Friday, September 30, 2011

International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present "Yvonne Wells: Quilted Messages" opening on 10/07/11

'Yvonne Wells: Quilted Messages' opens Oct. 7 at Quilt Museum Released on 09/30/2011, at 2:00 AM Office of University Communications University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 7, through Feb. 26. WHERE: International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N. 33rd Street.

Lincoln, Neb., September 30th, 2011 — The International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present the exhibition "Yvonne Wells: Quilted Messages" opening on Oct. 7 and running through Feb. 26. It will introduce visitors to the quilts of Yvonne Wells, an influential and prolific contemporary folk artist.

Wells is African American, but does not use 'African American quiltmaker' as her primary identity. For her, the term glosses over the individual vision expressed in her work. Instead, Wells calls herself an artist who makes folk art and her medium is quilts. Her story and picture quilts express her spirituality, humor and experiences. She makes her quilts for herself, to satisfy the need to create, to express something she wants to say. Her work is exhibited in galleries, included in museum collections, and acquired by folk art collectors.

The exhibition will also introduce museum visitors to the center's Robert and Helen Cargo Collection of African-American Quilts. The Cargo Collection is important because of its status as one of only a handful of well-documented African-American quilt collections. African-American quilts began to grow in popularity in the mid-1960s with the advent of the Freedom Quilting Bee in Alabama and more recently, through the well-publicized exhibitions of quilts made by women in Gee’s Bend, Ala.

Being in Total Control of Herself, Yvonne Wells, 1990

Being in Total Control of Herself, Yvonne Wells, 1990

"Noah's Ark," Yvonne Wells, 1988
Wells' story quilts, while visually related to these southern traditions, are distinct in their self-conscious creation as folk art narratives. Wells' quilts tell unique American stories, including those Wells herself experienced. She is personally familiar with the struggles of the civil rights movement and the exploitation of black and Native American populations. Wells also expresses her sense of humor and spirituality in her quilts, making it easy for audiences to connect to her work. Her skills illustrate the importance of storytelling and pictorial quilts as a means of visual communication.

Wells is the winner of the 1998 Alabama Arts award and Visual Craftsmanship Award. The exhibition is curated by Jill Kessler, 2011 textile history/quilt studies graduate, and Jonathan Gregory, assistant curator of exhibitions.

Programming (free with admission) during the exhibition includes:

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m. -- Public lecture, Pearlie Johnson, assistant professor of Pan African Studies, University of Louisville, "African American Quilts: Teaching the Past Through Quilting," as part of the UNL Institute for Ethnic Studies 40th Anniversary.

Friday, Nov. 4, 5-6:30 p.m. -- Meet the student curator, Jill Kessler (free museum admission 4:30-7 p.m.)

Saturday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. -- Storytelling in the gallery with artist Yvonne Wells.

Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. -- Workshop for children, "My Doll and I Discover Quilts Tell Stories" Sheila Green instructor, reservations required, call 402-472-6549.

Tuesday, Jan. 31, noon -- Tuesday Talk, Marin Hanson, curator of exhibitions, "The Robert and Helen Cargo Collection of African American Quilts."

Friday, Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m. -- Public lecture, Jeannette Eileen Jones, associate professor of history and ethnic studies at UNL and Jill Kessler, UNL Black History Month lecture, "Being in Total Control of Herself: The Story Quilts of Yvonne Wells" (free museum admission 4:30-7 p.m.).

This exhibition is made possible with support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Friends of the IQSCM. Public programs are funded in part by the Nebraska Humanities Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

The museum, 1523 N. 33rd St., is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. It is closed on Mondays. Public tours are offered free with admission Tuesdays through Saturdays at 11 a.m. and on Saturdays at 1 p.m. For more information, visit

Writer: Maureen Ose News Release Contacts: Maureen Ose, Communications Coordinator, International Quilt Study Center phone: 402-472-7232

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors

Retirement Insecurity Dramatically Rises Among Seniors of Color. New Report Underscores How More Than Half of African American and Latino Seniors Are Struggling to Make Ends Meet.

New York—The Institute on Assets and Social Policy and the national policy center Demos published a report today revealing that four percent of Latino seniors and eight percent of African-American seniors have the resources to maintain economic security for the length of their lives. The report, “The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors,” underscores how the nation’s seniors were experiencing declining economic security even before the Great Recession.

While only one in four white seniors currently have adequate resources for a secure retirement, the disparity between whites and people of color reveals that, for seniors of color, retirement insecurity is the norm and security is the exception. This report points to the history of racial discrimination in the housing and labor markets to illustrate insecurity among seniors of color: the practice of redlining, segregation, and workplace discrimination severely inhibited the ability of today’s seniors of color to accumulate asset wealth needed for a secure retirement. Inequality experienced over the course of one’s life is compounded in old age and can have ripple effects over generations.

