Sunday, May 8, 2011

The increased availability of fast food restaurants is associated with a higher intake of calories among African Americans

The increased availability of fast food restaurants is associated with a higher intake of calories among African Americans in the Southeast reports a new study released today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers examined the associations between fast food restaurant availability with dietary intake and weight among African Americans in the southeastern United States. The sample population included 4,740 African American Jackson Heart study participants. While no consistent associations between fast food restaurant availability and body mass index or waist circumference were observed, researchers did report that greater fast food restaurant availability was associated with higher energy intake among men and women younger than 55 years, even after adjusting for individual socioeconomic status. They found that the energy intake increased by 138 kilocalories for men and 58 kilocalories for women when fast food restaurants were within a five mile radius.

The study’s authors said, “Our results suggested that, especially among younger adults who are more likely to consume fast food, the availability of fast food restaurants around their homes is associated with energy intake.

fast foodGiven the importance of energy intake to weight and associated disorders, the role of environmental factors such as fast food restaurant availability deserves additional scrutiny in studies involving more appropriate longitudinal designs.”

[From: “Associations of Fast Food Restaurant Availability with Dietary Intake and Weight among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study, 2000-2004.” Contact: Demarc A. Hickson, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss., # # #

CONTACT: For copies of articles or full table of contents of issue, call Patricia Warin, 202-777-2511, or e-mail:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dole Institute of Politics and University of Kansas Libraries will kick off a new series titled World War II The African-American Experience

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics and University of Kansas Libraries will kick off a new three-part series titled “World War II: The African-American Experience,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Dole Institute. The event is free and open to the public.

The opening program will feature author and historian Christopher Moore as he discusses his book, “Fighting for America: Black Soldiers, the Unsung Heroes of WWII.”

“Chris Moore’s book provides a wonderful opportunity for people of all generations to connect with a previously invisible history of World War II and the roles played by the heroic black American men and women who served in that war,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute.

The collaboration will include the three-part series at the Dole Institute and an exhibition and oral history project through the Kansas Collection at KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library that will document the experiences of African-American World War II veterans in Kansas. The exhibition will be on display at the Dole Institute. The programs are made possible through the support of Sandra Gautt of Lawrence.

“This partnership between KU Libraries and the Dole Institute, made possible by the generous support of Sandra Gautt, will provide a unique glimpse into African-American history,” said Lorraine J. Haricombe, dean of libraries. “We are grateful for the opportunity to document and share the personal experiences of those who served in World War II.”

Black Troops at Iwo Jima
High Resolution Image Seeking to rescue a Marine who was drowning in the surf at Iwo Jima, this sextet of Negro soldiers narrowly missed death themselves when their amphibian truck was swamped by heavy seas.
Moore is a historian and special projects and exhibitions research coordinator for the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is also the author and co-author of several works, including “The Black New Yorkers: 400 Years of African American History,” “Standing in the Need of Prayer: African American Prayer Traditions,” “Slavery in New York” and “Santa and Pete: Novel of Christmas Past and Present.”

His major Schomburg exhibitions include “The African Burial Ground,” “Malcolm X,” “Blacks on Stage,” “Ralph Bunche Centennial” and “Lest We Forget: Triumph over Slavery,” published as “Jubilee: The Emergence of African American Culture.” He has served as exhibition consultant to the New York Historical Society and the National Park Service.

Moore wrote and co-produced the History Channel’s award-winning series “The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery” and is featured in the Annenberg Media’s Teaching Multicultural Literature program “Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore” and the film “New Jack City: Harlem Walking Tour with Christopher Moore.” He is a consultant to the PBS show “History Detectives.”

A former journalist and news editor for ABC Radio and National Black Network News, Moore broke the story of the unearthing of the African burial ground in lower Manhattan for Fox News in 1991. Moore is a contributor to the New York Times, USA Today and the African American National Biography. He is a commissioner of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and the NYC Archival Review Board. In 2008, he received the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus’s Veteran’s Braintrust Award.

The series is dedicated to Gautt’s father, Thaddeus Whayne, and all African-American World War II veterans. -30-

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

Contact: Heather Anderson, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-1422 | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cut Hypertension Program providing blood pressure screenings in African American barbershops

Medical Student Will Address Hypertension in African American Men Through Innovative Barbershop Program.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Student Receives Schweitzer Fellowship.

Philadelphia - (Nicholas) Kenji Taylor, a first-year year student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named one of 15 Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows for 2011-2012. Schweitzer Fellows partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health—all on top of their regular graduate school responsibilities.

Taylor will address hypertension in African American males by coordinating, expanding, and providing blood pressure screenings in African American barbershops of West Philadelphia through the “Cut Hypertension Program.” A pilot of the “Cut Hypertension Program” was conducted last year through the Penn Med chapter of the Student National Medical Association, initially spearheaded by a now second-year medical student, Sheriff Akinleye. Taylor aims to identify hypertensive African American males, educate them on the dangers associated with high blood pressure, provide preventive lifestyle coaching, and facilitate connections with local primary care providers. Karen Hamilton, PhD, assistant dean for the Office for Diversity and Community Outreach in Undergraduate Medical Education at Penn, will continue to provide faculty support and mentorship for the program.

Upon completion of his initial year, Taylor will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life and join a vibrant network of over 2,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

“I’m thrilled to find such tremendous support to address health disparities in our West Philadelphia community, and equally excited to join a larger cohort of professionals who are passionate about service to the community,” Taylor said.

