Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Africana Studies to Collaborate with Friends of Historical Cemetery

CHARLOTTE - June 30, 2010 - UNC Charlotte’s Africana Studies department will collaborate with The Friends of Old Westview Cemetery, Inc. to develop a long-range plan to help restore the more than 150 year old cemetery in Wadesboro.

Since the passing of the cemetery’s caretaker in the 1960s, the cemetery has become overgrown and neglected, according to friends of the cemetery.

Participating in the Martin Luther King Day of Service earlier this year, members of the Africana Studies Club, a student organization at the University, led a project which involved cleaning and documenting grave markers. The collaboration grew out of the service project and was recently announced during a Friends of Old Westview Cemetery board of directors meeting.

Old Westview Cemetery was founded in the mid-19th century and has served as the primary burial ground for Wadesboro’s African-American community.

UNC Charlotte Many citizens who contributed to Wadesboro’s post-emancipation African-American community are buried in Old Westview. The cemetery is currently on the “Study List” of historical places and is eligible for placement on the National Register.
UNC Charlotte faculty and students will conduct research on the historical significance of the all-black cemetery and develop public educational programs on the history of Wadesboro and the biographies of those buried in Old Westview. Chair of Africana Studies department Akin Ogundiran and Africana Studies graduate student India Solomon will coordinate the project for the University.

“We would like people from all the surrounding areas to not only be aware of the cemetery in Wadesboro but also similar cemeteries in their own areas,” said Ogundiran. “We would like to encourage a widespread effort to preserve these cemeteries for public education and to document the stories of the people who helped shape our lives today.”

For more information, contact Ogundiran at 704.687.2355. ###

Public Relations media contact, Buffie Stephens, 704.687.5830,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

American Studies journal dedicates double-issue to Aaron Douglas scholarship Articles originate primarily from 2007 interdisciplinary conference at KU

Lawrence, KS – Three years after the Spencer Museum of Art premiered its landmark exhibition Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist, a special double-issue of the journal American Studies celebrates Douglas’s legacy, gathering together articles about the Topeka-born artist by some of America’s preeminent scholars.

The issue, "Aaron Douglas and the Harlem Renaissance," contains essays primarily derived from "Aaron Douglas and the Arts of the Harlem Renaissance," a September 2007 interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Kansas in conjunction with the SMA exhibition.

Edited by KU Associate Professor of English William J. Harris, who organized the Douglas conference, the issue features articles by an impressive group of nationally known scholars and artists who spoke at the conference, including Terry Adkins (University of Pennsylvania), Gerald Early, (University of Washington), Farah Jasmine Griffin (Columbia University), Amy Helene Kirschke (University of North Carolina-Wilmington), David Krasner (Emerson College), Robert G. O’Meally (Columbia University), and Richard Powell (Duke University).

Aaron Douglas: African American ModernistMoreover, it includes two specially commissioned essays on Douglas by Stephanie Fox Knappe (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, formerly of the Spencer, who served as Exhibition Coordinator for the Douglas show and also coordinated the conference symposium) and Cheryl Ragar (Kansas State University). The issue also features a generous selection of images of Douglas’s work.

“The issue has been long in the making but the wait has been worth it,” Harris says. “It was a very special moment when a great group of scholars came together to celebrate this major African American figure.
The celebration went beyond the scholars and also included the audience which was made of up family, graduate students, American and international scholars, and town folks. The structure let everybody speak which made those days democratic, profound, and moving. Everybody was an expert and nobody was an expert but wonderful things were said in those two days. I am glad that we could get these essays in a journal, a published account—to both record the conference and give a sense of the intellectual excitement.”

To purchase the Douglas edition of American Studies (Volume 49, Number 1/2, $12), please make checks payable to MAASA and send to Managing Editor, American Studies, Jayhawk Blvd., Bailey 213, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-7545.
About Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist

Curated by Susan Earle, SMA Curator of European & American Art, Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist was the first major exhibition to celebrate the life, art and legacy of Douglas, an African American artist from Kansas who went on to become the most important visual artist of the Harlem Renaissance. The Spencer-organized exhibition, some seven years in the making, was the first-ever national traveling retrospective of Douglas’s work, and brought together nearly 100 works from public institutions and private collections across the country. The exhibition debuted at the Spencer in fall 2007, and then traveled to venues in Nashville (Frist Center for the Visual Arts), Washington, D.C. (Smithsonian American Art Museum), and New York (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture). The exhibition included an eponymous, multi-author scholarly book, edited by Earle and published by Yale University Press. That publication, as well as the recently published Aaron Douglas and Alta Sawyer Douglas: Love Letters from the Harlem Renaissance, is for sale in the Spencer’s shop, and through the SMA website:

MEDIA CONTACTS Bill Woodard Director of Communications Spencer Museum of Art 785.864.0142

Monday, June 28, 2010

Downsville, Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Hangman’s Noose Leads to Guilty Plea

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department today announced that Robert Jackson, 37, of Downsville, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to placing a hangman’s noose in the carport of the home of a family in order “to send a message” to African-American males who had been frequently visiting the victim’s home. Jackson entered a plea to violating the Fair Housing Act by intimidating and interfering with another’s housing rights because of race.

According to court testimony, the victim and her children arrived home on June 13, 2008, and found a hangman’s noose suspended from a bird-feeder underneath the carport of her home. A subsequent investigation determined that Jackson, a former employee at a local company located next door from the victim’s home, made the noose and placed it in the carport.

“A noose is an unmistakable symbol of hate in our nation, and it was used in this case to intimidate an innocent family,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who resort to threats motivated by hate.”

hangman's noose“A hangman’s noose is a powerful symbol of racial intimidation and intolerance, and when used to interfere with federally protected rights, becomes a federal crime.” said Stephanie A. Finley, U.S. Attorney for Western District of Louisiana. “The victim and her family sought nothing more than to live in their home in peace. Jackson’s racially motivated response has left him facing a prison sentence.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2010. Jackson faces a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Monroe Resident Agency, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Mudrick and Trial Attorney Myesha Braden of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

For Immediate Release June 24, 2010 U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Iowa African-American Hall of Fame to induct new members

AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame, housed in Iowa State University's Black Cultural Center, will induct five new members in August.

