Monday, December 31, 2012

Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II

Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II. African Americans Highlighted in WWII Art Exhibit; Opening Jan. 25

Waterbury, Conn. - A stirring and historical art exhibit is coming to campus this month, offering a unique opportunity for the community to revisit an important time in American history. The exhibit, "Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II," will tell the story of African Americans serving both on and off the battlefield in WWII through a collection of black and white photographs.

In honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the exhibit will open Fri., Jan. 25, just 10 days after the nation celebrates Dr. King's birthday, and remain on campus until April 4, 2013. An opening reception will be held from 6 -7 p.m. in the Leever Atrium Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, and feature period-expert authors and artists. The event is free and open to the public.

William H. Foster III, professor of English at NVCC, was essential in bringing the project together and will serve as the exhibit curator while the display remains on campus.

African Americans Highlighted in WWII Art Exhibit“It is my hope to have this exhibit start conversations for a number of groups in Waterbury,” said Professor Foster. “This is an important way for our campus to reach out to a number of audiences at the same time.”

A long-time researcher of images of African Americans in print, Professor Foster has been an expert commentator for CNN News and National Public Radio. In 2012, he presented as far as the AltCom Comics Festival in Malmo, Sweden, and the Comics Forum in Leeds, England.

In complement to his work, Foster is also helping to recruit actors for a 1938 play, "Stars & Bars," that was written for the Negro Unit of the General Theatre Project in Connecticut but never made it to the stage.
The script, which was made available recently to the Mattatuck Museum in cooperation with The Library of Congress and the Federal Theatre Project Archives at George Mason University, sheds light on the history and status of African Americans in the Hartford area. A performance is scheduled for Jan. 29 and will be directed by former NVCC Theater Director, Ed Wierzbicki.

Naugatuck Valley Community College 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708 (203) 575-8040 || For more information on the exhibit or the play, contact Professor Foster at or 203-596-8612. Click here for directions to the College.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Enid Pinkney wins Peter H. Brink Award for Historic Preservation of the Hampton House Motel

Enid Pinkney wins Peter H. Brink Award for Historic Preservation of the Hampton House Motel

Talladega, Alabama—Community activist, historian, and former assistant principal, Mrs. Enid Pinkney won a major national award along with 22 other recipients in Washington state last month.

Mrs. Pinkney, a 1953 Talladega College graduate won the Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation. The award was presented at the national conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Spokane, Washington. Mrs. Pinkney formed the Historic Hampton Community Trust to help preserve the Hampton House Motel in Brownsville, (Miami) Florida. This hotel was a premier hotel and one of only a handful that catered to African American celebrities during segregation. The motel was visited by Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and many others in the 1960s.

This Talladega College alumna has worked tirelessly for decades to preserve African American history in her native Miami, Florida. Mrs. Pinkney is the unofficial historian of Brownsville, Florida. She has written a book on its history, produced several videos about Brownsville and has worked on numerous historical projects. She became the first black president of the Dade Heritage Trust historic preservation organization in 1988. # # #

Talladega News. Released On: Friday, December 21, 2012 Nicola Lawler Office of Public Relations 256-761-6207

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Monument Honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Monument Honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War

Athens, Ga. - The city of Washington, Ga., will unveil a new monument featuring a sculpture by University of Georgia instructor Kinzey Branham that honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War—including African Americans and Native Americans—on Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. on the square in downtown Washington.

Branham created a three-piece granite and bronze monument with the bust of American spy James Armistead Lafayette as its centerpiece. The monument also will tell the story of Wilkes County slave Austin Dabney and honor the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 Af

"My family has been in Wilkes County since the late 1700s, so being involved with this monument on the square in Washington has added meaning for me," said Branham, who found the image of Lafayette to use for the bust. "Using that picture, I was actually able to put a face on all those black slaves who served, and it was his face."

 James Armistead Lafayette

UGA faculty member Kinzey Branham sculpted a bust, above, of James Armistead Lafayette that honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War. The bust is part of a three-piece granite and bronze monument. The monument also tells the story of Wilkes County slave Austin Dabney and honors the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 African-American soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War.
Wilkes County was the site of the Battle of Kettle Creek on Feb. 14, 1779, when militia forces led by Col. Andrew Pickens of South Carolina attacked an expedition of British Loyalists. While not a major event in the overall war, the victory served to boost patriot morale and prolong the British effort to gain control of the Georgia backcountry, becoming one of the most important revolutionary war battles to be fought in Georgia.

