and Professional Scholars, a minority graduate and professional student organization at UGA.
The Graduate School assumed responsibility for the lecture series in 2010, working in partnership with GAPS to institutionalize it as part of UGA campus life.

The annual lecture recognizes Mary Frances Early’s dedication towardmaking UGA an institution of higher learning for all people. The lecture strives to demonstrate the progress that has been made in achieving her vision and identifies the work that remains to be done.

Mary Frances Early began her graduate study in 1961 in support of the first African-American undergraduates who enrolled at UGA and graduated a year later with a master’s degree in music education.

For more information on the Mary Frances Early lecture or the Graduate School, see or contact Judy Milton at 706/425-2953 or

Writer: Ben Benson, Contact: Judy Milton, 706/425-2953, Mar 23, 2010, 10:56

2010 Herman C. Hudson Symposium at IU April 9-10 to feature keynote address by a former ambassador

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The seventh annual Herman C. Hudson Symposium at Indiana University April 9-10 will feature a keynote address by former ambassador and Indiana native Cynthia Shepard Perry. The theme this year is "Bodies, Borders and Resistance."

Perry, who has served three past presidents as an ambassador and diplomat, will share her story of personal and educational triumph at a luncheon on April 10 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., where all of the Hudson Symposium activities will take place.

The symposium also will offer panels and individual paper presentations by undergraduate and graduate students from IU. The Hudson Symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Cynthia Shepard Perry

Cynthia Shepard Perry. Courtesy of Indiana University.
For the seventh year, the chair and the faculty in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS) have supported graduate student efforts to organize an annual symposium in honor of founding faculty member, Dr. Herman C. Hudson. This year, the symposium will be part of the department's ongoing 40th anniversary celebration of African American and African Diaspora studies at IU.

Many co-sponsors have come together to help make the 2010 symposium possible, including AAADS, the Student Activities Office, the Office of the Provost, the Kelley School of Business, the departments of English, history and comparative literature, IU Bloomington Libraries, the Office for Women's Affairs, and Residential Programs and Services.
A native of Lost Creek Township (located just outside Terre Haute, Ind.), Perry earned a bachelor's degree in political science and education from Indiana State University and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. After a career in higher education that included several assignments in Africa, she was appointed in 1982 by then President Ronald Reagan to become chief of the education and human resources division of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In 1986, Reagan named her ambassador to Sierra Leone. Three years later, Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, appointed her ambassador to Burundi. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed her U.S. executive director of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where she served for six years before retiring in 2008.

In 2000, she published a memoir, All Things Being Equal: One Woman's Journey (Stonecrest International). She now resides in Houston, Texas, and lectures widely on the complexities of women's educational issues and on the scourge of human trafficking in Africa and its ramifications for women and children in the world.

Other events happening in conjunction with the Herman C. Hudson Symposium include an AAADS Exhibition that opens on March 31 and a social event entitled "Dances of the Diaspora" on April 9. The annual African American Dance Company Spring Concert will conclude the weekend on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. in downtown Bloomington.

"We are very excited about this year's Symposium. We have a large number of diverse and talented scholars presenting on issues ranging from the art of spoken word to identity construction," said Caralee Jones, the 2010 symposium president and vice president of the African American and African Diaspora Graduate Student Society. "This year's Symposium is also special because it will give us a chance to commemorate one of our founding faculty members, Herman C. Hudson, and the 40-year anniversary of our department."

For a complete calendar of events for the 7th annual Herman C. Hudson Symposium, please visit the Web site at or send an e-mail to

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Engineering success for underrepresented faculty

MIT hosts minority faculty development workshop co-sponsored by Georgia Tech and the National Science Foundation.

More than 75 minority faculty members from across the nation gathered at MIT this week for a three-day workshop designed to provide them with tools and strategies to better navigate their careers.

Co-organized by MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the National Science Foundation Minority Faculty Development Workshop took place from March 21-24 and featured presentations and networking activities to help support the career development and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups, as defined by the NSF (African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans).

Dr. Gilda A. Barabino

Dr. Gilda A. Barabino
Workshop participants were tenure-track faculty members from four-year institutions who represented the spectrum of engineering and science disciplines.

“The persistent underrepresentation of minority engineering faculty threatens the development of a diverse science and engineering workforce and requires sustained multi-faceted and multi-level approaches for mitigation,”
said Georgia Tech Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies Gilda A. Barabino, who collaborated with Wesley Harris, MIT’s associate provost for faculty equity, to organize the workshop.

“[This workshop] represents one approach that simultaneously provides opportunities for professional development, networking and mentoring that have been shown to enhance career success,” Barabino said.

Showcasing innovation

The workshop was the fifth in a series that has been offered for graduate students and faculty since 2001 by the Minority Faculty Development Forum, an online community of underrepresented faculty who engage in networking and research collaborations, mentoring, and dissemination of resources, ideas and best practices.

This year marked the first time that the conference was open only to faculty members. The workshop’s theme was “Engineering Faculty Success” and featured a poster competition that showcased the innovative research of about 50 of the workshop participants.

The winner of the competition was Cullen Buie, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Laboratory for Energy and Microsystems Innovation (LEMI), who joined the MIT faculty in November. His poster highlighted his research involving a technique to create nanoporous surfaces than can be used for energy and industrial applications, such as reducing the drag of water flowing through a pipe.

“There were several outstanding projects from all over the nation and I’m humbled and honored to have won the competition,” said Buie, who also praised the “very supportive environment” of the conference.

The workshop also featured a number of presentations by leading scholars, including how-to sessions about becoming a tenured professor, sowing the seeds of a solid research program, tapping into funding opportunities and finding and utilizing effective mentors.

Several sessions focused on strategies and concepts that have long been identified and utilized in the business world, but are not often associated with academia, such as the art of strategic persuasion or how to craft a professional brand.

These types of skills are just starting to be taught in the faculty development arena, said Robbin Chapman, assistant associate provost for faculty equity at MIT, who helped organize the conference and hosted the session on crafting a professional brand. “With the advent of social media, we want our graduate students and faculty scholars to leverage their brand to promote their reputation — otherwise, they’ll fall behind,” she said.

Institute as model

The NSF workshop follows the January release of a report by MIT’s Initiative on Faculty Race and Diversity, which concluded that more effective policies and practices are needed to hire and retain underrepresented minority faculty at the Institute. Although the NSF conference was not a direct outgrowth of the report, Chapman thinks more members of the MIT community may have noticed and attended the poster competition in light of the report.

She added that the workshop sheds light on the continuing work and efforts by the Office of the Associate Provosts for Faculty Equity, which was founded by President Susan Hockfield and Provost L. Rafael Reif in 2006 to focus on the recruitment, retention, promotion and professional development of underrepresented minority and women faculty.

“Leadership for faculty equity and diversification is critical and that shown by Wes Harris and MIT in support of the workshop and in other Institute efforts serves as a model for others,” Barabino said.