Founded in Des Moines in 1995, the IAAHF recognizes outstanding achievements of African-Americans with respect to enhancing the quality of life for all Iowans. Forty individuals have been inducted into the hall of fame since its inception.

This year, the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of:

* Melvin Harper, manager of restaurants and entertainment venues in Iowa. A promoter of national musical acts, Harper was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2002. Harper also founded several construction businesses in Iowa.
* Elaine Estes, the first and only African-American director (now retired) of the Des Moines Public Library. Under her leadership, the library became the first in Iowa and in the country to carry out a materials preservation program and disaster preparedness plan, and Iowa became the first state to pass a law protecting library users' records.

Iowa African-American Hall of Fame * Iowa Tuskegee Airmen (group), African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Iowa had 12 black Tuskegee Airmen, six of whom served in combat. Between them, they flew over 400 combat missions.
* Chuck Toney (posthumous), former director of affirmative action at John Deere. The first African-American at an executive level at John Deere, Toney started out his career as the first welder of color in Iowa and Illinois.
* Zack E. Hamlett Jr. (posthumous), founder and first executive dean, Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus. Hamlett also founded the Iowa Alliance of Black School Educators and served as chair of the Iowa State Black Network.

The 2010 inductees will be recognized at a reception and banquet starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, at The Meadows Event and Conference Center, Prairie Meadows, Altoona. Tickets are $50 per individual. To reserve a seat, contact Rose Wilbanks at (515) 294-1909. In addition to supporting the IAAHF, proceeds help support the George Washington Carver Leadership Academy for developing youth leadership at Iowa colleges and universities. Proceeds also will help establish a permanent home for the Hall of Fame. -30-

Contacts: Thomas Hill, Vice President for Student Affairs, (515) 294-1909, Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Memoriam: Hannah Atkins

STILLWATER -On June 17, 2010, Hannah Atkins, the first African-American woman elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, passed away. Atkins’ legacy will be preserved in collections at the OSU Library.

Atkins served the House from 1968 to 1980 as representative from the 97th District. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter named her to the General Assembly of the 35th Session of the United Nations. She went on to hold state cabinet-level positions throughout the 80s.

Atkins’ papers are housed in the OSU Library Special Collections. The collection contains material about Atkins' life, career and involvement in organizations. Access is unrestricted, and the collection is open to the public.

In 2007, the OSU Library’s Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP) interviewed Atkins for the Women of the Oklahoma Legislature Project. The interview audio and transcript are available online at

In tribute to Atkins, the OOHRP's weekly radio broadcast, Then and Now, will highlight interview clips with and about her on June 23, 30 and July 7. After episodes air, they are available online at or through the OSU channel of ITunes U.

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for a new world. Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 32,000 students across its five-campus system and nearly 21,000 on its Stillwater campus; with students from all 50 states and about 110 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 200,000 students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world. CREATE - INNOVATE - EDUCATE - GO STATE! -###-

For Immediate Release.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Plaque in Senate Wing of U.S. Capitol Honoring Enslaved African-Americans for Their Contribution to Construction of U.S. Capitol

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer led a ceremony to install the long-awaited plaque formally recognizing the contributions that enslaved African-Americans made to the construction of the U.S. Capitol. The new plaque was mounted atop original stone used to build the Capitol and is located in the Senate wing of the building, which is open to the public. Schumer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, was an original co-sponsor of the resolution honoring enslaved African-Americans for their contribution to the construction of the U.S. Capitol.

“This plaque honoring the hard work of these brave Americans is a fitting tribute to the vital but voiceless work they contributed to the construction of the U.S. Capitol,” Schumer said. “It is essential that every American understands the plight of these brave individuals, who laid the stones to build the nation’s greatest symbol of freedom, yet were cruelly denied it throughout their own lives. I am proud to have fought so hard to see this plaque become a reality and am thrilled the public will now be able to view it and understand the complex history of the U.S. Capitol.”

Speaker Pelosi unveiling the bust of Sojourner Truth in the Capitol

Speaker Pelosi unveiling the bust of Sojourner Truth in the Capitol
Many of the enslaved African-Americans working on the U.S. Capitol left little written record, often not even their full names. But a few, especially those with key roles, are known. The best known account of an African-American associated with the construction of the U.S. Capitol was that of Philip Reid, a slave laborer of a sculptor.
A plaster model of the Statue of Freedom, which sits atop the Captiol was constructed by the Italian sculptor, who would not reveal how to separate the model so the statue could not be cast unless he received a pay increase. The stalemate persisted until Reid was able to fashion a method to disassemble the statue so it could be transported to the foundry for casting. Reid was integral to the construction of one of the most recognizable symbols of freedom in the United States. He was eventually granted his freedom a year before the statue was placed at the top of the Capitol’s dome by a Congressional act that freed the slaves of the District of Columbia.

Another account was of Captain George Pointer, a slave who was born in 1773 and was able to purchase his freedom at age 18. Decades later, in 1829, Pointer gave a detailed biographical account of how he captained a boat that regularly brought sandstone and marble to Washington, D.C. used to build the floors and the columns in the House and Senate chambers.

The installation of the plaque was authorized by Senate Resolution 53, of which Schumer was an original co-sponsor. The resolution was cleared by the unanimous consent of the Senate on February 25, 2009. A similar plaque hangs in the House of Representatives wing of the Capitol. Both plaques were officially unveiled last week by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Republican Leader John Boehner. ###


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WVU professor, students to tell the stories of African American war vets through interactive exhibit

The small town of Kimball in McDowell County may seem an unlikely place to house the nation’s only war memorial honoring World War I African American soldiers, but as one might imagine, there is a story to tell.