While accurate numbers for percentages and participation of all populations in the colonial armies are elusive, African Americans and Native Americans were regularly conscripted to serve in the patriot army and militias. Dabney, who fought against the British, was the only African American to be granted land by the state of Georgia in recognition of his bravery and service. Lafayette was the first African-American spy, who joined the army under Gen. Marquis de Lafayette and posed as a runaway slave to supply information on British troop movement and arms.

"Kettle Creek was a pivotal battle in Georgia; and one year later, the city was named for George Washington in honor of the victory and with some added spite for the British," said David Jenkins, economic development director for the city of Washington, who added that Wilkes County is in the process of developing a master plan for the Kettle Creek battle site. "This new monument is an important civic expression for us, recognizing the experience of many Georgians as well as that of men who were not recognized at the time but nonetheless played very important roles in our history."

Branham earned his bachelor's degree in sculpture in 1979 from the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and his master's degree from Louisiana State University. He has worked as an adjunct professor of sculpture in the school of art since 2006.

"Artwork in the community is a very tangible way to keep our civic virtues front and center," said Gene Wright, interim director of the school of art. "The monument in Washington is a great example of public art becoming a part of the history of a community, and we're honored to have one of our former students and current faculty play such an important role in it."

For more information on the Lamar Dodd School of Art, see

Writer Alan Flurry, Old College 215 Herty Drive Athens, GA706/542-3331 Email:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South

“The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South”

Firsthand accounts uncover intimate and troubled relationships between maid and mistress.

Based on interviews with more than 50 people – both black domestic workers and the white families they worked for – the stories in “The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South,” released in September by LSU Press, deliver a personal message about resilience and resistance in the face of oppression in the Jim Crow South.

The housekeepers, caretakers, sharecroppers, and cooks who share their memories in “The Maid Narratives” ultimately moved away during the Great Migration. Their perspectives as servants who left the South for better opportunities offer an original telling of physical and psychological survival in a racially oppressive caste system. Vinella Byrd, for instance, from Pine Bluff, Ark., recalls how a farmer she worked for would not allow her to clean her hands in the family’s wash pan. These narratives are complemented by the voices of white women, such as Flora Templeton Stuart from New Orleans, who remembers her maid fondly but realizes that she knew little about her life. Like Stuart, many of the white narrators remain troubled by the racial norms of the time. Viewed as a whole, the book presents varied, rich and detailed stories, often tragic, and sometimes humorous. “The Maid Narratives” reveals, across racial lines, shared hardships, strong emotional ties, and inspiring strength.

“The Maid Narratives” was written by Katherine van Wormer, David Walter Jackson III and Charletta Sudduth.

Van Wormer, who grew up in New Orleans, is a sociologist and professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author or coauthor of 16 books, including “Death by Domestic Violence” and “Confronting Oppression, Restoring Justice.”

Jackson is assistant professor in the department of African and African-American Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is co-producer of the oral video history project “African-American Voices of the Cedar Valley.” In 2006, he received the Trio Achiever of the Year award for the State of Iowa.

Sudduth is Title I early childhood consultant for the Waterloo Community School District. She earned a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in education, curriculum, and instruction, from the University of Northern Iowa.The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South

For more information, contact Erin Rolfs at 225-578-8282 or visit

Ernie Ballard LSU Media Relations 225-578-5685

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crystal Lumpkins, assistant professor of journalism at KU 'gospel of good health' in women’s mass magazines

LAWRENCE — Mass magazines are one of the best ways to get health information to women, yet they remain a largely untapped medium for communicating health news and information to African-American women in particular. A University of Kansas professor has published a study showing that articles about health issues that largely affect African-American women are underreported in such magazines, especially those that contain a spiritual or religious element.

Crystal Lumpkins, assistant professor of journalism at KU, authored “Spreading the Gospel of Good Health: Assessing Mass Women’s Magazines as Communication Vehicles to Combat Health Disparities among African-Americans.” The study took a sample of four popular women’s magazines: Ms., Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Essence. Lumpkins and her co-researchers analyzed a six-month sample of each magazine. Even though research has shown the magazines are an effective way of reporting health news, there was scant coverage of health issues that affect African-American women.

Crystal Lumpkins

Crystal Lumpkins
“Diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, all of these major health issues in the African-American community were not addressed,” Lumpkins said.