In response to these findings, the report makes the following recommendations:
--Ensure the strength and adequacy of the Social Security program.
--Sustain funding for senior support services, which help seniors meet basic needs.
--Looking forward, foster sustainable homeownership by prohibiting predatory loans and financial products, which strip wealth from families, particularly in neighborhoods of color and among older households.

“It is unacceptable, in a country committed to equality of opportunity, to have nine in ten Latino senior households and more than eight in ten African-American senior households suffer from retirement insecurity,” said Tatjana Meschede, Research Director at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and co-author of the report. “Our elected officials must summon the courage to acknowledge and combat the extreme racial inequities among American seniors.”

“It will be impossible to end economic insecurity among seniors of color without addressing the early sources of the problem. We must act now to end discrimination in the mortgage industry and with predatory loans that place the wealth of families of color at risk,” said Jennifer Wheary,

Demos Senior Fellow. “Strengthening Social Security and Medicare is not simply an issue for senior citizens but a racial justice imperative for the country as a whole.”
Read The Report in PDF FORMAT: The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors

CONTACT: Susan Chaityn Lebovits,, (781) 736-4027, Lauren Strayer,, (212) 389-1413

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Hammer Museum will present Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960 – 1980

Los Angeles—This October the Hammer Museum will present Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960 – 1980, a comprehensive exhibition that examines the vital legacy of the city’s African American visual artists. Now Dig This! comprises 140 works from 35 artists that have rarely been shown in a museum setting and includes early pieces by now well-established artists. The exhibition expands the art historical record by presenting an array of artists, some not widely recognized by a broad public, and connecting their work to the movements, trends, and ideas that fueled the arts in Los Angeles during this period. The work of these African American practitioners was animated to an extent by the civil rights and Black Power movements reflecting the changing sense of what constituted African American identity and American culture. Artists featured in the exhibition include Melvin Edwards, Fred Eversley, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, Senga Nengudi, John Outterbridge, Alonzo Davis, Dale Brockman Davis, Noah Purifoy, Betye Saar, and Charles White.

Now Dig This! is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California. For six months beginning in October 2011 these institutions large and small will tell the story of the birth of L.A.’s art scene and how it became a new force in the art world. Organized by the Hammer and curated by Columbia University professor Kellie Jones, Now Dig This! chronicles and celebrates this nuanced and multicultural history of Los Angeles.

“Pacific Standard Time is a very significant event for the city of Los Angeles. The deep and remarkable history it explores serves as a foundation for the thriving creative community of artists living and working here today,” remarks Hammer director Ann Philbin. “Now Dig This! reveals a specific moment when a group of African American artists, gallerists, writers, and collectors generated a nexus of creativity and influence that is largely unknown to the general public.”

Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960 – 1980

While much has been written about artists like Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago, Edward Kienholz, and Bruce Nauman, artists like Fred Eversley, John Otterbridge, and Noah Purifoy have not enjoyed the same recognition. Additionally, there has been significant attention paid to Los Angeles’s Ferus Gallery and the development of Artforum magazine, however far less is known about their African American counterparts such as Alonzo and Dale Davis, owners of the Brockman Gallery; and Samella Lewis, who began Black Art: An International Quarterly (now the International Review of African American Art) and wrote the two-volume Black Artists on Art.

“The artists that have been included in Now Dig This! represent a vibrant group whose work is critical to a more complete and dynamic understanding of twentieth century American art. Their influence goes beyond their immediate creative circles and their legacy is something we are only now beginning to fully understand,” says exhibition curator Kellie Jones.

By illuminating the richness and complexity of this creative community, Now Dig This! demonstrates how these African American artists and friends were not working in isolation but were quite integral to the developing U.S. art scene during the latter part of the twentieth century. The exhibition will offer a fuller view of the changing art landscape during this important era of artistic and cultural ferment, as artists shifted from more traditional formats such as painting and works on paper to modes such as assemblage, finish fetish (a West Coast style of minimalism), postminimalism, conceptualism, and performance.

EXHIBITION DESCRIPTION: Presented in the Hammer’s main temporary exhibition galleries, Now Dig This! looks at the period through several framing categories with each artist having his or her own space.

FRONT RUNNERS -- By the early 1960s the West Coast became highly visible among the international arts community with the recognition of assemblage as an important artistic strategy. African American artists such as Betye Saar and Mel Edwards made some of their earliest important works at this time. Charles White, a veteran social realist from Chicago, arrived in Los Angeles in 1956, energizing the black art community and inspiring many young artists who studied under him at Otis Art Institute. Front runners: Melvin Edwards, William Pajaud, Betye Saar and Charles White.