Since the Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Program’s founding in 2006, Schweitzer Fellows have delivered more than 7,000 hours of direct service to vulnerable people in the Philadelphia area. ###

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4 billion enterprise.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools and among the top 10 schools for primary care. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $507.6 million awarded in the 2010 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – recognized as one of the nation's top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2010, Penn Medicine provided $788 million to benefit our community.

Media Contact: Jessica Mikulski 215-349-8369

IMAGE CREDIT: Source: Photo taken by Dozenist Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Thursday, May 5, 2011

African American smokers used the counseling service at significantly higher rates than Caucasian smokers

African American Smokers in California More Likely to Use Telephone Quitline

A new study examining 18 years of data from the California state tobacco quitline found that African American smokers used the counseling service at significantly higher rates than Caucasian smokers. The finding is reported in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“African Americans suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related diseases such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease,” said lead author, Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD, professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “Making service programs accessible and attractive for African-American smokers can help reduce health disparities associated with tobacco use.”

Quitlines offer telephone counseling to help smokers quit. The services are convenient and free, paid for with state tobacco tax money. Telephone counseling also provides a degree of anonymity that can encourage utilization among those who would not normally seek help. California was the first state to set up such a telephone-based service in 1992, after clinical research found that counseling was effective in helping smokers quit.

Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD

Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD
This study examined data from the California quitline from 1992 to 2009, which included 61,096 African American and 279,042 Caucasian smokers. The authors computed the annual quitline utilization rate for each ethnic group by dividing the number of callers in a given year by the total number of smokers in the ethnic group obtained from the ongoing California Tobacco Surveys. In comparing these rates, researchers found that African American smokers were more likely to call the quitline than Caucasian smokers; 44 percent to 140 percent more likely. In only one period of comparison did African American smokers have a lower utilization rate - 10 percent lower than Caucasian smokers.

“The finding of higher utilization rates for African American smokers is somewhat unexpected but very encouraging,” said Valerie Yerger, ND, LM, assistant professor in the department of social and behavioral sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and a founding member of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council of California. The higher rate is unexpected because most public health literature reports that African American smokers are less likely to use evidence-based treatment for smoking cessation. “It would be important to further understand which aspect of the quitline encourages their active participation,” said Yerger, who is not associated with the study.

“Our analysis suggests that one reason African American smokers are more apt to use the quitline service is that they appear to be more responsive to the ongoing state media campaign that prompts calls to the service,” said co-author, Phil Gardiner, PhD, from the University of California Office of the President. The study recommends that states combine a strong media message – urging smokers to quit – with the offer of convenient and free help, such as the quitline.

Timothy A. McAfee, MD, MPH, Director, Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the study finding “very significant.” He pointed out that quitlines are now available in every state, and when combined with media campaigns they can overcome the barriers that smokers face getting help quitting smoking. "Unfortunately, many states are cutting back on their tobacco control funding while simultaneously raising tobacco taxes. Studies like this suggest that we need to continue with a strong anti-tobacco media campaign along with offering accessible cessation services. This comprehensive approach can increase quitting activity among smokers in general while helping reduce disparities such as those African Americans face in getting help quitting.” # # #

University of California, San Diego Health System Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

50th anniversary of the civil rights Freedom Riders

Loyola University New Orleans will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights Freedom Riders by premiering the screening of a documentary of the same name on May 9, 7 p.m. in Roussel Hall. The free event, presented by the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice, will include a viewing of the documentary and a question and answer period, followed by a light reception. The event is open to the public.

The film “Freedom Riders,” directed by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, documents the struggle for civil rights in the early 1960s. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way.

Twomey Center director Ted Quant says he is encouraging the entire Loyola community, especially students, to attend this historic event.

“Today with the attack on human rights here in this country and around the world, it’s time again for a reawakening of young people in sense of consciousness in the fight for freedom. ‘Freedom Riders’ is an example of what that could be,” Quant said.

Background Map: 1961 Freedom Rides

Background Map: 1961 Freedom Rides. [New York]: Associated Press News feature. Printed map and text, ca. 1962 Geography & Map Division (84.6) American Treasures of the Library of Congress:
For those who cannot make the screening, the documentary will air on WYES-TV on Monday, May 16 from 8 – 10 p.m. It will repeat Tuesday, May 17 at 10 p.m. For more information, contact the Twomey Center at 504-864-7433.

Loyola University New Orleans || 6363 St. Charles Avenue || New Orleans, LA 70118. WYES premieres 'Freedom Riders' documentary at Loyola. Loyola press release - May 2, 2011.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Northwestern State University will award an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Terrel A. Delphin, Jr. at the Spring 2011 Commencement Exercises

For decades, Delphin has worked to bridge cultural and racial gaps through multicultural education, harmony and cooperation.

“Terrel Delphin is a person worthy of great respect and admiration,” said Northwestern President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “I first came to know him and his lovely wife Lillie when he spearheaded an effort to obtain approval by both Boards of Supervisors and Regents for the establishment of the Creole Heritage Center on the campus of Northwestern State University. I have since come to appreciate his additional efforts on behalf of our community and region, including his role as assistant director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness under Sheriff Victor Jones. I am pleased that the Board of Supervisors approved my recommendation to confer an honorary doctorate on this deserving gentleman.”

Delphin has been a leader in the “Creole renaissance,” helping Creole language-based communities preserve their language and recognition of their cultural heritage. He has worked with communities in California, Texas, Illinois, Nevada and Alaska. In 1997, Delphin, along with representatives from 20 communities in Louisiana, made an impassioned presentation to establish a Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern. The proposal was approved and the Center serves as a valuable resource for people around the United States and the world. Delphin was chairman of the board of the Creole Heritage Center and is now honorary chairman.