All of the magazines contained stories about food, diet and exercise, but they did not follow up in reporting more detailed or related health news.

“The health stories that were most reported were on reproductive and sexual health,” Lumpkins said. “If you’re reporting that, then HIV/AIDS falls into that category as well. Seventy-five percent of African-American women are overweight. If that leads to several other health issues, those need to be reported as well.”

In the past several years, health communications scholars have considered the effect spirituality and religion have on communicating health information reported in the media, given the high rates of faith among the general and minority population in the United States. Essence, the only magazine among the four specifically targeted to an African-American audience, was the only one shown to use spiritual imagery and language in its health articles. It was also the only magazine in the sample to contain news on HIV/AIDS, even though it was very little.

Lumpkins’ research examines how spirituality and religious factors influence individuals’ health behavior. She also examines how religious imagery and language affects individuals’ likelihood to take part in preventive health care, such as getting screenings. One of her previous studies showed that African-American women shown advertisements about breast cancer awareness preferred those with a religious component over those without.

The findings of her latest study suggest a largely untapped method for health communicators to reach minority populations with their message, Lumpkins said. Individuals tasked with getting news about health issues out to the public could potentially do well to target women’s magazines in combination with social media as a means to achieve that goal. Those dealing with health issues that tend to afflict minority populations especially have an opportunity.

It is poignant to reach minority populations, African-American women especially, due to the high incidence of certain health problems in the community. For example, African-American women account for more than 50 percent of all cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States, and the rates of new cases are 15 times higher than those of white women.

“I hope people understand magazines are an important vehicle for health communication, not just to African-American women, but women in general,” Lumpkins said. “Yes, they’re traditional, but they’ve proven to be effective. I think health communicators should truly consider them as a way to reach these important populations.”

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045 Contact KU The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045 (785) 864-2700

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tammy Kernodle Musical Crossroads at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Miami University's Tammy Kernodle is part of a select group of experts determining the content for a historical music exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction in Washington, D.C. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015.

Kernodle, professor of musicology, is one of several scholars researching items that will be part of “Musical Crossroads,” one of the museum’s inaugural, permanent, exhibitions. “Musical Crossroads” will feature 12 exhibits that will attempt to contextualize the history and development of African American music. In addition to content, the scholars are constructing the texts that will accompany exhibits.

“What we are trying to do is as much as possible try to represent, in twelve separate exhibits, the breadth and diversity of African American music from the early traditions of the 17th century to today,” Kernodle said.

Tammy KernodleKernodle, who began teaching at Miami in 1997, spent this spring semester at the University of Kansas as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor in the American studies program. She is writing a book that chronicles the work of black women musicians in framing protest music from the period of 1954 through 1976.

The museum will be the 19th included in the Smithsonian consortium and will document the history of African Americans from their arrival in 1619 until present.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine

More than 650,000 Americans died of disease or were killed in battle during the Civil War that lasted from 1861-1865. More might have died if not for the skills of African- American surgeons and nurses.

The Bruce T. Halle Library at Eastern Michigan University honors African-American medical personnel in its new exhibit, "Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine," which runs through June 23, on EMU's main campus in Ypsilanti. The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours.

Developed by the National Library of Medicine, the exhibit explores the roles of African-American men and women, both free and formerly enslaved, who provided medical care to black soldiers and civilians.

The exhibit was very moving, says Eastern Michigan professor Heather Neff, an expert in African-American literature.

"It was a wonderful exhibit," Neff said. "I never knew this information."

Binding Wounds, Pushing BoundariesThe six panels, with period documents and historic images, bring a voice to those who have remained silent for nearly 150 years, said Elizabeth Bucciarelli, EMU's health sciences and medical librarian, who arranged for the exhibit to travel to Eastern.

Complementing the display are replicas of several Civil War flags, including an early yellow flag symbolizing a hospital site, and a 7th Michigan Cavalry regimental guidon (pronounced guy dun) that belonged to Gen. George Custer's Michigan Calvary Brigade from Grand Rapids.

A guidon is a smaller notched flag used to mark the location of military units.

Said Bucciarelli, "The library staff also has selected a series of books that provide more in-depth information about the contributions of black medical staff. These are available for check-out."

There were only 13 African American doctors in the union army and not many people are aware of these physicians' contribution to the war effort, she says.