ASSEMBLING -- The Watts Rebellion of 1965 was the largest urban riot at that time in U.S. history. The Rebellion had a profound effect on this community of artists and many began to approach their craft and materials differently. For example, Noah Purifoy claimed that it was the Rebellion that made him a real artist. Purifoy and John Riddle made assemblage works from the detritus of the Watts Rebellion, creating formally impressive pieces that were also highly charged politically. Assembling: Daniel Larue Johnson, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, John Riddle, and Betye Saar.

ARTISTS / GALLERISTS -- Lacking representation in mainstream institutions, African American artists opened their own venues in the 1960s and 1970s. Spaces such as Gallery 32, founded by painter Suzanne Jackson, and the Brockman Gallery—established by brothers Dale and Alonzo Davis, became sites for cutting-edge work and havens for discussions, poetry readings, and fund-raisers for social causes. Samella Lewis was an amazing one-woman institution, opening several galleries and a museum, starting a magazine, and publishing some of the earliest books on this cohort of artists. Artists / Gallerists: Alonzo Davis, Dale Brockman Davis, Suzanne Jackson, and Samella Lewis.

POST/MINIMALISM AND PERFORMANCE -- This section of the exhibition documents the move away from more didactic subject matter toward abstract and dematerialized practices. Fred Eversley was the most visible African American working with the finish fetish style of Los Angeles minimalism in the 1960s. In the 1970s artists such as Senga Nengudi, Maren Hassinger, and David Hammons began to experiment with postminimal ephemerality and performance. Post / Minimalism and Performance: Fred Eversley, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, Ulysses Jenkins, and Senga Nengudi.

LOS ANGELES SNAPSHOT / FRIENDS -- The exhibition also explores the informal relationships between African American artists in Los Angeles and those in Northern California, like Joe Overstreet and Raymond Saunders, as well as artists of varied ethnic backgrounds, such as Virginia Jaramillo, Ron Miyashiro, and Mark Di Suvero. These relationships are an important part of fully understanding and contextualizing the work of this generation. One gallery in Now Dig This! will illuminate these connections. Friends: John Altoon, Karen Boccalero, Mark Di Suvero, Charles Gaines, Virginia Jaramillo, Marie Johnson Calloway, Houston Conwill, Elizabeth Leigh-Taylor, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Ron Miyashiro, Joe Overstreet, Raymond Saunders, Gordon Wagner, Tyrus Wong, and Andrew Zermeño.

Catalogue & Public Programs The exhibition is accompanied by a 350 page, full-color catalogue co-published by Delmonico/Prestel. The publication includes reproductions of works included in the exhibition supplemented by scholarly essays, a comprehensive bibliography, and reproductions of archival materials, including posters, invitations, documentary photographs, and other items recently uncovered. The exhibition will be accompanied by several free public programs, including performances, film screenings, and lectures.

About the Curator: Now Dig This! is curated by Kellie Jones, associate professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Jones’s writings have appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and publications including NKA, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text. Most recently, she curated Energy / Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980 (The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2006). Current book projects include, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (Duke University Press 2011) and Taming the Freeway and Other Acts of Urban HIP - notism: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (forthcoming from The MIT Press).

Pacific Standard Time: This exhibition is a part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time program, an extensive citywide initiative (alongside exhibitions at major institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as smaller venues throughout Los Angeles), prompted to revive and supplement neglected aspects of Los Angeles’s rich artistic history from 1945–1980. Pacific Standard Time encompasses developments from modernist architecture and design to multi-media installations; from L.A. Pop to post-minimalism; from the films of the African-American L.A. Rebellion to the feminist happenings of the Woman’s Building; from ceramics to Chicano performance art, and from Japanese-American design to the pioneering work of artists’ collectives. Launched in 2008 and culminating in 2011, Pacific Standard Time will demonstrate the pivotal role played by Southern California in national and international artistic movements since the middle of the twentieth century.

Now Dig This! Art and Black Artists in Los Angeles, 1960-1980 has been made possible by major grants from the Getty Foundation.

Generous support has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which funded a Curatorial Research Fellowship; and The Broad Art Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Eileen Harris Norton Foundation, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Ina Coleman and Alan Wilson, and V. Joy Simmons MD.

ABOUT THE HAMMER MUSEUM: The Hammer Museum, a public arts unit of the University of California, Los Angeles, is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge in art, architecture, and design, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society.

The museum houses the Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post - Impressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. The Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is highlighted by works on paper, particularly drawings and photographs from Southern California. The museum also houses the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, comprising more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books from the Renaissance to the present; and oversees the management of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus.

The Hammer presents major single-artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. It also presents approximately ten Hammer Projects exhibitions each year, providing international and local artists with a laboratory-like environment to create new work or to present existing work in a new context.