Terrel A. Delphin, Jr.

Terrel A. Delphin, Jr.
“In an increasingly multicultural, multiracial world, people like Terrel Delphin are rare,” said Janet Colson, executive director of the Creole Heritage Center. “The ability to weld together people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and to speak for people who are often unrepresented in a wider society is his gift. He has had to literally change history so that the world can be seen as the rich, complex place it is so people can gain their own voices.”

For the past several years, Delphin has worked to establish Civil Rights Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. He believes that the African-American community in Natchitoches has an outstanding history of leadership that should be recognized.

A native of Natchitoches Parish, Delphin grew up on Cane River. He attended St. Joseph’s Parochial School and graduated from St. Matthew High School.

Delphin served in the U.S. Army then returned home. He briefly worked in Chicago before returning home when he was asked by Sheriff Sam James to serve as one of the first non-white police officers in Natchitoches Parish.

Delphin’s law enforcement experience led to a 25-year career with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture. He served as head of the State Brands Office and the program director for the state of Louisiana, the only minority in the United States to hold such a position. He later became assistant commissioner of agriculture.

In 2005, he became assistant director of the Natchitoches Parish Office of Emergency Planning and Homeland Security. Delphin had an instrumental role as the office assisted Louisiana residents affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The City of Natchitoches declared March 29, 1997, as Terrel Delphin Day in honor of his contributions to racial and multicultural harmony. Delphin received the Creole Center’s Historic Preservation Award in 1999 and 2003. The Natchitoches Police Jury presented him with the People’s Involvement Award for his work in Creole heritage preservation in 2006.

Contact: David West ( News Bureau Northwestern State University Natchitoches, LA 71497 (318) 357-6466

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Leonard Weather, Jr., M.D. Things are not going to get better if we just let it be

President of NMA Tells students and faculty: "People are sick. We need to help them be well."

The president of the National Medical Association (NMA) urged UCF College of Medicine students, faculty and staff members Monday to do their part in ending health-care disparities, declaring, "Things are not going to get better if we just let it be."

Leonard Weather, Jr., M.D. leads the NMA, which was founded in 1895 and is the oldest and largest organization serving African-American physicians.

Dr. Weather is a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in Shreveport, LA, who has seen the devastating health effects of environmental pollution on communities from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But he said toxic environments threaten communities of color across America, resulting in higher rates of cancer, obesity, lupus and endometriosis.

Chronic exposure to stress, unhealthy habits, and living in areas of low social capital, weak social networks and "food deserts" with no access to fresh produce, further erode health in minority communities, according to Dr. Weather. "Throughout man's history, income has been the primary determinant of health and life expectancy," he said.

Leonard Weather, Jr., M.D.Part of the challenge is getting health information to low-income communities, a point reinforced by College of Medicine M-1 student Sharise Richardson, who attended a recent NMA conference that discussed the need to better use social networking to help minority communities learn about topics such as HIV and AIDS.

As part of that effort, Dr. Weather said the NMA has begun a new initiative called "We Stand Together," radio public service announcements that offer health advice three times a day, seven days a week on African-American radio stations.

Ending health-care disparities will require everyone to get involved, Dr. Weather said. And as he looked to the College of Medicine students in the audience, he urged them, "You need to have a plan. You need to be great. You need to be good. We need you. People are sick. We need to help them be well."

CONTACT: Wendy Spirduso Sarubbi, UCF College of Medicine Information / Publication Services, 407.266.1418 or

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carla A. Harris Keynote speaker at Jacksonville University commencement ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University is proud to announce that nearly 700 students received their degrees at the annual spring commencement ceremony today on campus. Keynote speaker Carla A. Harris, managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, encouraged graduates to always make choices that will have a positive ripple effect on others.

Harris told the graduates that to maximize their success in life would depend on the following three factors: the choices you make; how you recover from your mistakes; and the view you have of yourself.

“When faced with a choice, always choose the option that will push and stretch you the most,” said Harris. “Choose to be a leader and not let life happen to you.”

Harris also told the graduates that they each have the following three things they can offer the world: their time, their talent and their treasure.

“At different points in your life, you will have more of one over the other,” said Harris. “Regardless, you must always choose to use this in a leadership role that will positively benefit others.”

Carla A. Harris

Carla A. Harris
Harris also commented that the most important of these three gifts to the world is time because time is finite.

“You will never be able to get more time,” said Harris. “Be sure that what you are doing with it produces a return of joy, happiness and satisfaction with the knowledge that you have impacted someone else’s life for the better.”

Harris also said that collectively, we should not be so quick to say that they are not making the right decisions in Washington.

“Who is they,” said Harris. “They are we and we need to decide to get involved now and not use the excuse that we are too busy.”

When referring to mistakes, Harris encouraged the graduates to not look upon the subject with discouragement.

“When you make a mistake, take the blessing of the lesson and move on,” said Harris. “Failure always brings you a gift. You will know how to do it differently next time. Don't carry the baggage of having made a mistake, embrace the valuable lesson.”

Harris also told the graduates that when they think of themselves, they need to own all of that which is uniquely their own.

“You all have this unique gift,” said Harris. “Nobody can be you the way you can be you. You must have a winner’s lens and dwell in the land of possibility that you will have good outcomes. The more you dwell in possibility; you will naturally migrate in the land of probability of positively affecting others.”

Harris concluded by giving the graduates one more piece of advice.

“Expect to have an extraordinary life,” said Harris. “Your greatness is a part of you and it will continue to grow.”