Morgan Bettex, MIT News Office March 26, 2010 MIT news | 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 11-400 | Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 | Tel 617.253.2700 | TTY 617.258.9344

Friday, March 26, 2010

Writers Like Us Contemporary African American Writers featured at the U

March 25, 2010 -- Three nationally acclaimed Black authors - G. Winston James, Martha Southgate and Mat Johnson--will be presented by the University of Utah in a series of lectures and readings titled, "Writers Like Us: Contemporary African American Writers." The series will run March 29 through April 12. All events are free and open to the public.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Utah community to hear and meet some of the leading young African American writers at work today," notes Paisley Rekdal, associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Utah. Paulette Cross, a Ph.D. candidate in Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Utah adds, "James, Southgate and Johnson, as contemporary African American writers, provide a model for black youth."

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal
G. Winston James is a Jamaican-born poet, short-fiction writer, essayist and editor. He is the founder and editor of Top Pen Press, which he states, "publishes work that illuminates, confronts and perplexes perceptions of queer people of color." A former fellow of the Millay Colony for the Arts, he holds an M.F.A in fiction from Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and is the author of the short-fiction collection Shaming the Devil: Collected Short Stories, the poetry collection The Damaged Good: Poems Around Love and the Lambda Literary Award finalist collection Lyric: Poems Along a Broken Road.

Mat Johnson specializes in fiction, nonfiction and African American literature. He has published the novels Hunting in Harlem and Drop.
His third novel, Pym, will be released in January 2011. Incognegro, his graphic novel, was positively reviewed by the New York Times. His creative nonfiction work includes The Great Negro Plot. He has published a number of short-fiction and nonfiction articles in various venues including Callaloo Literary Journal, Shout Magazine and His work has been honored as the 2008 Best African American Fiction and he was awarded the 2007 USA James Baldwin Fellowship. He received an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University and currently teaches at the University of Houston.

Martha Southgate is the author of three novels, most recently Third Girl from the Left published in 2006. It won the Best Novel of the Year award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her previous novel, The Fall of Rome, is widely taught and won the American Library Association's Alex award. She received a 2002 New York Foundation for the Arts grant and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her July 2007 essay from the New York Times Book Review, "Writers Like Me," appears in the recent anthology Best African-American Essays 2009. Previous non-fiction articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O, Premiere, and Essence. She also has essays in the recent anthologies Behind the Bedroom Door and Heavy Rotation: Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives. She is working on her next novel, to be published by Algonquin Books in 2011.

The "Writers Like Us" series events are scheduled as follows:

G. Winston James

"Shaming the Devil: The Black LGBT Writer as Both Camera and Lens"
Monday, March 29, 7:00 pm.
University of Utah, 1110 LNCO, 255 Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City, UT

"Marvelous Words" (reading)
Tuesday, March 30, 7:00 pm.
Utah Pride Center, 361 North 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT

Mat Johnson

"Incognegro: The Journey of the African American Comic Book"
Friday, April 9, 7:00 pm
Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT

Martha Southgate

"Writers Like Me, New Directions in African American Literature"
Monday April 11, 7 pm
King's English Bookstore, 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT

The series "Writers Like Us: Contemporary African American Writers" is co-sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center, the University of Utah College of Social Work Voices of Diversity, Rowland Hall, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Utah Arts Council, the University of Utah LGBT Resource Center, the University of Utah office of the Dean of Humanities, The Wild Venturer, the University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity, the University of Utah Department of English, the University of Utah Ethnic Studies Program, the Utah Pride Center, and Empire Publishing.

For more information about the series, visit

Interviews with James, Johnson and Southgate are available upon request by calling 801-581-4250.

Media Contacts Wilfred Samuels Department of English, University of Utah Office phone: 801-581-3288 Email address: Colleen Casto director, communication & community outreach, Office for Equity and Diversity Office phone: (801) 581-4250 Email address:

Diversity Roundtable to Be Held April 14

In the past year, Georgia Tech has sponsored faculty- and student-led diversity forums, aimed at showcasing, attracting, and developing the tremendous diverse talent from across the Institute.

On April 14, the Offices of the President, Academic Diversity and Human Resources will host an inaugural diversity roundtable luncheon focusing on the topic of mentoring for Tech staff members.

Two specific audiences are targeted for the event: senior staff members—pay grade 118 and above—and mid-level staffers specifically invited by a senior staff sponsor. “Managers who attend will be asked to invite someone from the middle range of classified staff to participate,” said Senior Director for Human Resources and Diversity Management Pearl Alexander.

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns
“The notion is that at the mid-level of our staff, we are very diverse. If we can identify and train this high potential talent, we can show what we sometimes forget: We have strong talent within our ranks—it is up to us to cultivate it.”

Alexander refers to Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, the first African-American woman to head an S&P 100 company, as an example. “She started there as an intern, and has a 30-year history with the company,” Alexander said.

“Burns credits her success to people willing to mentor and sponsor her professionally within the organization.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with others and participate in discussions, as well as share their experiences either as a mentor or as one who benefited from mentoring. While Tech already has MentorTech, an established, formal mentoring program, this networking event will complement that program, according to Alexander.

“Bringing staff together in an informal setting is a mechanism for building community and fostering inclusiveness,” she said. “Through this roundtable activity, relationships may develop more naturally. Individuals who participate will benefit from peer mentoring and expanding their professional connections.”

President Bud Peterson will deliver the keynote address. Higher education and industry leaders will participate as facilitators in leading small group discussions. The activities will be moderated by James Godard, assistant director for Administration with the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences. Other participants include Provost Gary Schuster, newly appointed Executive Vice President for research Stephen Cross, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair Gary May, Christopher Griffith with Stamps Health Services, Vice President for Campus Services Rosalind Meyers, Wayne Guthrie, vice chancellor for Human Resources with the Georgia Board of Regents, Tina Woodard, associate vice chancellor for Professional Development with the BOR, and many other leaders.

The event will direct discussion to the role of mentoring and career development and how best to mentor diverse individuals. “The purpose is to leave with ideas so attendees can approach people and engage with them in the process,” Alexander said. “It may not happen in a day, but this could be the spark for future connections.”

After the Roundtable, Academic Diversity and HR will partner to establish a Georgia Tech mentoring group on the LinkedIn Web site as an interactive way to virtually mentor throughout the coming year and keep up with the professional relationships established at the event. “The LinkedIn site will enable HR to track mentoring progress in conjunction with career development,” Alexander said. “We’ll also send a follow-up survey for participants.”

Registration will continue through April 9, or until capacity is reached. The roundtable will be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Global Learning Center.

The genesis for this roundtable springs from HR’s operational plans for this year, and the “Sustain and Enhance our Culture” strategic vision planning subcommittee, which is working on the Institute’s strategic vision for 2035. The subcommittee has discussed the need for Tech to be a thought leader in diversity and inclusion. Although directed toward senior staff, the Roundtable will include faculty involvement. The goal, Alexander says, is to have ongoing events that not only concentrate on certain populations, but also allow others to be involved.

While staff development and mentoring is a key aspect of the roundtable discussions, developing and showcasing the Institute’s rich diversity is the primary goal of the event. “If you want to attract the best talent, [the environment] has to be appealing,” Alexander said. “We can strengthen our diversity here, which is, in turn, a significant competitive advantage for us.”