As a cultural center, the Hammer offers a diverse range of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, and music performances. The Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater houses these widely acclaimed public programs and is the new home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s renowned cinematheque.

HAMMER MUSEUM INFORMATION: For current program and exhibition information call 310-443-7000 or visit

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11am – 7pm; Thursday, 11am – 9 pm; Sunday, 11am – 5 pm; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Admission: $10 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+) and UCLA Alumni Association members; free for Museum members, students with identification, UCLA faculty / staff, military personnel, veterans, and visitors 17 and under. The Museum is free on Thursdays for all visitors. Public programs are always free.

Location / Parking: The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, at Westwood Boulevard. Parking is available under the Museum. Rate is $3 for three hours with Museum validation. Bicycles park free.

Hammer Museum Tours: For group tour reservations and information, call 310-443-7041.

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2011 Contact: Sarah L. Stifler, Hammer Communications, 310-443-7056,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Genetic differences in prostate cells seem to be a root cause of the prostate cancer disparities between African-American men and white men

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Genetic differences in prostate cells seem to be a root cause of the prostate cancer disparities between African-American men and white men, according to findings presented at the Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held here Sept. 18-21, 2011.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among U.S. men, with occurrences and mortality rates higher in African-American men compared to white men.

"There are a lot of socioeconomic and environmental factors that create differences in levels of prostate cancer in these two groups," said Bi-Dar Wang, Ph.D., assistant research professor of pharmacology and physiology at the George Washington University. "We've found that genetic elements play a role in these disparities as well."

Wang and colleagues analyzed normal and cancerous prostate tissue samples from African-American and white men who underwent prostate biopsies. They looked at two key genetic pieces: messenger RNA (mRNA), which carry codes from DNA that is then used to make proteins; and microRNA, shorter RNA strands that regulate that process by binding to mRNA and interrupt the gene expression or protein translation.

The George Washington University LogoThe results showed enough differences between African-American and white men to determine that each race has "population specific" mRNA and microRNA.

Specifically, they found nearly 400 mRNAs were differentially expressed between the cancerous prostate tissues of African-American and white men.

These differences are crucial because mRNA and microRNA affect the biological pathways by which prostate cancer tumor formation is either promoted or stopped, according to Wang.

Wang believes these results are important because instead of focusing on socioeconomic and environmental factors, the researchers focused on biological differences, which could lead to more specialized treatment options in the future.

"It is still too early to conclude any novel treatment strategy based on our results. However, the genomic analyses of prostate cancers have revealed that differential mRNA and microRNA expression and the associated gene network rewriting may be critical in prostate cancer health disparities," said Wang. "These findings will advance our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying prostate cancer disparities and may help with the development of novel strategies for prostate cancer detection and personalized treatment for African-American men."


Follow the AACR on Twitter: @aacr #aacr

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals in 2010.

Contact: Jeremy Moore 267-646-0557 American Association for Cancer Research

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stephanie Power-Carter, new director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Stephanie Power-Carter, new director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, understands the importance of academic excellence and community of family and hopes to use that knowledge to continue an inviting and warm tradition at Indiana University Bloomington.

Power-Carter grew up in rural Georgia and is a first-generation college graduate. Her mother was assistant director of a daycare center, and her father did paint and auto work for General Motors.

"My parents instilled in me and my sister the value of a good education, hard work and being responsible. We had to excel academically," she said. "My grandparents played a huge role, and I also had an extended family that was really big and had high expectations."

Power-Carter, also an associate professor in the IU School of Education, expects to instill an academically nurturing and caring environment at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, which is located at 275 N. Jordan Ave. in Bloomington. She succeeded Audrey McCluskey as its director on Aug. 1.

Only the third director since the center's building was dedicated in 2002, Power-Carter sees four tenets as being essential to its success: academic excellence, student services, recruitment and retention, and community building. She is seeking to create an environment that makes the IU Bloomington campus seem a little smaller by offering student services and academic support and by partnering with other campus resources.

Stephanie Power-Carter

Stephanie Power-Carter Courtesy of Indiana University
She also wants to make the center a home-away-from-home for IU students, particularly black students.

"I think I'm capable of being whoever students need me to be," Power-Carter said. "There are some students who are going to need a big sister, some students are going to need an auntie or a mom. I don't know if I'm at the grandmother phase yet."

Power-Carter remembers when she stepped onto the campus of the University of Georgia, which has an enrollment similar in size and makeup as IU Bloomington. Classes were larger, and rules in academia were sometimes different from those in her community.

"I have that sense of wanting to make sure students connect to something or someone," said Power-Carter, who also taught high school in Athens, Ga. "It is important to help our students, particularly first-generation, navigate our campus. I believe in giving back and investing in our youth. Someone clearly invested in me -- I didn't get here all by myself. I can remember all of my teachers and all the people in the community who encouraged me."