This summer, West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism Associate Professor Joel Beeson and three students are working to document that story and create a public exhibit at the Kimball War Memorial Building.

Using photographs, multimedia interviews, timelines and war memorabilia, the exhibit will help narrate the story of African Americans who migrated to McDowell County from the rural South in the early 1900s to work in the coal mines and who served in the U.S. military during wartime. The interactive display will be permanently housed in the Kimball building and also include an online component.

“Curating an interactive narrative in physical space provides a pivotal learning environment for students working in multimedia,” said Beeson.

New York's famous 369th regiment arrives home from France

New York's famous 369th regiment arrives home from France. National Archives and Records Administration Records of the War Department Record Group 165 ARC Identifier: 533548
“Understanding how to use all the tools of experiential media effectively bridges digital and physical space to build a true new media experience.”

As director of the West Virginia Veterans History Project – an ongoing effort since 2003 – Beeson has acquired and edited more than 500 photographs, including historical World War I images and a photographic social survey of McDowell County coal miners by the famous Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee.
He became acquainted with the McDowell County memorial and its board members in 2004 while working on his documentary, “Fighting on Two Fronts: The Untold Stories of African American WWII Veterans.”

In the fall of 2009, Beeson shared the idea of creating a photo exhibit for the memorial with students in his visual storytelling class. What started out as a class assignment evolved into a community project, now known as the “Kimball War Memorial Project.”

News-editorial senior Alissa Murphy is helping Assistant Professor Dana Coester who is leading efforts to produce an online component for the exhibit. Murphy said the entire team has a very important task on its shoulders.

“This is a huge part of West Virginia history – of U.S. history,” said Murphy. “We want to create an experience. We want people to hear the voices of African American veterans while they are looking at these photographs.”

Other team members include news-editorial junior Evan Moore, who is the visual editor for the project,and May 2010 news-editorial graduate and project coordinator Brianna Swisher, who is doing a year-long Americorps internship with Coal Heritage Trail, one of the project’s collaborating partners.

Work on this exhibit is partially funded through a 2010 WVU Public Service Grant. The display is slated to open on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 and the interactive website will be launched this fall. WVU cv/06/22/10

CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism 304-293-3505 ext. 5403

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lt. Col. William H. Holloman III Tuskegee Airman dies

Maj. Gen. Harold L. "Mitch" Mitchell, Tuskegee Airman Retired Lt. Col. Bill Holloman and Lt. Col. Kimberly Scott prepare to present certificates to students as part of the Michael Anderson Memorial Scholarship event at Seattle's Museum of Flight. Colonel Holloman is one of the famed "Tuskegee Airmen" who broke the military's color barrier by becoming a World War II fighter pilot. He died June 11, 2010, in Kent, Wash. General Mitchell is the Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force, in Washington D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Moody)

6/17/2010 - SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- Retired Lt. Col. William H. Holloman III, 85, one of the famed "Tuskegee Airmen" who broke the military's color barrier by becoming a World War II fighter pilot, died June 11 in Kent, Wash.

Colonel Holloman continued to serve during the Korean War and became the Air Force's first African-American helicopter pilot. He went to war again in Vietnam.

Lt. Col. William H. Holloman IIIA St. Louis native, he volunteered for and graduated from an all-black aviation training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala.

Colonel Holloman flew a single-seat P-51 Mustang fighter-bomber as part of the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group from a base in Italy to targets in Germany, Austria and Eastern European countries in 1944 and 1945.
He flew 19 combat missions, including escorting bombers and hitting enemy targets.

After World War II, Colonel Holloman worked in South America and flew small commercial planes in Canada. Later as an Air Force reservist, he was called back to active duty for tours during the Korean War and in Vietnam. It was during that time he switched services and joined the Army.

After he retired in 1972 from the Army, he continued to serve his country by teaching younger generations about how the war and aviation intersected in a way that helped end racial separation.

The Official Site of the United States Air Force.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Juneteenth Celebration

It is the name for a holiday celebrating June 19, 1865, the day when Union soldiers arrived in Texas and spread the word that President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Procalamation. News traveled so slowly in those days that Texas did not hear of Lincoln's Proclamation, which he gave on January 1, 1863, until more than two years after it was issued!

The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Thus, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

Although Juneteenth has been informally celebrated each year since 1865, it wasn't until June 3, 1979, that Texas became the first state to proclaim Emancipation Day (Juneteenth) an official state holiday.

Juneteenth CelebrationBut it is much more than a holiday. Juneteenth has become a day for African Americans to celebrate their freedom, culture, and achievements. It is a day for all Americans to celebrate African American history and rejoice in their freedom.

CREDIT: "Juneteenth Celebration program cover." Photo for "Juneteenth Celebration," a Texas Local Legacies project

Friday, June 18, 2010

Governor Quinn Commemorates Juneteenth, Honors Dr. Margaret Burroughs

Signs Legislation at Burroughs-Founded DuSable Museum to Designate March 25 as Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery

CHICAGO – June 18, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today commemorated Juneteenth at the DuSable Museum of African American History and proclaimed Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day in honor of the museum’s founder. He also signed legislation to designate March 25 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the state of Illinois.

Juneteenth is the oldest and most widely-celebrated holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

“Juneteenth is a day to remember our past and honor those who have made significant contributions to our present,” said Governor Quinn. “I salute Dr. Margaret Burroughs for her incredible work to advance the arts in Illinois and her dedication to ensuring that everyone can experience African American history and culture.”

Dr. Margaret Burroughs

Dr. Margaret Burroughs. Photo Credit: Indiana University
Dr. Margaret Burroughs made the first of her many contributions to African American arts and culture when, at the age of 22, she founded the South Side Community Arts Center as a gallery and studio for artists and students. The center is still active today and Dr. Margaret Burroughs continues to serve on its board.