For More Information Contact Sandra Duplessis, 404-385-3686 Najah Hofman, 404-894-3070 By Robert Nesmith Posted March 26, 2010 Atlanta, GA.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Washington’s African American Community Gathers at the National Zoo to Celebrate a Century-Old Tradition on Easter Monday

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Friends of the National Zoo will continue a Washington tradition that spans more than 100 years by hosting “Easter Monday: An African American Family Tradition” April 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and will take place rain or shine.

This year’s celebration will include a variety of activities, live entertainment and food for sale. The event will also feature traditional Easter activities for families, such as an Easter egg hunt, Easter-themed games and a visit from the Easter bunny. Live entertainment will include performances by an a cappella gospel quintet, an R&B group and a children’s musician and puppeteer.

Animal keepers will host more than 50 talks, feedings and demonstrations highlighting a variety of animals, including cheetahs, western lowland gorillas, spectacled bears, kiwis and Asian elephants. New this year, visitors will have the opportunity to “Meet-a-Curator” in various Zoo exhibit areas.

Sloth Bear

Sloth bear cub, Balawat, and his mother, Hana, moved into their new home along the Asia Trail at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Representatives from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the first national museum to be devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, will be on hand to showcase and discuss their sustainable and green building design.

The 2010 “Easter Monday: An African American Family Tradition” event is sponsored by the 2010 U.S. Census Road Tour, United Airlines and WHUR Radio 96.3 FM.

For more information, visit or call (202) 633-3040. # # # SI-127-2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WSSU Event Honors Cooper, NC Native and Pioneer for Women History Month

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will join with the U.S. Postal Service for a Women’s History Month event, to pay tribute to North Carolinian Anna Julia Cooper with a special stamp dedication event on March 29 at 3 p.m. In WSSU’s Diggs Gallery.

Cooper was a Raleigh Native and noted educator, scholar and activist on the 19th and 20th centuries. Her image marks the 32nd entry in the U.S. Black Heritage Stamps series.

WSSU Chancellor Donald Julian Reaves and Postmaster David Barcio will lead a host of university, local and student dignitaries on hand to celebrate the life of Cooper, who left Saint Augustine’s College in 1884 for Washington, DC, and helped make its school system one of the best in the nation for African-American students.

Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper
She later became the fourth African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. and the first to do so at the University of Paris Sorbonne. She wrote several books and articles and spoke publicly about inequalities in education, job opportunities and the justice system.

The stamps are now available at Post Offices nationwide and online at These stamps, as well as related collectible items, will be available for purchase at this event, which is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (336) 668-1257.

About the U.S. Postal Service: An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week.
It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

About Winston-Salem State University: Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a public university founded in 1892 in Winston-Salem, NC. WSSU is a historically black university that today is a recognized regional institution offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the university among Top Public Comprehensive Colleges in the South -- Bachelor’s Category for the last ten years (2001-2010). WSSU currently offers more than 40 baccalaureate and 10 master’s degree programs to a student population of more than 6,400. For more information, visit * * *

Contacts: Nancy Young Interim Director Public and Media Relations 336-750-8764 (office) 336-413-1472 (mobile)

Aaron Singleton Director News and Media Relations 336-750-3152 (office) 336-414-9366 (mobile)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tracing Africans in Slave Trade Goal of New Project

Volunteer Help Sought from Africans, African Diaspora, Scholars Worldwide.

Researchers who assembled “Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database” online ( at Emory University are now expanding that work with a new project called “African Origins,” an effort to present rare, detailed information on Africans pulled into the slave trade.

With help from the public, researchers plan to reconstruct the migration histories of Africans who were forced onto slave ships in the Atlantic in the early 19th century, says David Eltis, principal investigator on the project.

names of Africans liberated from slave vessels

A listing of names of Africans liberated from slave vessels.
“The original project, Voyages, traced the routes of captive Africans from ports on the African coast, across the Atlantic Ocean via slave ships to points of disembarkation in South, Central and North America,” says Eltis, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory. “The new African Origins project turns the focus towards Africa, to trace who these Africans were and from where they originally came.”
The African Origins project will create an online database on 67,000 liberated Africans, including such details as name, gender, age, African port of departure, and in some cases, the name of the place where the person originally lived. The information comes from registers created by International Courts of Mixed Commission located in Havana, Cuba, and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

These and other courts were established around the Atlantic Basin in the early 19th century, following the United States’ and Great Britain’s suppression of the transatlantic slave trade in 1808, says Eltis. The courts adjudicated cases of slaving ships intercepted by the British, Portuguese and Brazilian navies.

The spoken names of Africans liberated from these vessels, along with other identifying information they provided through translators, were recorded in court registers, in an effort to protect these Africans from future enslavement. Now these names are clues to discovering who these Africans were.

The persistence of naming practices among many African social groups, as well as the strong links between the use of certain names in certain languages, means that these names can be used to identify what language or ethnic group an African belonged to, and through this, where the individual lived in Africa at the time he or she was pulled into the slave trade, says Eltis.

Volunteers sought

To canvas the thousands of languages and dialects likely spoken by the more than 67,000 individuals listed in these historical registers, the African Origins project seeks volunteer help among communities of Africans and scholars worldwide. Members of the public with knowledge of African languages, cultural naming practices and geographic areas can assist in identifying the language, ethnic and geographic origins of people listed in these registers, by taking a few minutes to search these records, listen to a name and offer an assessment of an individual’s likely affiliations.

With these insights, scholars serving as editors of the database can consider the range of possible languages and groups affiliated with a name, alongside historical records of peoples’ locations and movements across western Africa.

As contributions are received and analyzed and new data on origins published, says Eltis, visitors to the African Origins site eventually will be able to search for Africans by ethno-linguistic group and geographic place of origin and view maps of the historical locations of groups pulled into the slave trade.

Much like the Voyages project that preceded it, this work will depend on the contributions and expertise of many in addition to the Emory team, says project manager Liz Milewicz. Most notably, it will employ “citizen science,” soliciting voluntary help from members of the public to help identify the likely language or ethnic group suggested by an African’s name.

“In our case, we’re really looking for ‘citizen historians’ to help us with this project,” Milewicz says. “The detail and diversity of this historical data requires contributions from people familiar with a vast number of African languages, cultures and geographic areas.”

The African Origins database will launch for public use in late spring 2010. To learn more about the project or contact the project team, visit

About David Eltis

A research associate at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute since 1993, principal investigator Eltis is the author of two prize-winning books on the Atlantic slave trade: “Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” (New York, Oxford University Press, 1987) and “The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas” (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2000). He also has edited and contributed to “Coerced and Free Migration: Global Perspectives” (Stanford University Press, 2002). His most recent works include “Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” (2008) and the forthcoming “An Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” both published by Yale University Press.