Power-Carter earned her doctorate in language and literacy education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She joined the IU faculty in 2002, after teaching for one year at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

At IU, she also has founded the African American Read-In, a campus-wide program that celebrates black writers; the Closing the Gap Community Literacy Intervention Program; and Sistahs Who Care, which mentors about 70 young women of color each year.

Power-Carter notes that the building housing the Neal-Marshall center also is home to the African American Arts Institute, the Office of Diversity Education and other IU staff.

"All of us work together to support our students," she said.

This fall, Power-Carter inaugurated a new tradition. About 40 freshman students received a special pin in a ceremony on Sept. 8, attended by IU faculty, staff, alumni and local community members. The pin features the Neal-Marshall Center's new logo, adapted from an Adinkra symbol of the Asante people of the Ivory Coast in Africa.

The name of the symbol, in the Akan language, is "Nea onnim no sua a ohu," which means "knowledge comes by learning."

"I want them to know that they're here, but that they're following in the footsteps of some really great black faculty and staff, and because of the contributions that they've made -- they are here," Power-Carter said. "I want them to understand that there's great responsibility with coming to Indiana University. Yes, it's about community and social events, but it's also about being academically responsible and making contributions to Indiana University and their communities.

"We invited faculty and staff to the pinning ceremony to show students that they're surrounded by people who want to see them succeed," she added.

Participants in this new tradition also can look forward to a similar ceremony in four years to celebrate what they've achieved.

Power-Carter plans to continue other popular activities at the center, including study nights, Black Student Orientation, the Critical Issues Lecture Series, Black Knowledge Bowl and the Kwanzaa and Juneteenth celebrations. Other new activities will include a book club co-sponsored by the Atkins Living-Learning Center and recognition events for outstanding black faculty members and athletes at IU.

"Different people find different things to feel a sense of connection," she said. "I will definitely continue to emphasize that that is a place where our students are welcome and where they know they can come and find someone who will listen, care and be willing to nurture them."

Media Contacts: George Vlahakis University Communications 812-855-0846 Stephanie Power-Carter Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center 812-855-9271

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown Brown Calls for Action to Address Poverty Among African Americans at Harvard Law School Celebration of Black Alumni

CAMBRIDGE, Ma. (September 16, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown participated in Harvard Law School’s 3rd Celebration of Black Alumni, a weekend-long event paying tribute to African-American graduates. Lt. Governor Brown, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, was a featured speaker on a panel entitled “Government Leaders: Changing the Game for Political and Economic Empowerment” where he highlighted Maryland’s progress in empowering the African-American community, such as increasing state contracts awarded to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) by 27 percent, raising by 16.7 percent the number of African-American full-time undergraduate students at Maryland’s public colleges and universities, and expanding access to health insurance to 82,000 African-Americans.

The Lt. Governor also called for continued action to reverse the rising poverty rate among African Americans and to address growing economic imbalances. Recent U.S. Census data has shown that the poverty rate for African Americans has risen to 27.4 percent, compared to 9.9 percent for white Americans.

“The effects of our difficult economic times have hit the African-American community particularly hard,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Though we are seeing progress in Maryland from our efforts to encourage economic success for African Americans, it is not enough when so many in our state and our nation are still struggling to break free of poverty. We can and must do more to ensure an equality of opportunity for all Marylanders and all Americans to build a better life and provide a brighter future for their families.”

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown
Other speakers on the Lt. Governor’s panel included Kurt Schmoke, Former Mayor of Baltimore City and Dean of Howard University School of Law; U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL); David Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; Martina Lewis Bradford, Deputy Sergeant-At-Arms, United States Senate; and Richard Taylor, Former Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown has dedicated his professional life to public service. Elected alongside Governor Martin O’Malley in 2006 and reelected in 2010, Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s work to expand and improve health care, support economic development, help victims of domestic violence, increase access to higher education, and provide Veterans with better services and resources.

TEXT CREDIT: Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown 100 State Circle • Annapolis, Maryland 21401 • 410.974.3901 • 1.800.811.8336 • MD Relay 1.800.201.7165

IMAGE CREDIT: StateMaryland

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dr. Mary Anne Akers, Evan Richardson Appointed to the Maryland Parks Advisory Commission

Dr. Mary Anne Akers, Evan Richardson Appointed to the Maryland Parks Advisory Commission.

Dr. Mary Anne Akers, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, and Evan Richardson, Assistant to the Dean, have been providing service to the State of Maryland as appointed Commissioners for the Maryland Parks Advisory Commission and Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture (MCAAHC), respectively.