Then, in 1961, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, her husband Charles and other leading Chicago residents founded the DuSable Museum of African American History. The museum has since grown to be an internationally-recognized museum of African American art.
It was originally located on the ground floor of the Burroughs' home on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago and is named for Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, the first non-Native-American permanent settler in Chicago.

“As the founder of numerous community institutions, a fighter for social justice and equality during the Civil Rights Movement, and a respected artist and pillar of the African American community, Dr. Margaret Burroughs has touched the lives of countless individuals and throughout her accomplished life has embodied the spirit of Juneteenth by brightening the futures of children and adults all across the Land of Lincoln,” said Governor Quinn in the proclamation.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers led by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the end of the Civil War, freeing all slaves. Though Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was effective two years prior on January 1, 1863, a lack of Union troops in Texas prevented enforcement.

Also at the event, Governor Quinn signed a bill into law to designate March 25 as a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the state of Illinois. House Bill 4586, sponsored by Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously. The holiday will coincide with the annual United Nations' International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which falls on March 25 annually.

"Dr Margaret Burroughs Day" Proclamation in PDF Format. ###

Governor's Office Press Release, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Governor Douglas Proclaims Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Vermont

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas has proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Vermont. Juneteenth, the oldest African-American holiday observance in the nation, celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States.

“From our founding, Vermonters have been committed to protecting and preserving the freedoms of our fellow citizens,” Governor Douglas said. “In our founding document, the 1777 Constitution, slavery was explicitly prohibited.”

Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, slavery continued during the Civil War. On June 18, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. The next day, June 19, 1865, General Granger is reported to have read aloud General Order No.3, declaring all slaves free. Later that year the 13th Amendment became effective when it was ratified by Georgia on December 6, 1865, officially abolishing slavery throughout United States.

Governor Jim DouglasIn 2008, the General Assembly passed and Governor Douglas signed into law H. 432, An Act Establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day. Act 201 of the 2007-2008 Biennium established the third Saturday in June as a commemorative state holiday.

Source: Office of the Governor

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Satcher to Graduates: “Dream About the Future of Health Care”

LOS ANGELES - Despite passage earlier this year of U.S. health care reform, David G. Satcher, the former U.S. Surgeon General, urged students graduating from Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science on Saturday to figure out how the American health system can be improved.

Dr. Satcher applauded President Barack Obama for turning universal health care into law, but told the students “this is no time to stop dreaming” about how to elevate health care. He believes the current climate remains the best chance in this century or the last to “make health care better in this country.”

“It’s up to us to make sure the system is reformed in the right manner,” he told an estimated crowd of 1,500 people. Dr. Satcher cited support for creating more primary care doctors, as well as advocating for more preventive care while promoting community health.

Medicare spends the lion’s share of its budget on treating chronic diseases, but more effort should be placed on prevention, said Dr. Satcher, 69.

David G. Satcher

Satcher to Graduates: “Dream About the Future of Health Care”
As an example, he said that shortly after graduating from medical school in 1970, he said 10% of the U.S. population was obese. By 2001, he said the number had ballooned to 30%, creating chronic disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Moreover, he said that roughly 50 million people in the U.S. remain uninsured, he said,
sometimes after being dropped by insurers because the patient’s health problems were deemed too costly. “You can change that,” he said.

“You can continue to dream about the future of health care in this country, and the way it needs to be and that in dreaming, you will continue to work to make it what it should be.”

The speech represented a return to Satcher’s roots. He served as interim dean from 1977 to 1979 at what was then known as Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School, created after the Watts Rebellion in 1965 to train minority physicians in a community that demanded better health care.

Dr. Satcher left to chair a department at Morehouse College School of Medicine until the early 1980s and became president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He was chosen in 1993 to head up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Then, he served from 1998 to 2002 as the 16th Surgeon General, the nation’s top health officer.

Dr. Satcher acknowledged his deep ties to Charles Drew University by helping to establish an endowed scholarship, in honor of M. Alfred Haynes, the university’s president emeritus. The fund has received nearly $100,000 in financial support.

Shaunda K. Grisby, a graduating senior from the College of Medicine was chosen to receive the $5,000 award. Having now completed medical school, she will finish her training at Easton Hospital in Pennsylvania.

In addition, the Latino Leadership Roundtable, a 30-member advisory group at the university, along with top leaders at Charles Drew University, jointly developed a scholarship for Latino students. Named the Edward R. Roybal Scholarship, in honor of the former congressman, the scholarship fund contains $68,000. The first recipient will be chosen next year.

Others recognized for their achievements were:

Dr. Haynes, who also was a pioneer in addressing health disparities, was given the Board of Medal Honor, the university’s highest honor; Loretta Jones, director of Healthy African American Families II, a non-profit which strives to improve the health of African Americans, Latinos and other minorities in South Los Angeles, President’s Medal for the person who has performed with excellence in their chosen profession.

Geraldine Burton-Branch, an esteemed doctor and advocate, who has served the South Los Angeles community for more than a half-century, was chosen for an honorary degree.

Dr. Eric G. Bing, the university’s endowed professor of Global Health and HIV, was chosen for the Outstanding Professor Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, research, clinical service or community. A faculty member is honored annually for their contributions to students, academic disciplines or the campus community.

Assistant Professor Cynthia Davis received the Outstanding Service Award, which acknowledges dedicated service to the university. A faculty member is chosen every year for their contributions that furthers the institution’s mission.

Graduating student leaders Rodney Terrell, College of Medicine, and Tania-Maria Barreno, College of Science and Health, also spoke during the ceremony.

“Graduation is always special,” said Keith C. Norris, interim president at Charles Drew University. “But this amazing class of graduates and illustrious group of honorees certainly gives great distinction to this year’s ceremonies.”