Among the soldiers and nurses featured are:

Alexander T. Augusta who served from 1863 - 65. A free-born citizen from Norfolk, Virginia, he attended medical school in Canada. August became the first African-American surgeon-in-charge at the Contraband Hospital in Washington, D.C., which served former slaves.

Ann Stokes, a former slave, was hired as a nurse and worked under the director of nurses aboard the USS Red Rover. Stokes was the first African-American woman to serve on board a U.S. military hospital and the only one to draw a Navy pension.

John Van Surly De Grasse, was the only African American physician to serve on the field with his regiment, the 35th U.S. Colored Infantry. De Grasse was one of only two black physicians to receive a commission.

The traditional display is supplemented by a web site that contains information for teachers; the history of civil war medicine; African Americans who fought in the war; and a look at the flags on display.

The traveling exhibit was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, with assistance from The Historical Society of Washington D.C.

by Pamela Young, Published June 04, 2012 Contact: Pamela Young 734.487.4400 Eastern Michigan University Education First Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197 University Information: 734.487.1849

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Preston Jackson sculpture unveiling will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival

Preston Jackson sculpture unveiling will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival

The community is invited to attend the unveiling of a new sculpture commissioned by the College of Lake County’s Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art in commemoration of Lake County’s role in the Underground Railroad. The unveiling will occur at a ceremony on Saturday, June 16 at 11 a.m. in the lobby of the 33 N. Genesee St. building on CLC’s Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan. The event will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival, which will be held from noon to 6 p.m. in the courtyard adjacent to the Lakeshore Campus.

The Preston Jackson bronze, titled “Passages to Freedom,” depicts a man, woman and child fleeing to a safe stop on the Underground Railroad. Jackson researched the subject by reading a history of Lake County’s role in the Underground Railroad written by the late James Dorsey, a CLC sociology professor.

Artist Preston Jackson and a new sculpture, commissioned by the CLC Gallery of Art, will be unveiled at the Lakeshore Campus prior to Juneteenth at 11 a.m. on June 16
In 2009, Jackson exhibited his sculptures at the CLC art gallery to rave reviews, and a year ago, the work was commissioned. Funds for the project come from proceeds of sales of artwork in the gallery and the ARTcetera store. The artist, Preston Jackson, will speak after the unveiling. This event is free and open to the public. Jackson was distinguished as a 1998 Laureate of Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He is a professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

“Jackson is an amazingly prolific artist and his work is varied and wide-ranging, often examining our collective past and present in an historical and philosophical sense,” said Steve Jones, CLC art gallery curator. “We thought he was a terrific choice to create a major piece for the Lakeshore Campus, and he was very excited about doing it.”

CLC Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Anderson will preside at the unveiling ceremony.

After the unveiling, the community is invited to the 9th Annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival and the 14th Annual Back to School Festival, being held from noon to 6 p.m. on Madison Avenue (between County Street and Sheridan Road in downtown Waukegan).

Juneteenth represents the joy of freedom and is the oldest known celebration that commemorates the ending of slavery. The 9th Annual Juneteenth celebration will focus on “The Underground Railroad: Connections Through Community.” It will also celebrate African American contributions to art, education, music and dance; family; community; culture; and Lake County’s contribution to the spirit of the abolition movement. There will be inspiring speeches, food, information and merchandise vendors, main stage performances, children’s activities, the CLC history tent and more. There is no admission fee.

Juneteenth will begin with the traditional African Opening Ceremony at noon. From noon to 3 p.m., a variety of speakers will be featured. The keynote address will be given by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, a constitutional law professor at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She is the author of “Race, Law and American Society 1607 – Present” and “The U.S. Constitution: An African American Context.” As director and founder of the Law and Policy Group, she oversees publication of the Report on the Status of Black Women and Girls®, the only ongoing national report on the state of black females in America. Browne-Marshall is also an award-winning playwright, freelance journalist and recipient of the 2009 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award.

Also appearing will be Kathryn Harris of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum portraying Harriet Tubman; Glennette Tilley Turner, author of “The Underground Railroad in Illinois;” Dr. Sandra LeConte, singing music of the underground and Rowe Niodior African Dance Company of Detroit.

Other activities include a Father of the Year Contest, Juneteenth Awards, giving out 2,000 book bags with educational supplies, Kids’ Korner with free snow cones and activities (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Rosalind Franklin University Community Care Connections Mobile Unit (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), CLC Mini Open House (1-3 p.m.), free food and the Juneteenth Marketplace and Expo (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

For more information, call (847) 543-2191.