An honorary doctor of humane letters was also conferred on Harris, who is head of Morgan Stanley’s Emerging Manager Program and also provides investment advice to corporations, public pension plans, foundations and endowments. She was previously responsible for the structuring, marketing and execution of public and private equity financings and has industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial and healthcare sectors.

She is also the author of “Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace,” Harris has been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America” and to Fortune’s “The Most Influential List” 2005, to Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street,” to Essence Magazine’s list of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World,” Ebony’s list of “15 Corporate Women at the Top,” The Network Journal’s 2005 list of “25 Most Outstanding Women in Business” and was named “Woman of the Year 2004# by the Harvard University Black Men’s Forum.

Harris received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, Second Year Honors and an Artium Baccalaureus in economics from Harvard University, magna cum laude. The University will present her with an honorary doctorate in business commerce in recognition of her outstanding career.

The graduates included nearly 550 undergraduates receiving bachelor’s degrees. Of those, 238 were nursing students. Master’s degrees were bestowed on 153 graduate students.

One graduate, Kasey Sousa, was honored with the prestigious Fred B. Noble Medal for Scholarship for achieving a 4.0 grade point average.

The University's Navy ROTC Program commissioned 11 officers. JU's NROTC program also serves students at the University of North Florida and Florida Community College at Jacksonville.

The University also presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters to W. Ash Verlander (1920-2009). Verlander was a member of the JU Board of Trustees from 1968 to 1996 and served as chairman of the Board from 1982 to 1985. He devoted much of his time to fundraise for the University and chaired the University’s Golden Anniversary Campaign committee, which raised more than $16 million. A 53- year resident of Jacksonville, Verlander was one of the founding members of the American Heritage Life Insurance Company, serving as its president for 25 years and then as board chairman until he retired in 1994. The Verlander legacy lives on at JU as his son, Chris, is a member of the Board of Trustees and his grandson, Alan, serves as the athletics director.


TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Jacksonville University

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Black, Latino, and White candidates make race based appeals at roughly the same rates in campaigns in which their opponents are of a different race

Black, Latino, and White candidates make race-based appeals in advertisements at roughly the same rates in campaigns in which their opponents are of a different race, according to research by New York University’s Charlton McIlwain and North Central College’s Stephen Caliendo. However, their findings, which appear in the new book, Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns (Temple University Press), also show that nearly 70 percent of political ads by Black and Latino office seekers focus on their own candidacies while more than 90 percent of ads run by White candidates attack their opponents.

Through an analysis of political advertisements and news coverage, along with results of laboratory experiments, Race Appeal offers insights into the way race-based messages influence campaigns. It includes: a chapter on immigration and the 2006 election; case studies on news coverage of the campaigns of Harold Ford, Jr., Mel Martinez, and Artur Davis; and an analysis of the 2008 presidential election.

The authors analyzed 56 variables in nearly 800 televised political advertisements from U.S. House and Senate campaigns between 1970 and 2006 that included at least one candidate of color. Among the examined variables were: whether or not the candidate or his or her opponent appeared in the ad; what stereotypes were invoked (e.g., “liberal,” “unqualified,” “uncaring”); and what public policy issues were mentioned—crime, welfare, and Social Security were among the 29 issues examined.

Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political CampaignsThe authors found that 82 percent of all ads run by White candidates against Black and Latino candidates included some form of race-based appeal. The percentage of ads from Black and Latino candidates invoking race – 78 percent – is statistically on par with their White political rivals. However, McIlwain and Caliendo observed a clear distinction between ads by Whites and those by Blacks and Latinos. They found that 69 percent of ads by Black and Latino office seekers focused on their candidacies while 92 percent of ads by White candidates included attacks on their opponents.

Among Race Appeal’s other findings are:

· There is little evidence that reporters “racialize” their coverage of Black and Latino candidates.

McIlwain and Caliendo find that while one-quarter of a sample of newspaper stories covering campaigns written since 1990 include a reference to a candidate’s race, the researchers conclude that “racial framing” in these stories is minimal when other factors, such as story placement, headline reference, story length, and other story attributes are taken into account.

· White candidates most commonly seek to portray their Black opponents as “untrustworthy,” “criminal,” “taking advantage of the system,” and “lazy”;

· Playing the “race card” is effective in advertising if voters don’t see it as an overt racial appeal. The authors’ experiments show that White voters gave less support to both White and Black candidates whom they saw as making race-based appeals. However, the standard for “playing the race card” may vary between candidates—White voters saw Black candidates as making a racial appeal even when only those candidates’ faces appeared in ads.

McIlwain is an associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is the author of When Death Goes Pop: Death, Media and the Remaking of Community and Death in Black and White: Death, Ritual and Family Ecology. Caliendo is a professor of political science at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Inequality in America: Race, Poverty and Fulfilling Democracy's Promise and Teachers Matter: The Trouble with Leaving Political Education to the Coaches. McIlwain and Caliendo are co-editors of The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity.

For review copies, contact Gary Kramer, Temple University Press, at Reporters interested in speaking with McIlwain should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

YOUR Blessed Health, a youth program where church leaders teach sexual health and HIV prevention.VIDEO

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—When 10th-grader Quintin Scott learned that only physicians could diagnose AIDS, he wasn't in sex education class and he wasn't overhearing locker room talk: Scott was in church.

Such open discussion about sexual health in the African-American church where Scott learned this information would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, but at the time Scott was taking a test to become a peer counselor in one of the 55 churches in Flint, Mich., that participate in YOUR Blessed Health, a youth program now in its fifth year.