About Voyages and Origins

A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant provides the bulk of support for this project, with additional funding provided by Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and by Emory University’s Research for Collaboration in the Humanities Program. NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. ###

  1. Maureen McGavin: 404.727.6898
  2. Elaine Justice: 404.727.0643

Monday, March 22, 2010

UVU Honors Program to Welcome Renowned Scholar Bell Hooks

On Monday, March 29, the Utah Valley University Honors Program will welcome award-winning cultural theorist, philosopher and social activist bell hooks, who will give an address entitled, ”Ending Domination: Race, Sex and Class.” Hailed as one of the “100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life” by Utne Reader, her writings cover a broad range of topics incorporating issues on feminism, race, class, education, mass media and engaged pedagogy.

“We thought it would be impossible to get a scholar of her level to visit us, but this has exceeded all of our hopes and expectations,” said Shannon Mussett, UVU associate professor of philosophy and gender studies coordinator. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her.

Bell HooksEngaged learning is part of the spirit of her theory, so she really ties into UVU’s community and philosophy. She’s going to bring in a voice that we don’t often get where we are, and it’s a voice that speaks to issues that matter to every person.”

bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins) is a distinguished professor of English at City College in New York.
Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1952, hooks received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1973, her M.A. in 1976 from the University of Wisconsin and her Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of California-Santa Cruz. She has held positions as professor of African and African-American studies and English at Yale University, associate professor of women’s studies and American literature at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and as distinguished lecturer of English Literature at the City College of New York. She has published more than 30 books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in various public lectures. In 1992, her book “Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism” was named one of the 20 most influential women’s books in the last 20 years by Publishers Weekly.

“bell hooks deliberately writes so that it’s accessible to everybody,” Mussett said. “She intentionally speaks to everyone. Her books are clearly written so that anyone can pick them up and get something out of them. She will speak to many different kinds of students and the paths they take. The event is open for every person to attend, whoever wants to come. It’s the whole spirit of her theory. It’s not in any way to be closed off from anyone.”

The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in the Ragan Theater of UVU’s Sorensen Student Center. The event will be general admission seating and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will follow her presentation. ###

March 22, 2010 For Immediate Release For more information: Shannon Mussett (801) 863-6264 University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Chelsey Richardson (801) 863-8504

Image License: I (Cmongirl), the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide,. In case this is not legally possible: I (Cmongirl) grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

American Universities Confront their Past: Slavery and Racial, Ethnic, Religious, and Gender Discrimination

Author and historian James Campbell will deliver annual Jones Visiting Lecture on Tuesday, March 23. It is open to the public free of charge.

EASTON, Pa. — An expert on the history of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade will discuss the entanglements of American universities with slavery and the historical exclusion of students due to ethnic, gender, racial, and religious discrimination.

James T. Campbell, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor of United States History at Stanford University, will deliver Lafayette’s annual Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Visiting Lecture at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

James T. CampbellHis talk is open to the public free of charge. Following his lecture, there will be a book signing and public reception in the lobby of Kirby Hall. Copies of his books will be available for sale.

Campbell was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history for his book Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005, published in 2006 by The Penguin Press. He chaired the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice at Brown University, which was established to investigate the university’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.
In his talk, “Race and the Politics of Memory: American Universities Confront their Pasts,” Campbell will discuss the growing number of American universities that have endeavored to face the less savory aspects of their past. He says, “Few institutions commemorate their histories as conspicuously as universities. Yet American universities have also proved adept at forgetting, overlooking their historical entanglements with such institutions as slavery and Jim Crow, as well as long histories of racial, religious, gender and ethnic exclusion.” He will delve into whether recent official apologies and memorials are a sign of institutional health and maturity or just further evidence of American universities’ drift toward “political correctness.”

An expert on African American history, Campbell will visit two classes during the day and lead an afternoon roundtable discussion with students on historical reconciliation. The discussion will be based on Campbell’s essay “Settling Accounts? An Americanist Perspective on Historical Reconciliation,” which appeared as part of a series in the October 2009 American Historical Review.

His books also include Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (Oxford University Press, 1995), and the co-edited volume Race, Nation and Empire in American History (University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

His awards include the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Prize, Carl Sandburg Literary Award for Nonfiction, Lois P. Rudnick Prize of the New England American Studies Association, and Mark Lynton History Prize.

Campbell holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Stanford and a B.A. from Yale University. Before joining the faculty at Stanford, he taught at Northwestern University, the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and Brown.

The Jones Visiting Lecture is a major event on Lafayette’s calendar. The lectureship was established by Trustee Emeritus Thomas Roy Jones in 1973 to provide students with the opportunity to hear presentations each year by individuals of exemplary accomplishment in the academic world or in public life.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Symposium on religion and slavery at Miami March 25-26

A symposium, "Religion, Enslavement, and Anti-Slavery in Africa and the Americas" will be held March 25-26 at Miami University's Hamilton and Oxford campuses.

The goal of the symposium is to explore roles played by missionaries as participant-observers or opponents of the slave trade across time and space. Keynote speakers include John Thornton and Linda Heywood, professors of history at Boston University, and Carla Pestana, W.E. Smith Professor of History at Miami.

The symposium begins at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, March 25, at the Wilks Conference Center, Hamilton campus, with a keynote talk and panel presentations. It concludes with a keynote talk at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 26, in 212 MacMillan Hall, Oxford campus. Symposium highlights include:

advertisement for runaway slaves

An advertisement for runaway slaves. C. C. Pinckney of South Carolina recognized that the adoption of the fugitive slave clause in the Constitution handed slaveholding states a new right—"to recover our slaves in whatever part of America they may take refuge." (Library of Congress)
* Keynote and Michael J. Colligan History Project Lecture: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25, at the Wilks Conference Center, Hamilton campus, by John Thornton, professor of history at Boston College, on "African Christians Meet the Catholic Reformation: Caphuchins and the Kongo Church, 1645-1835." Thornton is author of several books on African history including Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, co-authored with Linda Heywood and winner of the 2007 Melville J. Herskovits Award for the best scholarly work on Africa published in English.

* Keynote: 2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 25, at the Wilks Conference Center, Hamilton campus, by Carla Pestana, W.E. Smith Professor of History at Miami on “The Missionary Impulse in the Early Modern Atlantic World (1500-1800).”
* Keynote: 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 26, in 212 MacMillan Hall, Oxford campus, by Linda Heywood, professor of history and director of the African American studies program at Boston University, on “Queen Njinga of Natamba (Angola) and the Tortured Road to Christianity.” She is co-author with John Thornton on Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, winner of the 2007 Melville J. Herskovits Award for the best scholarly work on Africa published in English. She was also one of the history consultants for and appeared in the PBS series “African American Lives” (2006) and “Finding Oprah’s Roots” (2007).

The talks are free and open to the public. The symposium is sponsored by the office of multicultural services, Miami University Hamilton; the Michael J. Colligan History Project; the Center for American and World Studies; the black world studies program; and the office of the campus dean, Miami University Hamilton.

For a schedule, go to

For more information contact organizers John Cinnamon at or 785-3270 or Oleta Prinsloo at or 785-3287.

News and Public Information Office Glos Center Miami University Oxford, Ohio 45056 (513) 529-7592 (513) 529-1950 fax

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hofstra archeologists highlight Long Island’s African American history for Columbia University project

Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY - The Center for Public Archeology at Hofstra University has contributed profiles, video, pod casts, historic and images for 10 Long Island sites to the Mapping the American Past (MAAP) educational website hosted by Teachers College at Columbia University.