Juneteenth is sponsored by the Juneteenth Cultural Committee, the College of Lake County, the City of Miracles International, Trinity Universal Center, Waukegan Public Library, the Marriott, Target, Vista Health System, Waukegan Housing Authority, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement International, First Midwest Bank, States Attorney Mike Nerheim and others.

TEXT CREDIT: College of Lake County, 19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake, IL 60030-1198 (847) 543-2000

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Analysis of African Americans’ genetics and smoking behaviors reveals gene variant correlated with how many cigarettes a day someone smokes

The largest-ever analysis of African Americans’ genetics and smoking behaviors has revealed a gene variant correlated with how many cigarettes a day someone smokes. The gene has previously been found to be significant in predicting smoking behavior in individuals of European descent, but the particular marker of importance within the gene varies in those of different ethnicities.

Sean David, MD, DPhil, clinical associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is the lead author of the study, which drew on data from more than 32,000 African Americans and 50 institutions around the country, including participants in Stanford’s portion of the Women’s Health Initiative.

“Because of the genetic architecture of certain regions of the genome, we have to look at different ethnic groups separately,” said David, who is also a research physician and director of the translational medicine program at SRI International’s Center for Health Sciences in Menlo Park, Calif. “Unfortunately, most clinical trials and large cross-sectional studies to date had included only participants of European descent.”

Sean David
Genetic markers correlated with smoking behaviors can also predict how well different smoking-cessation programs or drugs work, making it important to understand these markers in different populations, he said. And discovering new genes important in mediating nicotine addiction can also help researchers develop new drugs and targeted treatments.

“What we wanted to do was build on the work that had been done in European populations,” said David.

The study was published May 22 in Translational Psychiatry. David was a co-leader of the study and collaborated with more than 75 researchers at dozens of organizations throughout the country to collect and analyze the data. Other co-leaders are from SRI International, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the University of Southern California and the University of California-San Francisco.

African Americans, on average, begin smoking at a later age than those of European descent, and smoke fewer cigarettes per day. However, they have a higher risk of developing lung cancer and are less likely to quit smoking. Such discrepancies, David said, make it especially important to understand how the biology of nicotine receptors and addiction varies between ethnicities.

David teamed up with scientists in charge of 13 previous studies around the country to create the Study of Tobacco in Minority Populations, or STOMP, Genetics Consortium and gather a population large enough to find statistically relevant genes. The researchers collected data on whether each participant had ever been a smoker, the age they began smoking, how many cigarettes per day they smoked and whether they had successfully quit smoking. Each study sequenced the genomes of their own participants, but all used similar methods and performed the same analysis.

In total, 53.7 percent of the study participants had ever smoked, and 44.8 percent of those no longer smoked. Sixty-six percent of the participants were women, and the average age at the time the data was collected ranged from 35 to 73 in the different studies.

What the team discovered when they parsed all the data was one gene marker that was correlated with the number of cigarettes someone smoked per day. The marker is in the gene CHRNA5, which has also been found to be important in smoking behaviors of people of European ancestry. However, the marker is in a different spot of the gene.

“Knowing that this gene is important in different ancestral groups really points to its importance and suggests it as a target for drug discovery and development,” said David.

CHRNA5 encodes a nicotine receptor subunit. Nicotine receptors, which bind the chemicals in cigarettes and transmit signals through the brain in response, are made up of different combinations of five subunits. Previous research by other investigators has shown that inactivating CHRNA5 in mice reduces the inhibitory, aversive effects of nicotine, such as increased heart rate and nervousness. Without these negative effects limiting their nicotine intake, the animals seek more of the chemical than usual. This reaction could explain why certain variants of the gene influence people’s smoking habits.

The team also found other genetic markers that had weaker correlations with smoking behaviors. None were statistically significant in the current study, but David said some approached genome-wide statistical significance, and they could be pursued further in the future.

“More research is still needed in populations of African ancestry,” said David, “so that the same innovations in personalized medicine promised for all those of European ancestry will be available to those of all ethnic backgrounds.”

The Women’s Health Initiative, which played a major role in the new study, was launched in 1991 as the largest study of women in the country and tracked the health of more than 161,000 postmenopausal women over 15 years. Stanford, with 8,208 participants, was one of the largest sites for the WHI study. Others studies included in the STOMP meta-study were the African American GWAS Consortia of Breast and Prostate Cancer, the Candidate Gene Association Resource Consortium, the Cleveland Family Study, the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, the Jackson Heart Study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods across the Life Span Study, Health ABC, the Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk, and the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network.