The primary goal of YOUR Blessed Health is to provide African-American faith leaders with the knowledge and communication tools to educate young members about HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

Derek Griffith, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, is evaluating the effectiveness of YOUR Blessed Health.

"In a project like this, 'evaluator' translates to helping with the development of the program, as well," he said. "In a broader sense, we're trying to bring some science to the work that is being done. The question is how do you build the science around it to help strengthen the impact of the program on youth, on the organization and on the community?"

Sex and HIV are, historically, taboo topics in African-American churches, despite the fact that AIDS impacts African Americans in disproportionately higher numbers than other minority groups and whites—which is exactly why African-American churches in Flint so desperately needed YOUR Blessed Health, said Bettina Campbell, executive director of YOUR Center and principal investigator who started the pilot program in 2006.

In six years, 55 churches representing nine denominations in Flint have joined YOUR Blessed Health.

YOUR Blessed HealthAt Flint's Faith Deliverance Center, Pastor Bernadel Jefferson said parents were receptive to the idea—the resistance came primarily from church leaders, many of them men who weren't as open-minded, she said (one of Jefferson's seminars is called "Saved, Satisfied and Sanctified! How to Satisfy Your Boo and Still be Saved").

To that end, one critical component of YOUR Blessed Health is enlisting the pastors' spouses and teaching them the training.

"Church is not just for the people right inside, it's for the whole community," Jefferson said.

YOUR Blessed Health intervention includes a menu of activities for faith leaders to select from according to their institutional beliefs, doctrines and culture. For instance, the pastor who frowns on a counselor demonstrating proper condom application on a banana on church grounds, might allow that same demonstration in, say, an empty office space next door to the church.

U-M's Griffith said he and Campbell have been approached by churches around the country who are interested in duplicating the program, and that the goal is to use YOUR Blessed Health as a model for how to educate people about sexual health in faith-based settings and the African- American community.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been promoting health and preventing disease since 1941, and is ranked among the top five public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, SPH faculty, students and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health.

Contact: Laura Bailey Phone: (734) 647-1848

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

African Americans and Education: The Rosenwald School Legacy conference

While Rosenwald Schools left a legacy of reading, writing and arithmetic for African-American children, their impact can perhaps best be measured by the numbers: 4,977 schools, 217 homes for teachers, and 163 shop buildings constructed in 15 states, all used to educate more than 650,000 students. Add to that a lifetime of hard work and dedication from countless teachers and other supporters and you have a sense of how the Rosenwald initiative improved the education of African American schoolchildren in the Southeastern U.S.

The educational and cultural contributions of Rosenwald Schools will be remembered during African Americans and Education: The Rosenwald School Legacy conference, to be held April 28-30 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. A follow up to an initial Rosenwald School History Awareness conference held in 2009, this year's conference will focus on raising awareness of Rosenwald School history, preserving the history of African Americans and education and examining current issues facing African American students in public schools.

"This conference is about history, learning and hope for African Americans who want the world to know how important education has been--and still is-- to them," said Donyell Roseboro, assistant professor in the Watson School of Education and conference coordinator. "We hope it will bring people together who are united in one common goal, to improve the educational experiences of all children."

Rosenwald School

Cadentown Rosenwald School, Caden Lane, Lexington, Fayette, KY
Conference highlights:
• Thursday, April 28 at 5 p.m. premiere of Claudia Stack' s documentary film on Rosenwald Schools, in Morton Hall, room 100. A question and answer session with Stack will follow the film showing.
• Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Morning keynote speaker Anthony Parent, professor of history at Wake Forest University, will speak about African Americans and education in the 18th century in the Watson School of Education Building, room 162. Luncheon Keynote speaker Phillip J. Merrill, former appraiser with the PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, will speak about preserving African American material and cultural history.
• Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. - noon field trip to a restored Rosenwald School in Pender County. The cost of the field trip is $10; transportation will be provided.

Other Friday speakers include:
• George Edwards, executive director of Historic Wilmington Foundation, who will discuss the history of Rosenwald Schools in Southeastern N.C. and current preservation efforts
• Carrie Newkirk, former Rosenwald School student
• James Faison, former director of industrial education at Williston High School

A panel discussion on current educational issues facing African American students and families will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Panelists include:
• Elizabeth Redenbaugh, New Hanover County School board member
• Pamela Baldwin, principal of Hoggard High School
• Frankie Roberts, director of LINC, Inc.
• Timothy Nathaniel French, director, Magnolia Scholars Program, Wake Forest University

To register online for the conference visit: or call 910.962.3195. Registration for the conference is $15.

The conference is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Upperman African American Cultural Center, the Department of History and the Watson School of Education.

For more information about the conference visit:

Media Contact: Emily Jones, Media Relations, 910.962.3171 or

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cancer screenings appear beneficial for African-American couples who are at high risk for chronic diseases

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that interventions to promote healthy behaviors, including eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and participating in cancer screenings appear beneficial for African-American couples who are at high risk for chronic diseases, especially if one of the individuals is living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Since medications being used to treat HIV, particularly highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), have been successful, they are now living longer and are at risk for developing other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“This study is important, demonstrating that a theory-based contextually appropriate intervention which teaches skills caused positive changes on multiple behaviors linked to chronic diseases in African American members of HIV-serodiscordant couples,” said study co-author John B. Jemmott, III, Ph.D., professor of Communication in Psychiatry and of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and Annenberg School for Communication, who led the Philadelphia trial site for the trial.