MAAP is an award-winning educational and archival project that features multimedia profiles of people and places of significance in the history of the African American community in the New York metropolitan area. The site provides instructional materials for K-12 teachers, including lesson plans that explain how to use the website's resources in the classroom.

Historic View from Maiden Lane

View of Broadway, north from Cortlandt and Maiden Lane, New York City, c. 1885–87.

Maiden Lane once included an orchard, where enslaved Africans and two Native Americans met to plan a rebellion. Today the lane is part of downtown’s financial district.
With easy to access information, maps and multimedia content, MAAP helps anyone learn more about New York history and even plan visits to many sites of interest.

The profiles contributed by Hofstra include the Amityville Bethel AME Church, which is considered the first black church on Long Island, Booker T. Washington's summer home in Fort Salonga, and Hofstra University, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address in 1965.

"By including historic sites from Long Island, teachers, children and community members can not only learn about the broader contributions to African American history, but also rethink the modern boundaries that divide us,
racially and geographically," said Jenna Coplin, Director of Research and Outreach for the Center for Public Archeology.

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students' interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future. ###

Media Contact: Karla Schuster University Relations 202D Hofstra Hall Phone: 516-463-6493 Fax: 516-463-5146 Send an E-mail Date: Mar 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

African American quilters focus of March 24 lecture

The March 24 installment in Penn State Harrisburg’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture Series will feature a scholar’s look at quilters in the African American community.

Patricia Turner, author of Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters, will deliver her free public lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Gallery Lounge of Olmsted Building on campus.

Vice provost of undergraduate studies and a faculty member in the African and African American Studies programs at the University of California-Davis, Turner is also the author of Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America, Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture, and I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Rumor in African American Culture.

Patricia Turner

Patricia Turner
In Crafted Lives Turner explores the culture and recent history of African Americans through the creations and wisdom of nine quilters. She profiles quilters who exemplify the range of black women and men dedicated to the making of quilts and she shows how their craftwork established order and meaning in their lives. The artisans comprise eight women and one man, ranging from teenagers to octogenarians, representing an array of education and income levels, and living across the U.S., including Alaska.
Turner also probes how African American quilts and quilters have been depicted, discussed, criticized, and characterized. From the displays of Harriet Powers’ creations at the turn of the twentieth century to contemporary exhibits of black art quilts in addition to utilitarian expressions, Turner assesses the level of control African Americans have had or have not had over the materials they craft and the art they leave as legacy to new generations.

Penn State Harrisburg · 777 West Harrisburg Pike · Middletown, PA 17057

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bob Ray Sanders to speak to Friends of the UT Arlington Library

ARLINGTON - Bob Ray Sanders, associate editor and senior columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, will speak at the Friends of the UT Arlington Library meeting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 26, on the sixth floor of the Central Library. The meeting is co-sponsored by the UT Arlington African-American Faculty and Staff Association.

Sanders began his journalism career at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and worked in public broadcasting at KERA-TV, where he served as reporter, producer, station manager and vice president. A 1969 graduate of the University of North Texas, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Calvin Littlejohn: Portrait of a Community in Black and WhiteHe serves on the board of Community Hospice of Texas, Documentary Arts Inc. in Dallas and on the advisory boards of the AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County and Goodwill Industries Inc.

Sanders will be speaking about his recently published book Calvin Littlejohn: Portrait of a Community in Black and White (TCU Press, 2009).
The meeting is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be sold and autographed at the meeting. Contact Betty Wood at 817-272-7421 or to RSVP or for more information.

News Release — 17 March 2010, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, 817-272-3317,

Scores of Howard University Students to Help in Atlanta for Spring Break

WASHINGTON—Scores of Howard University students begin rolling into Atlanta March 13 for their annual spring break, but these students won’t be there to party.

Instead, they have skipped the beach or the trip back home to help tutor elementary school students and to talk with other students on the importance of continuing their education after high school.

Their work there from March 15 to March 19 is part of the university’s annual Alternative Spring Break, in which every year hundreds of students volunteer to participate in the student-run, student financed program.

Erica Lindsay

A week before landing in Atlanta, Erica Lindsay, the Atlanta site coordinator, joined and scores of Howard students who took to the streets near the university and raised over $25,000 March 7 during a radiothon with WHUR 96.3 FM, the university-owned commercial radio station. The money will be used to help pay for Alternative Spring Break. Lindsay and nearly 100 students are in Atlanta this week helping tutor elementary school students before they take an important proficiency test.
This year, nearly 300 Howard students will be working from on youth development in Atlanta and Washington, on gun violence in Chicago, on literacy in Detroit and on the environment and other issues in New Orleans.

The students raised $25,350 Sunday, March 7, during a 12-hour radiothon with WHUR 96.3 to help fund their efforts.

Chicago native Erica Jai Lindsay is the student site coordinator for Atlanta this year. She said nearly 100 students will be tutoring youngsters at Hope Elementary School and working with Hands On Atlanta to help collect and package books to be sent to impoverished communities in Africa.

They will also be visiting area high schools to talk with juniors and seniors in high school about college.

Lindsay, 20, said for the students, it is a chance to serve the community, a way to give back, which is a part of the legacy of Howard and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“For all of us, this is personal,” said Lindsay, who is also overseeing operations for all five sites. “It’s because we care. But it’s also part of a tradition of service at Howard University.

At other sites, San Diego native Christina Smith will be in Chicago a second year. She remembers vividly when it struck her how important it was that she be involved in Chicago rather than on a beach back home.

“We were talking to the students and one of them told me how his aunt owned a store in his neighborhood, but it was too dangerous for him to walk to the store and visit her,” Smith, 20, recalled.

“Other kids told us how they had to walk the long way back and forth to school because some areas on the way were too dangerous. And everybody could tell you a story about a friend or someone from their family who had been killed.

“I was really moved. I called my father in San Diego and he said he had never heard me so passionate about anything before.”

Monique Rochon, 20,of Bloomfield, Ind., is the site coordinator for New Orleans this year. She volunteered in New Orleans last year, but this year wanted to do more. Her job it is to plan every aspect of the trip to the Big Easy.

This year, the more than 80 students going to New Orleans will concentrate on securing the environment. They will plant tress, secure the coastline and clean up the city park. Another 40 students from the School of Law will help the city with its backlog of criminal and civil cases.

Denys Symonette of Orlando, Fla., is the student coordinator for Detroit. Her job is to arrange housing, food and transportation for the students and develop a week of community service programs for the students.

“For me personally, this is part of my spiritual journey, part of my faith as a Christian,” Symonette said. “If you’re a Christian, you help people.”