For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 16, 2010 For more information, please contact: Daryl Strickland Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science Telephone: (562) 229-4924

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Statement by Mayor Duffy Regarding Andrew A. Langston

Rochester has lost a pioneer and leader in the community. Andrew Langston provided a voice for African Americans in our community. He was a visionary who saw the need for a Black-owned radio station in Rochester and filled that void by creating WDKX, which remains a mainstay 36 years later.

Mr. Langston provided a source for African American businesses to advertise that hadn’t existed before. During times when radio stations were being bought by major corporations, Mr. Langston held on to WDKX, which is now one of the few independently owned radio stations in the country.

My prayers go out to Mrs. Gloria Langston, their son Andre and the entire Langston family. We pray and hope that WDKX will continue to be the voice of the community for generations to come. -30-

News Media: For more information, contact Gary Walker at 428-7405. City of Rochester
News Release.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Announces 2010 African-American Heritage Festival

Festival takes place at M&T Bank Stadium June 18-20.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by elected officials and event organizers to announce details about the annual three-day African American Heritage Festival. The festival will take place from Friday-Sunday, June 18-20, 2010 at M&T Bank Stadium in Lots B and C.

“The African American Heritage Festival is one of the highlights of every summer in Baltimore for my family and the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in this outstanding event,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “With great entertainment for people of all ages, it is no wonder people from up and down the East Coast come here every year.”

The annual three-day festival attracts 500,000 people from the Baltimore region, Washington D.C., Virginia and other neighboring states. In fact, over twenty-percent of Festival attendees are from out of state.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor City Hall, Room 250 100 N. Holliday Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202 Phone (410) 396-3835 Fax (410) 576-9425
The Festival offers a number of pavilions providing information, covering topics that include “Financial Literacy”, “Health and Wellness”, “Careers and Employment” and “Home Ownership.” A special Children and Young Adult pavilion is also in place to promote arts, history, education, and fun for young people.

The African American Heritage Festival features a wide variety of musical acts performing on two stages. Nationally renowned entertainers headlining this year’s festival are Robin Thicke (Friday), Patti LaBelle (Saturday), and Donnie McClurkin (Sunday.)
Admission to the festival is free of charge before 4:00 p.m. every day, and only $5 afterwards. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

For more information about the festival, visit the website at

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 09, 2010 CONTACT Ryan O’Doherty (410) 818-4269

Saturday, June 12, 2010

US Department of Labor settles hiring discrimination case with The Wackenhut Corp. in Aurora, Colo.

Company agrees to pay $290,000 to 446 African-American job applicants

DENVER — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced that The Wackenhut Corp., doing business as G4S Wackenhut, has entered into a consent decree to settle findings of hiring discrimination at its Aurora, Colo., facility. The consent decree settles OFCCP's allegations that Wackenhut engaged in hiring discrimination against 446 rejected African-American applicants for the position of traditional security officer for a two-year period. Wackenhut is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"The department is committed to ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors hire, promote and compensate their employees fairly, without respect to their race, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or veteran status," said Patricia A. Shiu, director of OFCCP, who is based in Washington, D.C. "This settlement of $290,000 in back pay on behalf of 446 African-Americans should put all federal contractors on notice that the Labor Department is serious about eliminating systemic discrimination."

department of labor logo

OFCCP investigators found that the company engaged in hiring discrimination against African-Americans from Jan. 1, 2002, through Dec. 31, 2003. Under the terms of the consent decree and order, filed with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges, Wackenhut will pay a total of $290,000 in back pay and interest to the 446 rejected African-American applicants and will hire 41 of the applicants into traditional security officer positions. The company also agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law and will immediately correct any discriminatory practice. In addition, Wackenhut will ensure compliance with Executive Order 11246 recordkeeping requirements.

"We strongly encourage other employers to take proactive steps to come into compliance with the law to prevent workplace discrimination," said Melissa Speer, OFCCP acting director of OFCCP's Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions, who is located in Dallas.

OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 that prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency monitors federal contractors to ensure that they provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status.

OFCCP News Release: [06/09/2010] Contact Name: Rich Kulczewski Phone Number: (303) 844-1302 Release Number: 10-0736-DEN

Friday, June 11, 2010

Can Black Americans Afford Obama?


My March 2008 column "Is Obama Ready for America?" started out: "Some pundits ask whether America is ready for Obama. The much more important question is whether Obama is ready for America and even more important is whether black people can afford Obama." Let’s look at this.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson, in signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke the color bar in Major League Baseball. In 1950, three blacks broke the color bar in the National Basketball Association (NBA): Earl Lloyd (Washington Capitals), Chuck Cooper (Boston Celtics) and Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton (New York Knicks). Their highly successful performances opened the way for other blacks to follow -- peaking at 27 percent in Major League Baseball and 80 percent in the NBA.

Walter E. Williams

E-mail: Telephone: (703) 993-1148. Facsimile: (703) 993-1133 Office: 333 Enterprise Hall, Mailing Address: Walter E. Williams. Department of Economics MSN 3G4 George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

Without a question, the first blacks, relative to their white peers, in professional sports were exceptional. There's no sense of justice that should require that these players be as good as they were in order to get a job. But the fact of business, in order to deal with racial hostility and stereotypes of incompetence, they had to be first rate and possess character beyond question. It was not only important for their careers, it was important for their fellow blacks. At the time the sports color bar was being broken, black people could ill afford stumblebums. Today, black people can afford stumblebums in several sports. In fact, black people can afford for the Philadelphia Sixers to put Williams in their starting lineup. Any person watching me mess up royally would have to be a lunatic to say, "Those blacks can’t play basketball." The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, whether for good reason or bad reason, whether it’s fair or unfair, people make stereotypes, and stereotypes can have effects.
In that March 2008 column, I said, "For the nation and for black people, the first black president should be the caliber of a Jackie Robinson and Barack Obama is not. Barack Obama has charisma and charm but in terms of character, values and understanding, he is no Jackie Robinson." Obama’s electoral success was truly remarkable. It’s a testament to the essential goodness of the American people. A June 6-9, 2008 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported "that 17 percent were enthusiastic about Obama being the first African American President, 70 percent were comfortable or indifferent, and 13 percent had reservations or were uncomfortable."