David received funding for the study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The Women’s Health Initiative is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

BY SARAH C.P. WILLIAMS Information about Stanford’s Department of Medicine, which also supported the work, is available at

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT Rosanne Spector | Tel (650) 725-5374 || BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT M.A. Malone | Tel (650) 723-6912

Monday, May 21, 2012

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host "Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,"

EAU CLAIRE —McIntyre Library at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host "Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience," a national traveling exhibition that chronicles the remarkable history of baseball's Negro leagues and the challenges and success of African-American baseball players.

The exhibit is scheduled to be in McIntyre Library from May 29-July 2.

The traveling exhibit is based on an exhibition on permanent display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In addition to the exhibit, McIntyre Library will hold a number of events dedicated to celebrating the African-American baseball experience.

An opening reception is set to host Jerry Poling, a local expert and author of "A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball" at 3 p.m. June 2 in the second floor breezeway of McIntyre Library. Other exhibit events include the following:

Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience"Let's Talk Baseball: Brownbag Lunch Discussion," noon, June 11 and June 25, second floor breezeway, McIntyre Library.
"In Their Own Words: Stories from Negro League Players," 7 p.m., June 13, second floor breezeway, McIntyre Library.
"Larry Lester: Respect, Redemption and Recognition," 7 p.m., June 21, Room 100, Schneider Hall.

The exhibit is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities' "We the People" initiative, which explores significant events and themes in the nation's history and advances knowledge of the principles that define the United States. The events also are in collaboration with the American Library Association and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about these programs, see the schedule of events or call 715-836-3856. -30- CC/JB/DW

News at UW-Eau Claire • Schofield Hall 201 • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire • Eau Claire WI 54702-4004 Phone: 715-836-4741 Questions/Comments:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The University of Rhode Island has announced the recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards.

KINGSTON, R.I. – The University of Rhode Island has announced the recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards.

Donald Cunnigen and Yvette Harps-Logan, members of the URI Black Faculty Association, created the awards program to acknowledge and celebrate African-American students’ accomplishments. The 15th annual ceremony was held last month in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences.

This year’s awards and their recipients are:

• William Gould Award for All-Around Outstanding Achievement: Mecca Smith, a junior anthropology and film media studies major from Providence, R.I. Smith has minors in international development, leadership, and nonviolence and peace studies. In her three years at URI, she has served as a student admission representative, URI 101 mentor, freshman orientation leader and peer advocate. Smith studied abroad in Belize, where she participated in an ancient Mayan excavation project.

recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards

PROUD MOMENT: Recipients of the 2012 University of Rhode Island Black Scholar Awards pose for a photo after the recent ceremony. URI Photo By Joe Giblin.

• Arthur L. Hardge Award for All-Around Outstanding Community Service: Gafar O. Odufuye, a senior mechanical engineering major with minors in nuclear engineering and Chinese from North Providence, R.I. Odufuye has served as the vice president of URI’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, a tutor, and a mentor to children interested in math and science.

• Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to the University Community: Maria L. Beltre, a senior civil and environmental engineering major with a minor in nuclear engineering from Providence, R.I. Beltre has worked as a research assistant in URI’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and is a member of several student organizations, including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers.

• Harvey Robert Turner Award for Outstanding Service to the University of Rhode Island Black Community: Stephane Andrade, a senior sociology and political science major from Pawtucket, R.I. He has worked as a resident advisor for the past three years, including summers, and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.

• Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson Scholar-Athlete Awards: Anthony Malhoit, a URI basketball player from Waterford, Conn., and Marissa Norman, a captain of the URI women’s track and field team from Peace Dale, R.I. Malhoit will graduate with a major in psychology and minors in diversity and pluralism, women’s studies, and African and African-American studies. He is a peer advocate at URI and participates in various charity events at elementary schools. Norman is majoring in psychology and has minors in sociology and kinesiology. She is researching and working on a manuscript on drinking and driving performance.

• Noreen Coachman Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Older Student: Mitzie Johnson, a senior human development and family studies major with minors in thanatology and African and African-American studies. The Warwick, R.I. resident plans to pursue a master’s degree in family life education.