The students will be visiting a number of schools in the area and working with adults in rehabilitation at a Salvation Army facility.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ron Harris. Director of Communications. Office of University Communications. 202.683.0182

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Morehouse School of Medicine Public Health Professor Celebrates and Shares Husband's Life and Work with Community

The Seventh Annual Walter Rodney Symposium will be held on Friday, March 19, 2010 from 1:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Spelman College Cosby Auditorium, 350 Spelman Lane SW, Atlanta, GA. The symposium "30 Years: Reflections on the Life and Works of Walter Rodney" will feature two outstanding speakers, academic and student panel discussions, and cultural performances. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium honors the work of Walter Rodney, Ph.D. (1942-1980), Pan-Africanist historian, educator and political activist widely known for his seminal work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Originally published in 1972, the text has been translated into Portuguese, German and Japanese, and is widely used for coursework in colleges and universities in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Rodney authored nine books and more than 50 articles, including: The Groundings with My Brothers (c.1969); A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545 to 1980 (c.1970) and History of the Guyanese Working People 1881-1905 (c.1981). The first Rodney Symposium was held in 2004 to celebrate the donation of Walter Rodney's personal papers by the Rodney family to the Robert W. Woodruff Library in the Atlanta University Center. The papers are available for research.

It's been almost 30 years since Rodney, a scholar and activist, was assassinated by a bomb in Georgetown, Guyana at age 38, but his legacy continues through the generosity of his family.

Patricia Rodney, Ph.D., M.P.H.In 2006, his wife, Patricia Rodney, Ph.D., M.P.H., MSM professor and assistant dean for Public Health Education and their three children, formed the Walter Rodney Foundation committed to sharing his life and works with students, scholars and community activists around the world.
Its mission is to promote the vision of Walter Rodney in the areas of self-advancement, human rights and social justice through education, health and development initiatives.

Rodney said her family donated her late husband's collection to the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) in 2003 even though several universities offered to purchase the papers. "His legacy wasn't for sale," she said. "We knew the archivist would do a good job with the papers. We also wanted students from around the world to have access to his papers." Since 2004 an annual symposium has been held in Atlanta, Georgia, during the week of Rodney's birthday, March 23, 1942.

The afternoon program will begin with a conversation between noted author and historian Dr. Paula Giddings and Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, womanist scholar and director of Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center. Giddings will discuss her recently published book on African American journalist, Ida B. Wells, revealing parallels between the activism of Walter Rodney and Wells.

The symposium also includes two scholarly panels of faculty, students, and community activists who will discuss the underdevelopment and redevelopment of the nation of Haiti with respect to the impact and aftermath of the recent earthquake. Cultural presentations include dance, drumming and spoken word, and a special performance by "Our Kids Atlanta."

The Walter Rodney Symposium is hosted by the Walter Rodney Foundation in collaboration with the African American Human Rights Foundation, Clark Atlanta University Department of Political Science, Kennesaw State University African and African Diaspora Studies, Morehouse School of Medicine Master of Public Health Program, Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, and Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center.

For more information on the symposium, contact Karen Jefferson, 404-978-2045 or

Additionally, the Walter Rodney Papers are available for viewing and research at the Woodruff Library of the AUC. To schedule an appointment, contact 404-978-2052 or e-mail

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1975 as the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College. In 1981 Morehouse School of Medicine became an independently chartered institution and the first minority medical school established at a Historically Black College and University in the 20th century. MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians. Our faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care. For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at

For Immediate Release Media Contact: Cherie Richardson / 404-752-1917 /

Monday, March 15, 2010

Judge Hatchett to address College of Law graduates

Judge Glenda Hatchett, champion of youth mentoring and star of the nationally-syndicated daytime television program, “Judge Hatchett,” will address Loyola University College of Law graduates on Wednesday, May 12, at 6 p.m., at the Morial Convention Center auditorium.

“Judge Hatchett” offers a diverse mix of family and juvenile court and unusual small claims cases and is known for its unique and unpredictable intervention segments. These segments, filmed all across the country, use creative means to help litigants understand the implications of their actions.

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett
Hatchett is a graduate of Emory University School of Law. Following law school, Hatchett accepted a position with Delta Airlines. There, she served as both senior attorney, litigating cases in federal courts throughout the country, and manager of public relations, supervising global crisis management and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States. She was the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman.
Hatchett left Delta to accept an appointment as Georgia’s first African-American chief presiding judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.

Hatchett is the author of the national bestseller, “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say,” based on her extensive professional experiences as a jurist and her own personal experience as a mother of two boys. She serves as the national spokesperson for Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit volunteer organization that trains volunteers to represent abused and neglected children and help them navigate the court system. Hatchett also serves on the board of advisers for PlayPumps International, an organization dedicated to bringing clean water to needy communities in Africa. In 1990, she helped found the Truancy Intervention Project, which enlists the help of legal volunteers to provide early, positive intervention with children reported as truants.

Hatchett did her undergraduate work at Mount Holyoke College, which presented her with an honorary degree and named her a distinguished alumna. She was also named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by Emory University School of Law and was presented with the highest award given to university alumni, the Emory Medal, for her unwavering commitment to children’s issues. Hatchett received the NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Award, was named one of the 100 Best & Brightest Women in Corporate America by Ebony Magazine and received the Prism Award in 2003 for Best Unscripted Non-Fiction Series or Special for Television for her show’s “Carrie’s Out of Rehab” episode, a poignant look at addiction and recovery.

Hatchett is a board member of the Atlanta Falcons football organization and also serves on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Board of Governors. Hatchett resides in Atlanta, Ga., with her two sons.

For more information on the College of Law commencement, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888.

Loyola press release - March 15, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Alan Page to speak April 16 Ethnic Studies lecture

2010-03-15 Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [3/12/2010]

Alan Page, Minnesota’s first African-American Supreme Court justice, will talk about “The Importance of Education” Friday, April 16, at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Page’s talk, sponsored by the Ethnic Studies Department, will be from noon until 1 p.m. in Room 284 of Centennial Student Union. His lecture is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Justice Alan Page

Justice Alan Page 18 February 2009 This file is licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0 License.
Page, renowned for his quarterback sacks as the star defensive end for the “Purple-People-Eater” Minnesota Vikings of the 1970s, reinvented his career after retiring from football. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1971, but attended the University of Minnesota Law School while playing, earning a juris doctor in 1978.

In the early 1980s, after retiring, he worked for a Minneapolis law firm, then was appointed special assistant attorney general and then assistant attorney general for Minnesota.

In 1992 he was elected to an open seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court, becoming the court’s first African-American associate justice.
In 1998 he was re-elected as the biggest Supreme Court vote-getter in Minnesota history, and was re-elected again in 2004.

Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation, which has awarded post-secondary education grants to thousands of minority youth. He is a devoted marathon runner; he completed the Edmund Fitzgerald 100-k Road Race in Duluth, and regularly watches the Twin Cities Marathon, playing the tuba near mile 3.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive, doctoral university with 14,950 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 institutions across the state.

Minnesota State University · Mankato, Minnesota 56001 · United States of America · Tel: 1-800-722-0544

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Study Reveals that Black Adults' Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking Levels are Below the National Average

The current alcohol use rate for blacks aged 18 and older is significantly lower than the national adult average (44.3 percent versus 55.2 percent) according to a new study based on a national survey.The study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also reveals that black adults have a lower rate of current binge drinking than the national adult average (21.7 percent versus 24.5 percent). Young black adults (aged 18-25) are markedly less likely to be currently engaged in binge drinking than young adults in the general population (25.3 percent versus 41.6 percent).