President Obama, with the assistance of devious House and Senate leadership, has gotten a health care law enacted that the majority of American voters are against. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 58 percent of voters support repeal of the health care law. Under the president’s leadership, the 2010 budget deficit will reach more than $1.5 trillion, about 10 percent of gross domestic product, the largest deficit since the end of World War II. We’re not that far behind the troubled nation of Greece, which has a current budget deficit of nearly 13 percent of GDP. Our national debt at $13 trillion is about 90 percent of GDP and budgeted to grow by $9 trillion over the next decade. On the diplomatic front, the Obama team is not doing much better, showing every sign of permitting a terrorist nation like Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Early indications suggest that the Barack Obama presidency might turn out to be similar to the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. That’s bad news for the nation but especially bad news for black Americans. No white presidential candidate had to live down the disgraced presidency of Carter but I’m all too fearful that a future black presidential candidate will find himself carrying the heavy baggage of a failed black president. That’s not a problem for white liberals who voted for Obama who received their one-time guilt-relieving dose from voting for a black man to be president, but it is a problem for future generations of black Americans.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Juneteenth Freedom Celebration set for June 19

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University Bloomington will host the 12th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration next Saturday (June 19).

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of enslavement in the United States. From its origin in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

"We commemorate Juneteenth because it marks the beginning of the end of eight generations of enslavement of African people in America," said Audrey T. McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

"Although the realization of freedom was to be an ongoing struggle, this beginning validated and reinforced the bright hope that had sustained enslaved people through their long, dark nightmare.

Audrey McCluskey

Audrey McCluskey, Courtesy of Indiana University.
"Today, that optimism is needed as we celebrate our collective achievements and fortify ourselves for the work that remains," she added.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the Juneteenth Parade, beginning at the north side of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, located at 275 N. Jordan Ave.
The line-up for the parade will begin at 9:30 outside the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at the intersection of Seventh Street and Jordan Avenue.

This year, Juneteenth events will be held on the Bloomington campus, primarily in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Cener and the surrounding outdoor areas. In addition to the parade, there will be family friendly activities such as a short dramatic performance written and directed by Braeshaun Joyner, presentation of the Unsung Hero Recognition Award, the Juneteenth King and Queen Pageant and a children's booth.

Food, information and business vendors also will be included in the celebration. A Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament will feature special guest Sacramento Kings' forward and Bloomington native Sean May as host. Sign-in for the tournament will take place at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center prior to the tournament at the Wildermuth Intramural Center at the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 1025 E. Seventh St.

There is still time to registration for the Juneteenth parade, Unsung Hero Recognition and Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament. Anyone interested in participating may pick up the registration forms in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center office, located in suite A226. The forms must be returned to the center by specified dates. Additional information about each event follows:

* All participants for the parade should arrive no later than 9 a.m. to the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Line-up for the parade will be held from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and the parade will begin promptly at 10 a.m..
* Recommendations for Unsung Hero Recognition Award must be submitted to Debra Vance at by 5 p.m. on Friday (June 11).
* For the basketball tournament, all teams are welcome and can have up to four players. A team registration fee of $20 must be paid at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center office by next Wednesday (June 16).
* Those interested in vending or booth space need to complete a registration form available at the center's office. Fees for vendors are $50 for food sales and $25 for other sales. Booths are free for non-profit organizations and those only providing public affairs information.

More information about the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and Juneteenth is available online at or by calling 812-855-9271.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

African American High School Students Gather at Colorado State University's Black Issues Forum June 15-19

FORT COLLINS - African American high school seniors will come together to research issues pertinent to the African American community during the 17th annual Black Issues Forum at Colorado State University on June 15-19.

The program brings together about 40 students from Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The session involves four days of research and discussion that culminate in a formal forum where students present their findings. The program format also helps students strengthen their skills in public speaking, teamwork and leadership. Students will choose to study one of four topics pertinent to the African-American community: • African Americans and Politics: Black Leadership in the Hip Hop Generation
• African Americans and the Environment: The Importance of Green Energy in Black Communities
• African Americans and Technology: Black Scientists: Past, Present and Future
• African Americans and Society: Exploring the Impacts of High Rates of Incarceration in Black Communities

Black Issues Forum

Black Issues Forum at Colorado State University
Colorado State faculty, staff and graduate students will assist program participants in researching and presenting their topic areas.

“The purpose of the Black Issues Forum program is to expose high school students to higher education and Colorado State University,” said Bobby Browning, forum coordinator and assistant director of Admissions at Colorado State University.
“After spending a few days living and conducting research on a university campus, this experience should make the pursuit of a college degree a less daunting experience for high school student participants.”

For more information about the Black Issues Forum, contact Bobby A. Browning at (970) 213-4032. -30-

For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Contact for Reporters: Jennifer Dimas
970.491.1543 Jennifer.Dimas@ColoState.EDU

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ujima to Celebrate Student Achievements at Fourth Annual Rites of Passage Dinner on June 10

The Ujima Program, Pasadena City College’s community of educators and learners committed to the academic success, personal growth, and self-actualization of African-American and other students, will be holding a yearend celebratory dinner on June 10 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Creveling Lounge inside the PCC Campus Center.

The event is free, open to the PCC community, and will include a dinner, an Ujima student procession, and awarding of Kente cloths and certificates.

"The Ujima End-of-the-Year celebration is a truly wonderful, student-centered, student-planned, and student-presented event,” said Chiara Thomas, coordinator of the Ujima Program.