John B. Jemmott IIIUniversity of Pennsylvania Office of University Communications 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106 Media Contact:Joe Diorio || || 215-746-1798

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The African American Choral Ensemble of Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present its annual spring concert

BLOOMINGTON -- The African American Choral Ensemble of Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present its annual spring concert on Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. at the Ruth N. Halls Theatre, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

This year's concert features tributes to two gospel music greats, Walter Hawkins and Richard Smallwood.

Smallwood, a graduate of Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., combines elements of the baroque and classical period with traditional gospel. The choir will perform a medley of Smallwood's best known pieces including, "Total Praise," "Psalm 8" and the orchestral masterpiece, "Anthem of Praise."

The concert theme, "Africa to America (Revisited)," begins in West Africa with a gospel song from Ghana titled "Daa Naa See." This song will be introduced and performed by Ghanaian Ph.D. student Nana Amoah.

The choir then will move from the fields of Africa to the fields of Georgia, performing a work song arranged by legendary choreographer Donald McKayle, from his work titled "Rainbow Etude." Members of the chorus performed this work with the IU Dance Theatre in January.

African American Choral Ensemble

African American Choral Ensemble. Photo by Eugene Siew
The work song is transformed into the spiritual, and this evolution is captured in Hall Johnson's "I've Been 'Buked." This powerful spiritual was featured by choreographer Alvin Ailey in his famous work, "Revelations."

The power of historic poetry and music are combined in the music of two women composers of African descent, Margaret Bonds and Undine Smith Moore. The poet is Langston Hughes.

Hughes' poem "Mother to Son" is set to music by Smith Moore. The text, "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair," begins an analogy of hard life illustrated through visions of floors with splinters and holes in the carpet. The scene is barren, yet a mother encourages her son to not give up or turn back. The setting is written for chorus, piano and soprano solo, and will feature IU graduate vocal major Lenora Green.

Hughes' visions of black life dispersed around the world are captured in his poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." Pianist and composer Bonds originally set this piece as a solo art song but later created a version for four-part chorus and piano. The scenic view of rivers moves from the mighty Nile of Egypt to the Mississippi and the Delta.

Jazz infused riffs and shouts pay homage to Duke Ellington as the choir sings one of its later-day staples, an Ellington medley that features his "Come Sunday" and the up tempo "David Danced Unto the Lord." The arrangement by choral ensemble director Keith McCutchen features a jazz rhythm section and associate instructor Christina Harrison.

McCutchen is a composer, arranger, pianist and choral director well-known for his arrangements and compositions of religious choral music. His music has been recorded by the American Spiritual Ensemble and the St. Olaf Choir. McCutchen is also an accomplished jazz pianist. He has performed with Mel Tormé, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Eric Gravatt.

The African American Choral Ensemble is one of three ensembles of IU's African American Arts Institute, housed in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. AAAI is the only collegiate arts program with an emphasis in African American performance traditions through credit-bearing ensembles. Over the years, the AAAI has made a vital contribution to the cultural diversity of IU by preserving, promoting and celebrating African American arts traditions. Its executive director is Charles E. Sykes, and it is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and IU students with valid ID (limit 2 per IU I.D.). Tickets are available at the IU Auditorium Box Office, 1211 E. Seventh St., and more information is available at 812-855-1103.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the African American Arts Institute website at

Media Contacts: Sam Davis African American Arts Institute 812-855-5427

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The University of Kansas will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Department of African and African-American Studies

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Department of African and African-American Studies with a symposium Thursday, April 28.

The event begins at noon at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union with a series of panels chronicling the history of the department, from the student activism that led to its creation in 1970-71 to its current existence as the only university in the Big 12 Conference offering a master of arts program in African and African-American studies.

The symposium concludes at 5:45 p.m., followed by reception and entertainment in the Malott Room.

In addition to reviewing the department’s history, the symposium will stimulate an interdisciplinary dialogue concerning the practice, the state, the history and the future of African and African-American studies in the academy and beyond.

KU’s African and African-American studies department is one of a few such academic departments that were created in the late 1960s and early 1970s throughout the country. KU’s department is within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Peter Ukpokodu
Peter Ukpokodu
“The 40th anniversary of AAAS presents a unique opportunity to chronicle more than four decades of work to create a stable academic unit in the face of daunting challenges both within and without the university,” said Peter Ukpokodu, department chair.

“Since its inception at KU, the African and African-American studies department has continued to alter the very fabric of university life and teaching.

“The formation of AAAS created a space for students who had previously been excluded to be included in the university curriculum and in the process changed the fundamental character of higher education forever.

The women and men affiliated with the department, over the course of the past 40 years, with their interdisciplinary, multiracial intellectual focus, have continually been at the forefront of the transformation of academia to a more global, diverse, interdisciplinary place of higher learning.”


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045 (785) 864-2700 | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier to serve as interim president of Savannah State University

University System of Georgia Chief Academic Officer Susan Herbst announced today that she has appointed Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, associate provost and chief diversity officer at the University of Georgia (UGA) since 2006, to serve as interim president of Savannah State University (SSU), effective May 9, 2011. Dozier will step in as interim president for current SSU president Dr. Earl G. Yarbrough Sr., who served from July 2007 and who was not reappointed.

“We are extremely fortunate to be able to call on Dr. Dozier’s strong leadership skills during this transition. Savannah State University has a great deal of momentum and I am confident that the institution will be in excellent hands under Dr. Dozier,” Herbst said, “Most of our university leaders across this state know her from superb leadership on the system wide diversity initiative, so like me, they are familiar with her tremendous intellect, her charisma, and most of all, her profound openness and humanity.”

Dozier previously served as assistant vice president of academic affairs at the Gwinnett University Center from 2002-2006. She is a tenured Professor in the School of Social Work. Dozier served as the director of the interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program from 2003-2010.