• Saint Clair Drake Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research: Justin Brown, a senior Spanish major from Providence, R.I.

• Saint Elmo Brady Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science: Nana Ama Ofei-Tenkorang, a senior biological sciences major with a minor in leadership studies from North Providence, R.I.

• David Edmonds Award for Outstanding Artistic and Creative Expression: Antaeus K. Jefferson, a senior art major from Providence, R.I.

• Estes Benson Award for Academic Achievement: Jillian Marie Winfield, a senior textiles, fashion merchandising and design and theater technology from Andover, Mass. and Rusbel Perez, a general business major from Cranston, R.I.

The ceremony also honored this year’s Rhode Island Onyx Senior Honor Society Inductees. The new members are: Stephane Andrade, Maria L. Beltre, Reumilda R. Correia, Trystan Del Tufo, Anuoluwapo Linda Famodimu, Yvens L. Faustin, James E. Fontes, Maya S. Gibbes, Robert Gilliard, Diamonde C. Goncalves, Brittany S. Hedger, Susanna O. Iwu, Antaeus K. Jefferson, Mitzie Johnson, Tetee R. Joseph, Anthony P. Malhoit, Vaughn X. Martin, Brianna N. Mays, Jasmine Middleton, Admir Monteiro, Paul F. Monteiro, Fatou A. Ndiaye, Marissa Norman, Gafar O. Odufuye, Nana Ama Ofei-Tenkorang, Kelly Oliveira, Kimberly A. Oliveira, Omolara Oriretan, Rusbel Perez, Judy L. Perry, Tonisha Pierre, Kimberly A. Pires, Timothy Quainoo, Jonathan St. John, Mecca Smith, Christie A. Theodore, Celeste G. Thompson-Roach, Nindi D. Tiemo, and Jillian Marie Winfield. +sookie tex

This release was written by Danielle Sanda, an intern in URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing and a public relations major.

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA 1-401-874-1000

Department of Communications and Marketing Division of University Advancement Alumni Center 73 Upper College Road Kingston, Rhode Island 02881 Phone: 401.874.2116 Fax: 401.874.7872

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yoruba Richen “The New Black” examines attitudes in African American churches towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community

Yoruba Richen Wins Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access: Documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen keeps piling up the awards for her latest project, “The New Black,” which examines attitudes in African American churches towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

She recently won a $10,000 Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access, which supports filmmakers from underrepresented groups.

This honor comes on the heels of Richen’s selection as a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, for which she was awarded $50,000 .

Richen, who teaches Video Documentary and International Reporting at the CUNY J-School, has also received grants from Sundance Documentary Fund, Frameline, Jerome Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Robert Giard Foundation, and the CUNY Diversity Fund.

“The New Black” is scheduled for release early in 2013.

By Amy Dunkin | Last updated on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 10:32 am. Graduate School of Journalism | City University of New York, 219 W. 40th Street | New York, NY 10018 | Hours of Operation  (646) 758-7700 |

Friday, May 11, 2012

University of California, Irvine study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival

UCI study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival
White and affluent women did better than African American and poor women

Poor women and African Americans with ovarian cancer are less likely to receive the highest standards of care, leading to worse outcomes than among white and affluent patients, according to a study of 50,000 women presented by UC Irvine’s Dr. Robert Bristow at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s annual meeting March 27.

“Not all women are benefiting equally from improvements in ovarian cancer care,” said Bristow, UC Irvine’s director of gynecologic oncology services. “The reasons behind these disparities are not entirely clear, which is why we need additional research.”

Dr. Robert Bristow

Dr. Robert Bristow. UC Irvine Healthcare
The study’s goal was to examine differences related to race and socioeconomic status among women being treated for epithelial ovarian carcinomas – cancer that forms on the surface of an ovary. It also aimed to determine whether their care adhered to National Comprehensive Cancer Network treatment guidelines.

Bristow and colleagues found that five-year survival rates varied significantly. (Improvement in ovarian cancer care is measured in length of survival after diagnosis rather than a “cure” rate.)

Among those whose care met NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 41.4 percent, compared with 33.3 percent for African American women. Among those whose care did not meet NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 37.8 percent, compared with 22.5 percent for African American women.

Bristow said that women on Medicaid or those with no insurance had a 30 percent increased risk of death. Poor women – defined as having an annual household income of less than $35,000 – had worse survival rates regardless of race.