The Ujima Program Logo “This event encourages students to celebrate their individual and collective academic achievements. For many students of color, the Ujima Program and programs offering similar support are critical to finding success in meeting their higher education goals. We hope every interested community and campus member will join us on this momentous occasion."

For more information, contact Thomas at (626) 585-7892.

Release Date: 06/08/2010, Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations. Phone: (626) 585-7315 Email:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Associated Black Charities of Maryland to celebrate 25 years of progress while honoring African-American innovators, role models in Higher Education

MSU's President Richardson and Dr. Clara Adams honored as leaders in higher education by Associated Black Charities.

To mark the 25th Anniversary of its founding, the Associated Black Charities of Maryland (ABC) will reflect on past accomplishments, highlight current initiatives -such as More in the Middle and Place Matters-- outline future plans, and spotlight innovators in higher education at Baltimore's Hyatt Regency, 300 Light Street, on Saturday, June 12, 2010 starting at 6 p.m.

"These eight honorees collectively represent a variety of profound achievements in higher education," said ABC Board of Directors Chair Walter Amprey, former Baltimore City Public Schools Superintendent. "As individuals, they demonstrate the highest levels of educational proficiency, and a special way of giving back to the community."

Diane Bell-McKoy

Diane Bell-McKoy
According to Diane Bell-McKoy, the CEO and President of Associated Black Charities, "Education was one of the earliest priorities for ABC when it was founded 25 years ago, so it is particularly appropriate for us to honor and recommit to that concept today. If we are to build and expand a strong African American middle class, we must teach our young people the importance of education for wealth-building, home ownership, and quality employment."

The Anniversary will also highlight 25 years of service and philanthropy throughout Central Maryland.

The Gala's Honorees are...
* Dr. Earl S. Richardson, President of Morgan State University, for Lifetime Achievement.
* Dr. Clara Adams, Morgan State University; Dr. Bernard Wynder, Frostburg State University, and Jamal Mubdi-Bey, of Sojourner-Douglass College will be honored as Living Legends.
* Dr. Leslie King Hammond, of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and Dr. Lenneal Henderson, from the University of Baltimore will be given ABC's Trailblazer accolade.
* And, Anita Thomas, from the University of Baltimore, and Tenyo Pearl, from Coppin State University are seen as Emerging Leaders.

The "Full 25th Anniversary Gala Event" includes a Plated Dinner, the Program, a Networking Reception, Dessert, Dancing, and Valet Parking, and begins at 6 p.m. The accompanying Mini Event, with Networking, Dessert, Dancing and Parking, begins at 9 p.m. For ticket information, please contact Charles Brice at 410.659.0000 ext. 1203.

The Associated Black Charities of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. # # #


Friday, June 4, 2010

UI Juneteenth celebration, June 19, observes the end of slavery

Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, will be observed from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in Room 2520D of the University Capitol Centre.

A speaker, music performances and a cake reception are featured in this second annual celebration sponsored by the University of Iowa African American Council and Bethel A.M.E. Church of Iowa City.

The dreams, actions and spirit leading up to this defining moment in history are the focus of the event, celebrating the emancipation of African Americans from slavery.


Emancipation day celebration - later known as Juneteenth and a public holiday in Texas.
While the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, is deemed as the end of slavery in this nation, official notice was delivered two and a half years later to the last slave state, Texas, thus ending slavery. The date of that last proclamation of freedom was June 19, 1865, thus the Juneteenth Celebration.

Juneteenth celebrations have grown in popularity across the nation and worldwide in recent decades.
For more information, contact Billie Townsend at 319-354-5995 or

Thursday, June 3, 2010

HU Ministers' Conference to Explore Integrity in Ministry

Hampton, VA -The 96th Annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference and 76th Annual Choir Directors' and Organists' Guild Workshop will be held on June 6-11 at Hampton University. The HU Ministers' Conference is the largest gathering of interdenominational African-American clergy in the world. This year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will give a special address to conference attendees on June 9 at 11 a.m.

The theme for this year is “Ministry and Integrity,” tackling the tough issue of maintaining integrity in ministry. This year marks the final year for presiding conference president the Rev. Dr. William R. Curtis, senior pastor of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Penn. He is the youngest president in conference history.

96th Annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference LogoThe Rev. Dr. Ralph West, senior pastor of Church Without Walls in Dallas, Texas, will serve as this year’s keynote conference speaker. Other nationally acclaimed speakers for the conference include: Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr. of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; the Rev. Brenda Gregg of Greater Allen AME Church in Pittsburgh, Penn.; and the Rev. Dr. Cliff Jones of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. The conference will also feature the annual Women in Ministry luncheon.
New this year is the Church Development and Leadership Academy for participants interested in receiving continuing education units for participation in conference workshops and seminars. Topics include “Surviving the Church Audit,” “The Media: Friend or Foe?” “Ministry and Health Education,” “Psychology from Scripture” and “Marriage Strengthening Tools for the Church.”

Noted events include:

Church Development and Leadership Academy Inaugural Reception June 6 at 6:30 p.m., HU Student Center Ballroom. Featuring world-renowned vocal artist and motivational speaker Wintley Phipps.

Opening Ceremony June 7 at 7 p.m., HU Convocation Center.

George A. Crawley Women in Ministry Hour June 8 at 12:30 p.m., HU Student Center Ballroom

Special Address by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan June 9 at 11 a.m., HU Convocation Center

The Charles H. Flax Memorial Concert June 10 at 7:30 p.m., HU Convocation Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

On-site conference registration begins June 6 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and opens at 8 a.m. each morning of the conference thereafter. The on-site registration fee is $180. For information regarding registration, please call (757) 727-5681, email or visit # HU # For more information contact Alison L. Phillips @ 757.727.5754 or email

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Policy

What is the modern day status of the African American male? Thoroughly examining this critical and often neglected subpopulation, a new book discusses the conflicting perspectives, roles, and identities of African American males from a social work standpoint.