One notable exception to the generally lower levels of alcohol use among black adults is the rate of current binge drinking among pregnant black women aged 18 to 44 which is higher than the national average for pregnant women in the age group (8.1 percent versus 3.6 percent).

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationAt the same time the study reveals that black adults have a higher rate of current illicit drug use than the national average (9.5 percent versus 7.9 percent).
The difference in rates of current illicit drug use between black adults and the national average tends to be more pronounced among male adults aged 26 and older.For example, 14.7 percent of black adults aged 26 to 49 currently use illicit drugs as opposed to 11.2 percent of the general adult population in that age group.

“This study provides important insight into the differences affecting various populations across our country,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “As a nation we must strive to reach out to every part of our population and provide services that are best tailored to effectively promote the benefits of prevention, treatment and good health.”

Among the other noteworthy findings in the report – an estimated 1.1 million black adults (4.4 percent) were classified in the survey as needing treatment for an illicit drug use problem in the past year – higher than the national average of 2.9 percent.Almost one quarter (24.2 percent) of black adults in need of treatment received it at a specialty facility – significantly higher than the national average of 19.2 percent.

This study is part of a series of reports examining substance use patterns among different ethnic, racial and demographic groups in America .The studies are designed to provide data that will help public health experts, service providers and communities better understand and address the issues affecting various segments of the population.

The report,Substance Use among Black Adults is based on data collected during 2004 to 2008 from a nationally representative sample of 25,798 black adults who participated in SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Media Contact: SAMHSA Media Telephone: 240-276-2130.

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

John C. Merchant first African-American chair of the Morehead State University Board of Regents

Cincinnati attorney John C. Merchant was elected Thursday as the first African-American chair of the Morehead State University Board of Regents.

“John is an outstanding choice and we look forward to his leadership of our governing board,” said MSU President Wayne D. Andrews. "He is a proud alumnus of the institution and has gained valuable insight during his seven years of service as a Regent."

Merchant has been vice chair for the past year and was reappointed last year to his second six-year term on the board. He succeeds Sylvia Lovely of Lexington as chair.

John C. Merchant“I appreciate the opportunity that the members of the Board have given me,” said Merchant. “I graduated from MSU in 1979 and to come back and be in this position is very gratifying. I know it is going to be a very tough job given the budget the Commonwealth is facing.”

A native of Lexington, Merchant is a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Peck, Shaffer, and Williams. He is a graduate of Morehead State University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.
For more than 20 years, Merchant has been practicing public finance law, providing legal counsel for municipal transactions across the country. He has been admitted to the bar in Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining the Cincinnati firm, Merchant served in several positions in the executive branch of state government. He is a past president of the MSU Alumni Association.

He is a board member of the New Cities Foundation of the Kentucky League of Cities and a trustee of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. He maintains memberships in numerous other professional organizations, including the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, and the National Association of Securities Professionals.

Dr. John O’Cull of Vanceburg was elected vice chair. A Morehead State graduate, he was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2004. Carol Johnson, assistant to the president, was re-elected board secretary while Mike Walters, vice president for administration and fiscal services, was reappointed treasurer.

In other business, the Regents approved sabbatical leaves for 2010-11; tenure with promotion for 2010; personnel actions; contracts for banking service; second quarter financial report and amended the operating budget; resolution authorizing the sale of MSU’s general receipts obligations (2010 Series A) and purchase of property and exception to master plan.

The Regents heard reports on preliminary spring enrollment and personal service contracts.

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 10.

Posted: 3-11-10

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Renowned Author and Princeton Professor Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is Keynote Speaker at 14th Annual Urban Community Forum on March 27

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., distinguished author, commentator and Senior Fellow with The Jamestown Project at Harvard University, will be the keynote speaker at Cleveland State University’s 14th Annual Urban Community Forum on March 27 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Cole Center for Continuing Education (3100 Chester Ave.)

The event is free and open to the public. To register, please call 216.687.9394 or visit The registration deadline is March 22. A continental breakfast and light lunch is included.

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
This year’s Urban Community Forum theme, “The (Many) Souls of Black Folk,” is taken from W.E.B. DuBois’ 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk, in which he proclaims that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” As a continuing problem of the 21st century, the Urban Community Forum invites attendees to participate in an important dialogue on identities and constructs that continue to influence our lives in American society. Speakers, panelists, performers and community members will discuss our historic journey and transitions, and how we define and redefine racial identity today and in the future.

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University.
Widely regarded as one of the brightest young intellectuals in the U.S. today, Glaude offers a critical and insightful view on the problems currently facing black America as well as the nation at large.

He is the author of several books; his latest award-winning book, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, has been characterized as a tour de force – establishing him as “one of the most visionary thinkers of our time.” According to Cornel West, acclaimed author of the best-selling book, Race Matters, “Eddie Glaude is the towering intellectual of his generation. There is simply no one else like him emerging on the intellectual scene.”

Born in Mississippi, in a small town called Moss Point, Glaude brings to his scholarship and public service a sense of passion and vocation shaped by the tradition of African American struggle. As a graduate of Morehouse College, he was inspired by the courage and devotion of Martin Luther King, Jr., the institution’s most famous graduate. Glaude went on to receive his doctorate degree in religion from Princeton University.

Currently, Glaude is a regular commentator on the Tavis Smiley Show From PRI. He has been a guest on radio shows ranging from The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC to Mildred Gaddis’s show, Inside Detroit. Glaude has also appeared on Hannity and Colmes as well as Tavis Smiley on PBS. With each appearance, Glaude seeks to prod and to provoke, to insist and to incite, to encourage and to embolden fellow citizens to rise to the profound challenges of our day. # # #

March 11, 2010 | News Release #14786 | Contact: Brian Johnston, 216.523.7279,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artifacts documenting the life and work of abolitionist Harriet Tub Unveiled by National Museum of African American History and Culture

"Harriet Tubmah, known at various times, and in various places, by many different names, such as "Moses," in allusion to her being the leader and guide to so many of her people in their exodus from the Land of Bondage ; " the Conductor of the Underground Railroad ; " and " Moll Pitcher," for the energy and daring by which she delivered a fugitive slave who was about to be dragged back to the South; was for the first twenty-five years of her life a slave on the eastern shore of Maryland. Her own master she represents as never unnecessarily cruel; but as was common among slaveholders, he often hired out his slaves to others, some of whom proved to be tyrannical and brutal to the utmost limit of their power.

She had worked only as a field-hand for many years, following the oxen, loading and unloading wood, and carrying heavy burdens, by which her naturally remarkable power of muscle was so developed that her feats of strength often called forth the wonder of strong laboring men. Thus was she preparing for the life of hardship and endurance which lay before her, for the deeds of daring she was to do, and of which her ignorant and darkened mind at that time never dreamed."

Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman By Sarah Hopkins Bradford

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired a collection of artifacts documenting the life and work of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Tubman, born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, gained international acclaim as an Underground Railroad operator, Civil War spy and suffragist. Items from the Tubman collection were unveiled today at a ceremony on Capitol Hill coinciding with the anniversary of Tubman’s death March 10, 1913.

The collection includes photographs, correspondence, photo-post cards, manuscripts of speeches, souvenir programs from dedication services, household items and clothing accessories.

Among the items shedding light on the private life of Tubman are family photographs, a hymn book published in 1876 and signed in pencil by Tubman and a lace shawl (circa 1897) given to her by England’s Queen Victoria. Among the photographs of Tubman’s funeral March 11, 1913, is one showing her lying in state at A.M.E. Zion Church in Auburn, N.Y., and surrounded by seven members of the board of directors of the Harriet Tubman Home.
Harriet Tubman

“There is something both humbling and sacred found in the personal items of such an iconic person,” said Lonnie Bunch, director of NMAAHC. “It is an honor to be able to show the private side of a very public person, a woman whose very work for many years put her in service to countless others.

This donation by Charles Blockson is a selfless gesture that ensures that her story will be enshrined forever within the Smithsonian Institution.”

The Harriet Tubman collection is a gift to NMAAHC from Charles L. Blockson, writer, historian and former board member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He also is founder and curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of rare texts, slave narratives, art and other historically significant artifacts.
The items came to him after the death of a Tubman relative.

“I inherited her belongings and for eight months I kept them with me in my bedroom, but they belong in this museum,” Blockson said of the Smithsonian’s African American museum. “Harriet Tubman is one of the most important women in the history of America, and her story needs to be heard by generations to come.”

Blockson’s family story is intertwined with Tubman’s. His research shows he is the descendant of Jacob Blockson who escaped slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with Harriet Tubman and settled in St. Catherine, Canada.

The unveiling ceremony today at the Longworth House Office Building is hosted by Rep. Robert A. Brady, (D-Pa.), chair of the Committee on House Administration.

“Several years ago, when the Committee on House Administration considered legislation to establish the National Museum of African American History and Culture, there was no centralized and dedicated collection of artifacts,” Brady said. “Congress and the Smithsonian knew that the collection would have to come from the generosity of private individuals and collectors who would be willing to part with valued treasures in order to enrich the lives of all Americans. Dr. Blockson, a distinguished historian and my Philadelphia constituent, has answered the call by donating his invaluable collection of Harriet Tubman artifacts. What he has done is nothing short of noble.”

The NMAAHC collection holds nearly 10,000 items ranging from fine art, historic photographs and manuscripts, to items documenting the slave trade, the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights era.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress in 2003, making it the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. It will be built on the National Mall on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument and is scheduled to open in 2015.

PRESS RELEASE March 10, 2010

For more information visit the museum at

Pasadena City College Reaches Out To Community Churches With Super Education Sunday

Pasadena City College faculty, staff, and administrators will be visiting local African-American churches this month as part of the “Super Education Sunday” outreach effort. The goal of the program is to connect with students and their families and to make them aware of the academic programs and support opportunities available at PCC.

Participants from the college will include members of the District’s Board of Trustees, the President’s African-American Advisory Committee, Dr. Lisa Sugimoto, and members of the outreach and support program staff.

Dr. Lisa Sugimoto“Super Education Sunday” will take place at Friendship Baptist Church at 10 a.m. on March 14, at Victory Bible Full Gospel Baptist Church at 9 and 11 a.m. on March 21, at Scott United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. on March 28, and at First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Pasadena at 8 and 11 a.m. on March 28. An event is tentatively scheduled at Metropolitan Baptist Church at 9:45 a.m. on March 28.

For more information about the program, contact Tameka Alexander at (626) 585-7871.
Release Date: 03/10/2010 Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations Phone: (626) 585-7315 Email:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

African American Art Authority David Driskoll to Speak March 10

David C. Driskoll, an artist, scholar and historian, widely cited as one of the world's leading authorities on African American art, will present the annual Paul R. Jones lecture on Wednesday, March 10 at 6 pm. The talk, “Charging Abstraction: Our Personal Journey,” will take place in Brown Lab, room 101.

Driskoll, a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, has contributed significantly to scholarship in the history of art on the role of the Black artist in American society. In 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton presented Driskoll with the National Humanities Medal in honor of his work.

David C. Driskell Linear Pattern #3

A work by David C. Driskell, "Linear Pattern #3," 1980. Egg tempera and collage on paper. Collection of David C. Driskell. Copyright David C. Driskell
The Paul R. Jones lecture accompanies Abstract Relations, the exhibit currently on view at the University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall. Abstract Relations is a collaboration of the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware Museums.

Preceding Driskoll's lecture, the exibit's co-curators, Julie McGee, Curator of African American Art, UD University Museums, and Adrienne Childs, Curator, David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, will discuss the show at 5 pm in Mechanical Hall.

The Paul R, Jones lecture and collection honor UD benefactor, avid art collector and Atlanta businessman Paul R. Jones. Jones passed away in January. In 2001, Jones donated works by 20th century African American artists to the University of Delaware.
Both events are free and open to the public. For more information visit the University of Delaware Museums website [] or call 302-831-8037.

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21st annual High Achievers Academic Bowl at Penn State Harrisburg

College hosts High Achievers Academic Bowl March 16 March 9, 2010

Who was the first black cohost of NBC’s Today show? What do the letters “UNCF” stand for? What U.S. Supreme Court decision declared school segregation unconstitutional?

These types of questions will be posed to teams of seventh and eighth graders from nine area schools when they vie for the top prize in the 21st annual High Achievers Academic Bowl at Penn State Harrisburg, Tuesday, March 16.

The event, hosted each year by the Penn State Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Community Affairs, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Capital Union Building Student Center on campus. The competition is free and open to the public.

Bryant Gumbel and wife Hillary

Description: Bryant Gumbel and wife Hillary at the Metropolitan Opera opening in 2008. © Rubenstein, photographer Martyna Borkowski, Date. 22 September 2008.

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Participating middle schools are Central Dauphin, Central Dauphin East, Harrisburg Math and Science Academy, Linglestown, Middletown Area, Northern Lebanon, Steelton-Highspire, Susquehanna Township, and Swatara.

Barbara Thompson, director of the Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Community Affairs says, “The annual Academic Bowl has become a pillar of the college’s commitment to reach out and partner with local schools. Through this fun, challenging, and educational event, participants see the value of team learning and group participation.”

The competition utilizes three sources: “The Black Americans of Achievement Game,” “African American Facts and Trivia,” and the “African, Asian, and Hispanic Collections.” Included are questions about the accomplishments of black Americans and information about other cultures.

Through studying the questions and using information presented during Black History Month activities, students are expected to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity. Multi-ethnic team participation is encouraged and more than 1,000 students have participated in the Academic Bowl since it has been hosted by Penn State Harrisburg.

Prizes will be awarded to all participating students and schools and the first place team will receive a trophy. All participating schools receive books to enhance their library collections.

News Release: Penn State Harrisburg · 777 West Harrisburg Pike · Middletown, PA 17057