In 2010, Governor Martin O'Malley appointed Dr. Mary Anne Akers to the Maryland Parks Advisory Commission. The Commission is charged with developing recommendations on an ongoing basis for the Governor and Department of Natural Resources Secretary as well as proposing new or enhanced management strategies to improve and promote Maryland state parks.

As for Mr. Richardson, he will be completing his first-term as a State Commissioner for MCAAHC in July 2012. The Commission serves as the statewide clearinghouse for preserving evidence of and documenting the African-American experience in Maryland. Governor Martin O'Malley appointed Mr. Richardson in 2008. For more information about the MCAAHC, go to

Morgan State University logoTEXT CREDIT: Morgan State University 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore MD 21251 • 443.885.3333

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seven African-American students in the Class of 2015 started their training in August at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Seven African-American Students Begin Studies at SIU School of Medicine

Seven African-American students in the Class of 2015 started their training in August at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

“Having these students here at SIU speaks well for the future of more accessible medical care in the state of Illinois and in our country,” said Dr. Wesley G. McNeese, executive assistant to the dean for diversity, multicultural and minority affairs at SIU. “Statistically, students from underrepresented groups are more likely to practice among underserved populations and to choose the general practice of medicine over specialization.”

McNeese, who is a 1986 medical school graduate of SIU, attributes the number of minority students to focused recruitment strategies from the Office of Admissions, increased advocacy by the School’s diversity office and networking opportunities with local minority physicians.

All students in the class of 2015 began the year by participating in a “white coat” ceremony, which welcomes students into the profession. The class has 34 men and 38 women including seven African-American students. The seven students in the class are –

students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Photo Caption: Seven African-American newly enrolled students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine are (front, left to right) Tris Miller, Jaleen Sims, GaToya Jones and Gaybriel Newt; (back, left to right) Shakese Hudley, Chris Simpson and Desirè Ketchandji.

Shakese Hudley is the daughter of Sharvez and Shirley Hudley of Denver, Colo.
GaToya Jones is the daughter of George Jones of Princeton, Texas, and the late LaSha Jones.
Desirè Ketchandji is the son of Marceline Leumar of Pearland, Texas, and Daniel Ketchandji of Douala, Cameroon.
Tris Miller is the daughter of Perry Miller of Springfield and the late Bruce Miller.
Gaybriel Newton is the daughter of Robbie Rhodes of Farmington Hills, Mich.
Chris Simpson is the son of Everett and Felicia Simpson of Houston, Texas.
Jaleen Sims is the daughter of Larry D. Randle Sr. and Joyce D. Randle, both of Wichita, Kan. She is married to Ray L. Sims II of Jackson, Miss.

During the ceremony in Carbondale, the students received their first white coats from the President of the School’s Alumni Society Dr. Douglas Carlson, professor of pediatrics and director of the Hospitalist Medicine division in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The coats were provided by the School’s Alumni Society.

The students also received a pin made up of the words “Compassion, Respect and Integrity” from the SIU Foundation. The event is designed to establish a “psychological contract of professionalism and empathy” in medicine.

Currently a total of 47 (16% percent) minority students are enrolled in the SIU medical school. “Minorities,” as determined by the Association of American Medical Colleges, are the racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population and include African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Alaskan Native.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine is based in Carbondale and Springfield and focused on the health-care needs of downstate Illinois. It educates physicians to practice in Illinois communities and has graduated 2,399 physicians, including 218 minorities since the first class in 1975 Its website is -30-

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top African American Art Collector Describes his Journey

(St. Mary’s City, MD)— African American art collector Robert Steele will describe the impact of his collection at a public talk at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He and his wife, Jean, spent years searching print workshops for great art by some of the nation’s leading artists. Thirty-two works from the collection are on display at the gallery this fall. Boyden Gallery in Montgomery Hall is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Press Release #11-161 Lee Capristo (240) 895-4795

Office of Publications & Media Relations 18952 E. Fisher Road St. Mary's City, Maryland 20686-3001

St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Monday, September 12, 2011

University of Nebraska to unveil 'George Flippin Project' to honor school's first black student-athlete

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, George Flippin was a large man for his day. That, along with his hard-running style, helped him to become one of the University of Nebraska’s very first football stars.

But in the course of his lifetime Flippin became a man of great stature in many other ways. As the university’s first African-American athlete, he saw success on the field despite enduring racial bigotry from opposing teams and fans. He excelled in the classroom, completed medical school in three years, practiced medicine in Illinois and Arkansas, then returned to Nebraska to establish a hospital in Stromsburg in 1907.

A world traveler, Flippin often studied advances in Europe and brought them back to his well-respected practice in Nebraska. When he died in 1929, his funeral was said to be the largest Stromsburg had ever seen.