Examining African American men from adolescence through adulthood, Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Policy tackles both the historical and modern issues of African American masculinity from a unique vantage point. University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Associate Professor Waldo E. Johnson, Jr. and his contributors seek to shed new light on the fundamental question of African American male health in the present day in this groundbreaking volume.

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
HIV/AIDS impact, homicidal and suicidal behavior, physical well-being, a father’s family role; these are a sample of the wide-reaching issues that Johnson and his contributors confront in their book. The first investigation of its kind to be conducted from the social work perspective, Johnson’s text provides insights into these penetrating issues in our current society. In his own words, it “offers a broader perspective on the status of African American males that is both more encompassing than the lived experience and thus, a more nuanced and realistic portrait of the African American male in contemporary American society.”
Fatherhood is one of the most important topics that Johnson examines. What does it mean to be an African American father? What are the personal, community-based, and social barriers that can block them from fulfilling that role? In what manner does a family’s structure affect paternal involvement amongst low-income African American fathers? How does incarceration and similar obstacles impact fatherhood? Johnson and his contributors confront these socially difficult and causally complicated issues with special attention, seeking to better frame these inquiries and to provide socially relevant and helpful answers.

Social work initiatives have historically been reluctant to provide aid to the African American male subpopulation for a variety of reasons. Each social welfare response is guided by inherent gender, racial, and cultural perspectives, many of which exclude African American males from the most important services they need. Such social neglect has a profound impact on their lives, and those of their family and community members. In this regard, the volume is intended to examine “the relationship of how today’s African American male reacts and responds to his world, and how the world responds to him from a social work perspective,” Johnson said.

Throughout the volume, evidence-based practice is an integral component of Johnson’s undertaking. Drawing on a compelling body of new and untapped research, Johnson combines both quantitative and qualitative findings to advance his investigation. He links broad surveys and data sets with in-depth interviews and studies to provide a holistic appraisal of African American male status. Joining associate professor Johnson in this endeavor are a variety of seasoned and emerging scholars, all of whom contribute to the book’s novel approach to the question at hand. With such diverse scholarship, the volume is able to expertly handle the sweeping scope of its question, and provide a relevant and concise appraisal of African American male status to a wide audience.

Johnson’s social welfare-based examination has unique implications for policy and practice everywhere. At the core of Johnson’s thesis is that social work and welfare interventions must be improved for the subpopulation in question. Historically, the African American male subpopulation has been marginalized in regards to support and service networks, and Johnson and his co-scholars emphasizes that policy must be realigned to reflect the realities of their situation. Before changes can be made, however, we must definitively understand and challenge “how normative masculine identity and historical marginalization complicates individual and familial engagement between social work, social welfare, and African American males,” Johnson said.

Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Health Policy is available through Oxford University Press.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

'New Treatments, No Tricks' A Seminar on Minority Participation in Clinical Trials

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Host 'New Treatments, No Tricks' A Seminar on Minority Participation in Clinical Trials

Memphis, Tenn. (June 1, 2010) – On Tuesday, June 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will host a seminar on increasing African-American and Latino participation in clinical trials that are used to improve health outcomes for all citizens. New Treatments, No Tricks, which will be held at the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center), 800 Madison Avenue, aims to reduce minority fears of participating in clinical trials and inform minority citizens on how to gain access to various studies.

Participants in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Photograph of Participants in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Image courtesy Public Domain Clip Art
The workshops are intended to: 1. explain clinical trials in layman’s terms; 2. discuss barriers to and benefits from clinical trials participation; 3. describe government requirements for protecting individuals who volunteer for clinical studies, and 4. provide a forum for audience questions to researchers who conduct clinical trials and minority citizens who actively participate in these studies. (An agenda is attached.)
New Treatments, No Tricks is designed for African-American and Latino citizens, health care professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists and care takers), policy-makers, community health organizers, minority communications experts, and all interested individuals. Speakers represent UT Health Science Center, Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis, UT Medical Group, the West Clinic, and the Men’s Health Network. The primary sponsors are the UT Health Science Center Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Additional sponsors include the Consortium for Health Education Economic Empowerment and Research, the Men’s Health Network, and the National Medical Association.

The seminar will include a film and panel discussion on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, a clinical trial conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Ala., involving African-American sharecroppers with syphilis. The 40-year study examined the progression of untreated syphilis to justify treatment for African-Americans. The clinical trial became controversial because researchers failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin. The panel for this workshop includes clinical trials investigators and citizens who participate in clinical studies. More information about the Tuskegee Experiment can be found at More information about the Tuskegee Experiment can be found at

There is no charge to attend the seminar, but registration is required. Interested participants are asked to register no later than Thursday, June 10, by contacting Deborah Talley of UT Health Science Center at (901) 448-1938 or by e-mailing at

As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC has additional colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy plus an Allied Health Sciences unit in Knoxville, as well as a College of Medicine campus in Chattanooga. For more information, visit ###

Conference Agenda

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Definition of Clinical Trials

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Turning the Page on Minority Fears: A Seminar Overview

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. New Directions in Blood Cancer Therapies

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. New Cures vs. Old Fears: A film and panel discussion on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, a clinical study conducted in Tuskegee, Ala., between 1932 and 1972

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. The Impact Model: A Proven Method for Eliminating Barriers to Minority Participation in Clinical Trials

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Removing Fears and Other Trustbusters: An Overview on Research Protection for Study Participants

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch and Speaker

The Lives You Save May Start with Your Own: How to Find and Access Clinical Trials

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Wrap-up, evaluations and educational credits information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information, contact: The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Communications and Marketing, Sheila Champlin – (901) 448-4957 or Dena Owens – (901) 448-4072

Contact Us: 62 South Dunlap Street. Room 203. Memphis, TN 38163. Phone: (901) 448-5544. Fax: (901) 448-8640