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier
She has served as the lead co-principal investigator for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a $4.9M National Science Foundation (NSF) program with the goal of broadening participation of minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics since 2007. The partner institutions include Savannah State University, Fort Valley State University, Southern Polytechnic University, Georgia Perimeter College and UGA.

In addition, Dr. Dozier is a faculty researcher with the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies and Research at UGA and recently served as the co-executive producer of the Donald L. Hollowell Documentary: American Freedom Fighter, which aired on Georgia Public Broadcasting. She recently co- chaired the 50th anniversary of the desegregation at UGA entitled “Celebrating Courage”.

Dr. Dozier is an affiliate faculty member of the African Studies Institute and the Institute of African American Studies. She has published widely in professional journals and books and is a well recognized public speaker.

Dozier is an active member of many professional and civic organizations, and was recently elected President of the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education. Dr. Dozier earned a Doctorate in Social Welfare (DSW) from Hunter College, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and received a Masters in Social Work from Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta), School of Social Work and a Bachelors degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Plans regarding the search for a permanent presidential appointee at Savannah State will be announced at a later date.

University System of Georgia 270 Washington Street, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30334, U.S.A. Media Contact: John Millsaps 404-656-2250

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sylverster James Gates, Jr. Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Sylverster James Gates, Jr. Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Jim Gates, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at Maryland, is the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major research university in the United States.Gates has long been known for his groundbreaking, ongoing work in supersymmetry and supergravity, areas that are closely related to string theory. In 1983, he co-authored the book "Superspace or 1001 Lessons in Supersymmetry," which more than two decades later remains a standard in the field. String theory. Hailed by many physicists as the "Unified Field Theory" that was pursued unsuccessfully by Einstein, string theory is a leading candidate for what is commonly called the "theory of everything." Such a theory could explain the origins of all matter and energy in the universe and may one day form the basis for technologies that we cannot even imagine today.

"Professor Gates is just an extraordinary person," said Physics Chair Drew Baden. "His research is at the very cutting edge of theoretical physics, probing the fundamental structure of nature, looking for exotic connections between string theory and information theory and anything else he can think of.

Sylverster James Gates, Jr.On top of that, he finds the time and energy to give a huge number of invited public talks on science at all levels, communicating the excitement of science, and working hard to demystify. I believe that in 2005, the 100 year anniversary of Einstein's famous papers (one that introduced the theory of special relativity), he gave about 90 such talks in a single year! And on top of that, he finds the time contribute to society as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), advising the President on science policy, and as a member of the Maryland Board of Education."

Gates said "It is a strange, humbling and numbing feeling to be considered among the company of one's own heroes. While I was growing up in the U.S., the names of the founding Academy 'class' including John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, to those of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, and Ralph Waldo Emerson loomed like far distant mountain peaks marking the apex of accomplishment in the United States of America. So very many of my personal heroes like Einstein and Churchill have been members of this company. I am stunned to be in a class that includes so many accomplished individuals whose work has had such an impact on my life. It is the highest honor and recognition I have been accorded to be included among this new class of the academy. This could not have happened without the absolutely superb support I have received from the College Park campus. The election is also a signal of the recognition of the quality of the University."

The University of Maryland For Immediate Release April 19, 2011 Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or

Monday, April 18, 2011

Soul Revue of Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present its annual spring concert

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The IU Soul Revue of Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present its annual spring concert on Saturday (April 23) at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, located in downtown Bloomington at 114 E. Kirkwood Ave.

IU Soul Revue director Nathanael Fareed Mahluli said the theme for this year's show is "basement party."

"Friends and family show up with a set of records -- both LPs and 45s," he reminisced. "They take turns setting the groove and letting everybody know what the real hip song used to be. Dance-a-longs, sing-a-longs, and then there's the "Purple Hour" when lights are out and it's time for the children to go bed."

Mahluli, the IU Soul Revue director since 2005, promises a show featuring a vibe and vivacity like none other. "It will definitely pick you up from your seat and move your feet," he said.

Mahluli is an accomplished performer, educator, composer, producer and sound engineer who has contributed to the Sanfoka African Dance Company conferences and to recordings such as the charitable and poetic "Write to Heal." He has performed and recorded with such artists as Erykah Badu, members of BET's International Association of African American Music, the Stanley Paul Orchestra and many others.

IU Soul Revue

IU Soul Revue Photo by Eugene Siew
The IU Soul Revue is one of three ensembles of IU's African American Arts Institute, housed in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. AAAI is the only collegiate arts program with an emphasis in African American performance traditions through credit-bearing ensembles.

Over the years, the AAAI has made a vital contribution to the cultural diversity of IU by preserving, promoting and celebrating African American arts traditions. Its executive director is Charles E. Sykes, and it is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and IU students with valid ID (limit 2 per IU I.D.). Tickets are available at the Sunrise Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., phone 812-323-3020.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 18, 2011 For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the AAAI website at

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Michael Jacques found guilty of burning a predominantly African American church in Springfield Massachusetts

WASHINGTON –Michael Jacques, 26, of Springfield, Mass., was found guilty by a federal jury of three crimes related to the burning of a predominantly African-American church in Springfield on the morning after Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American President of the United States, the Justice Department announced today.

Evidence at trial established that in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2008, within hours of Obama being elected president, Jacques and his co-conspirators agreed to burn and succeeded in burning the newly-constructed Macedonia Church of God in Christ’s building where religious services were to be held. The building was nearly completed at the time of the fire, which destroyed the entire structure, leaving only the metal superstructure and a small portion of the front corner intact. Investigators determined the fire to be incendiary in nature and caused by an unknown quantity of gasoline applied to the exterior and interior of the building.