On Friday, Sept. 16, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will honor Flippin’s legacy with the unveiling of a new art project bearing his likeness at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center. The event begins at 7:15 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The four-by-six-foot mural-style portrait of Flippin standing proudly in his Nebraska football uniform – a white sweater emblazoned with a red ‘N’ – was the culmination of the work of a dozen student volunteers.

George Flippin

This is one of the 24 painted square pieces that combine to form The Flippin Project, a student-designed mural honoring the University of Nebraska's first African-American athlete. The mural will be unveiled at a Sept. 16 ceremony at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Crystal Sanders, an August 2011 graduate of UNL from Placentia, Calif., painted this segment of the mural.
The Flippin Project, as it has become known, provided an opportunity to transcend cultural boundaries through art by enlisting the talents of the volunteers from Prof. Aaron Holz’s advanced painting class in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. Holz and Jon Humiston, creative director at UNL’s Office of University Communications, divided a black-and-white photo of Flippin into 24 equal-sized squares, then asked each student to paint two of them. No other creative instruction was given, so students could interpret and paint their slices of the overall portrait in whatever manner they chose.

The result is a fascinating patchwork of styles, colors, effects and interpretations that reflect the students’ diversity while unifying to form the iconic image of the university’s pioneering student-athlete.

Students worked independently, researching Flippin’s life and his contributions to the university, before putting brushes to canvas.

“One of the most amazing things about George Flippin’s story was that despite being the first free-born generation in his family, he was able to use his incredible talent to rise beyond the racial obstacles of the time,” said Kyren Conley, a senior from Alliance who participated in the project. “I was also proud to learn that despite the times of widespread segregation and racism, his team supported and respected him.”

Crystal Sanders, another of the student artists, graduated in August. She said she was pleased with how the mural came together and that like in football it required a team effort by the student artists. In the end, she said it will help to preserve Flippin’s legacy at UNL. The mural will remain on permanent display at the multicultural center.

“I am very proud to be a part of the history of the school I graduated from and I am proud of the school for acknowledging art as having importance,” she said. Other students participating in the art project were Spenser Albertsen, Matt Belk, Anthony Blue, Michaela E. Bradley, Derek Joy, James Laville, Caitlin Mackie, Dana Oltman, Kan Seidel and Stephanie Tompsett.

In addition to the mural’s unveiling, several speakers during the event will discuss Flippin’s life, his impact on the university and his contribution to the state.

The Gaughan Center, linked to the east side of the Nebraska Union, opened in 2010. It features 30,000 square feet of space, including student offices, tutoring rooms and areas for faculty, staff and students dedicated to diversity and multicultural programming.

Writer: Steve Smith, University Communications, (402) 472-4226,

Released on 09/09/2011, at 12:00 AM Office of University Communications University of Nebraska–Lincoln. WHEN: Friday, Sep. 16. WHERE: Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center. Lincoln, Neb., September 9th, 2011 —

News Release Contacts: Jon D Humiston, Creative Director, Office of University Communications phone: 402 472 7026

Friday, September 9, 2011



Amherst, MA – The winners of the Libraries’ Du Bois Fellowships, Markeysha Davis and Rickey Fayne, will give talks based on their research on Friday, September 16, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the Conference Room on Floor 26, Du Bois Library.

Markeysha Davis, of the Afro-American Studies Department at UMass Amherst, will give a talk “Daring Propaganda for the Beauty of the Human Mind: Redefinition and Reaffirmation of the Black Self in Poetry and Drama of the 1960s and 1970s.”

Davis’s research examines the ways that black poets and playwrights of the 1960s and 1970s imagined and defined black nationhood by attempting to symbolically destroy the Du Boisian dilemma of black “double-consciousness.” The work of these artists during this period is indelibly rooted in W.E.B. Du Bois’s theory of the purpose of black art—theatre especially—for, by and about African Americans, their lives, their history and their culture. Some of the artists include Amiri Baraka, Charles Wesley, Ed Bullins, and Nikki Giovanni.

Rickey Fayne, of the English Department at Northwestern University, will give a talk “The Will to Achieve: Philosophy and Psychology in Service of Social Action in W.E.B. Du Bois’s Pan-African American Consciousness.”

W. E. B. Du Bois

Faynes’s presentation intends to explicate the way in which Du Bois makes use of an imagined Africa within his writings and artistic productions in order to foment social change. He will argue that Du Bois rearticulates William James’s philosophical and psychological understanding of the personal consciousness and applies these ideals to black Americans as a whole in order to create a collective Pan-African American Consciousness.

For more information, contact Danielle Kovacs (, 413-545-2784).