Prior to the Nov. 4, 2008 presidential election, Jacques and his co-conspirators used racial slurs against African-Americans and expressed anger about the possible election of Obama as the first African-American President. On Nov. 4, 2008, Jacques and his co-conspirators agreed to retaliate against the election by burning the new church because the church members, congregation and bishop were African-American.

Department of Justice LogoJacques was convicted of damaging religious property and obstructing the free exercise of religion because of the race, color or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that religious property.

Jacques was also convicted of conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate the parishioners of the church in the free exercise or enjoyment of the right to hold and use real property, a right which is secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and for using fire in the course of a federal felony.

“Hateful acts of violence of this kind will not be tolerated in our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The department will continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes against all individuals.”

“This was a very serious case that affected the lives of hundreds of parishioners at the Macedonia Church of God in Christ. When I met with Bishop Bryant Robinson it was clear to me how much damage was inflicted on his community by this horrible act. It was not necessarily about the physical structure that was burned, it was about symbolic and personal nature of the crime”, said U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz. “We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict and want to reaffirm our commitment to defend our most fundamental rights, stemming the tide of hatred and discrimination.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2011.

Two other co-conspirators, Thomas Gleason and Benjamin Haskell, have previously pleaded guilty for their role in the offenses. Haskell was sentenced to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; FBI; Massachusetts State Police; Hampden County District Attorney’s Office and the Springfield Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul H. Smyth and Kevin O’Regan and Nicole Lee Ndumele, Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

11-483 Civil Rights Division Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, April 14, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Strengths and weaknesses of Christianity from the perspective of African American women

Diana L. Hayes, professor of theology at Georgetown University, will give a lecture on themes in her recent book, Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made: A Womanist Theology (Fortress Press, 2010), on Tuesday, April 26 at 4 p.m. in Rehm Library, Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross.

The lecture is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity presented by the College’s Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. It is free and open to the public.

In the book, Hayes combines personal reflection with theological analysis to explore strengths and weaknesses of Christianity from the perspective of African American women. A leading commentator and forger of womanist thought, Hayes is author of many books, including Were You There? Stations of the Cross (Orbis Books, 2000); And Still We Rise: An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology (Paulist Press, 1995); and Hagar’s Daughters: Womanist Ways of Being in the World (Paulist Press, 1995). She is co-editor, with Cyprian Davis, of Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States. (Orbis Books, 1998).

Diana L. HayesHayes is the first African American to earn a doctor of sacred theology degree from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She received the 2001 U.S. Catholic Award for furthering the role of women in the church.

Hayes’s talk is supported by the Rehm Family Endowment and co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Holy Cross. For more information about this and other events hosted by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, and to listen to lectures online, visit

College of the Holy Cross 1 College Street, Worcester, MA 01610 • (508) 793-2011 April 15th, 2011 Danielle Kane

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anton V. Vincent Executive at General, will deliver the keynote address at Norfolk State University’s commencement ceremony

Norfolk, Va.— Anton V. Vincent, president of the Baking Products Division at General Mills food company, will deliver the keynote address at Norfolk State University’s commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, May 7 at William “Dick” Price Stadium. The procession will begin at 9:30 a.m. More than 700 students will participate in the commencement exercises.

In addition to Vincent keynote address, William T. Mason, Jr., a long-time Norfolk attorney and philanthropist, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his contributions to the university and the community. For more than 40 years, Mason has been a part of the Norfolk State University family, serving as a member of the NSU Board of Visitors and the NSU Foundation Board. He has generously supported the university financially through the establishment and growth of the W.T. and Vivian Carter Mason Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“It is indeed a privilege to have Mr. Anton Vincent as our keynote speaker at Norfolk State University’s commencement,” said Kim Luckes, acting president of Norfolk State University. “Mr. Vincent’s history of success at one of our nation’s most profitable corporations is the result of hard work and determination, and one that our students will benefit from as an example.”

Anton V. VincentVincent is directly responsible for leading the profitable growth of some of America’s most storied brands including the Betty Crocker franchise. His General Mills career spans leadership roles on brands including Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, Total Cereal, Pop Secret Popcorn, Chex Mix, Gardettos Snack Mix, Yoplait yogurt, Betty Crocker side dishes and new products. Prior to becoming president of the Baking Products Division, Vincent served as Vice President of Marketing for the Baking Products Division and Business Unit Director. He was also a founding member of General Mills’ Black Champions Network (BCN), the company’s largest employee network group.<.td>

In February, Black Enterprise named Vincent one of the Top 100 African Americans in Marketing and Advertising and in 2009 he earned the General Mills Champions Award, the company’s highest honor. His other honors include being named one of the “Top 50 Under 50” leaders in 2006 by Diversity MBA Magazine and the 2008 Minneapolis Business Journal Minority Corporate Executive of the Year award.

Outside of his executive duties, Vincent dedicates much of his time to philanthropic and enterprise efforts. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board at Milestone Growth Fund and a board of trustee member at the Breck School. He is also an advisory council member at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Center for Brand Leadership in Indiana. Other memberships include the Executive Leadership Council, Sigma Pi Phi Omicron Boule and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

A native of Jackson, Miss., Vincent earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in finance from Sam Houston State University and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He considers himself to be a proud southerner turned Midwesterner, and resides with his wife, Lindy, and their three children in Minnetonka, Minn.

Norfolk State University For more information, call Communications and Marketing at 823-8373.