Monday, September 5, 2011

Michelle Alexander civil rights lawyer, advocate & legal scholar, will discuss impact of Black men’s high rates of imprisonment on American society

Civil Rights Lawyer and Author Michelle Alexander to Discuss the Impact of African-American Incarceration on American Society

Norfolk, Va.— Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar, will discuss the alarming impact of Black men’s high rates of imprisonment on American society at 7 p.m., Thursday, September 8 at NSU’s L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center. Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which was considered one of the top African-American books of 2010. It won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding nonfictional literary work.

In her book, Alexander argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African-American men, primarily through the War on Drugs, has created a new racial undercaste—a group of people defined largely by race that is subject to legalized discrimination, scorn and social exclusion—not unlike the days of Jim Crow. She challenges the civil rights community to put the issue of mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

Alexander currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. She was also an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.

Michelle AlexanderA graduate of Stanford Law and Vanderbilt University, Alexander clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Alexander’s appearance is free and open to the public. For more information, call (757) 823-8373 visit

TEXT CREDIT: Norfolk State University, 700 Park Avenue, Norfolk VA 23504 USA | NSU Operator: 757-823-8600

IMAGE CREDIT: Moritz College of Law - Faculty: Michelle Alexander

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Emory University researchers explain cause for Racial Disparities in Kidney Failure

Emory University researchers explain cause for Racial Disparities in Kidney Failure.

ATLANTA – Emory University researchers have found that African Americans are more likely to excrete protein in their urine than whites, a condition that may contribute to a much higher incidence of kidney failure in African Americans.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney failure has a disproportionate impact on minority populations, especially African Americans. The incidence of kidney failure in African Americans is nearly four times greater than in whites.

Led by Emory University Professor of Medicine William M. McClellan, Jr., MD, MPH, researchers examined data from 27,911 individuals, finding that African Americans are more likely to excrete larger amounts of protein in their urine than whites. The study,"Albuminuria and Racial Disparities in the Risk for ESRD," was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

"Our large nationwide study brings attention to higher levels of urinary protein excretion as important contributors to the increased incidence of kidney failure experienced by African Americans,” said McClellan, who also has an appointment in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. “Treating urinary protein excretion may help reduce racial disparities related to kidney failure as well as reduce the rate of progression to kidney failure for all individuals.”

Cause for Racial Disparities in Kidney Failure ExplainedInvestigators speculate that several factors may explain why African Americans tend to excrete more protein in their urine. These could include blood pressure and other heart-related factors, obesity, smoking, vitamin D levels, genetic differences, income and birth weight. These factors may act at different times during an individual’s life to affect kidney health.

Study co-authors include David Warnock, MD, Suzanne Judd, PhD, Paul Muntner, PhD, Leslie McClure, PhD, George Howard, DrPh (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Reshma Kewalramani, MD (Amgen Corporation); Mary Cushman, MD (University of Vermont); and Britt Newsome, MD (Denver Nephrologists, PC).


News Release: Aug. 30, 2011. Contact: Kerry Ludlam: (404) 727-5692

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Julie Dash will discuss her film "Daughters of the Dust" following the film's screening at Duke University on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Durham, NC - On the 20th anniversary of its release, Julie Dash will discuss her film "Daughters of the Dust" following the film's screening at Duke University on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The film, which kicks off the Duke African and African American Studies department film series, will be shown at 6 p.m. at the Nasher Museum of Art. A discussion with Dash and art history professor Richard Powell will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the public.

"With the spirited public conversations about films like 'Precious,' 'For Colored Girls' and, most recently, 'The Help,' it's clear that the moving image continues to be one of the critical sites of interests about the preservation and dissemination of images of black humanity," said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke and the event organizer. "With our film series, we are hoping to intervene in these conversations by highlighting the expansive range of films that reflect black experiences."

"Daughters of the Dust," released in 1991, was the first feature by an African-American woman to gain national theatrical release and was named to the National Film Registry, a collection of films deemed by the Library of Congress to be national treasures.

Julie Dash

Julie Dash
The film draws on Dash's South Carolina heritage and focuses on three generations of women with roots in the Sea Islands and Gullah culture. Set in 1902, "Daughters of the Dust" grapples with slavery's legacy, migration, sexual abuse and sexual freedom, and maintaining tradition amid modern pressures.

Dash's visit also will include screenings of her short film "Praise House," a collaboration with the founder and choreographer of Urban Bush Women.

The 2011-12 African and African American Studies film series, curated by Neal and history graduate student Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell, will continue in October with "Handsworth Songs" (1986), an experimental film documenting the 1985 racial unrest in Britain.

For more information, visit Duke's African and African American Studies website.

Office of News & Communications 615 Chapel Drive, Box 90563, Durham, NC 27708-0563 (919) 684-2823; After-hours phone (for reporters on deadline): (919) 812-6603