He said it’s likely that the effects of race and socioeconomic status are cumulative and that some combination of other medical conditions, poverty, culture and social injustice accounts for the majority of observed disparities.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer, accounting for more than 15,000 deaths a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Under the best circumstances, treating ovarian cancer is challenging, because there’s no screening tool available to detect the disease in its early stages,” Bristow said.

Only 20 to 30 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed while still confined to the primary site; the remainder are identified in advanced stages after spreading to areas such as the liver, the lungs and nearby lymph nodes.

Bristow’s study was part of an effort by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and Washington University in St. Louis to assess the quality and outcomes of ovarian cancer care in the U.S.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UC Irvine for 11 consecutive years on its list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, kidney disorders and cancer programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

— Orange, Calif., May 08, 2012 — +sookie tex

Media Contact: John Murray. Medical Center Communications 714-456-7759

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tom Corbett Appoints Kiron Skinner to Commission on African American Affairs

Tom Corbett Appoints Kiron Skinner to Commission on African American Affairs

In recognition of Pennsylvania's more than 1.4 million African American citizens, Governor Tom Corbett has named distinguished community leaders to serve on the Governor's Advisory Commission on African American Affairs. Included on the 18-person advisory commission is Carnegie Mellon University's Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of CMU's Center for International Relations and Politics.

"The history of African Americans in Pennsylvania reflects a diverse and unique blend of cultural, social and economic influences which have had and continue to have a beneficial impact on life in the commonwealth," Corbett said.

The commission advises and makes recommendations to the governor on policies, procedures, legislation, and regulations that affect the African American community. It works to articulate and address the unique needs and issues of concerns of the African American community.

Kiron Skinner

Carnegie Mellon's Kiron Skinner, is a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy.
Skinner is a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy. She serves on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2001-2007, she was a member of the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Additionally, Skinner is the coauthor, along with political scientists Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Condoleezza Rice, of "The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin," which is now used in political science courses at leading research universities.

### +sookie tex

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Carnegie Mellon News 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (412) 268-2900. Contact: Shilo Rea / 412.268.6094 /

Monday, May 7, 2012

A History of the Black Aesthetic, A Brief Sketch

In partnership with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Duquesne University’s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts will present the second annual Black Aesthetics and Politics Conference on Friday, May 4, at 8 p.m. at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

This year, the conference takes the form of performance art in a series of vignettes titled A History of the Black Aesthetic, A Brief Sketch. Throughout the evening, different artists will interpret four periods of African-American arts: the 1600s-1920, 1930-1950, 1960-1970 and 1980-today. By mixing music, dance and poetry, the performers will bring to life the aesthetic period each era represents.

The featured artists are:

BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble, a DJ and musician
Gene Stovall, a Duquesne graduate, singer and guitarist
Kendra “Vie Boheme” Dennard, a member of the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble
Luqmon A. Salaam, a hip-hop performance poet and playwright.

The event is $10 per person; tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students’ social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne’s commitment to sustainability.

This release was posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 11:19 am and is filed under Centers & Institutes, Community Involvement, Events.

TEXT CREDIT: Duquesne University Media Contacts: Karen Ferrick-Roman Media Relations Manager 412.396.1154 412.736.1877 (cell) Rose Ravasio Media Relations Manager 412.396.6051 412.818.0234 (cell)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Isabel Wilkerson, Chronicler of African American Migration, Receives Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award

Isabel Wilkerson, Chronicler of African American Migration, Receives Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers Living History Society will present its Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award to Isabel Wilkerson, whose epic history, The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House, 2010), tells the story of the 20th-century migration of African Americans from the south to the north.

The Rutgers Living History Society, comprised of participants in the Rutgers Oral History Archives program, will present the Ambrose Award to Wilkerson at its annual meeting on May 11.

"I am thrilled to receive the Stephen E. Ambrose Award,” Wilkerson said. “I raced against the clock to gather the experiences of people who were part of the Great Migration. I narrowed 1,200 interviews down to three protagonists to bring the story of this mass movement to life before it was too late. This award is validation for the 15 years it took to complete the project, and I am honored and so very grateful to have been chosen as winner of an award that bears the name of one of our country's great historians."

Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson, the former Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times, spent 15 years working on the book and interviewed more than 1,200 people. Eventually, she intertwined a general history of the migration with the personal stories of three people: Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife from Mississippi; George Swanson Starling, a farm worker from Florida; and Joseph Pershing Foster, a doctor from Louisiana.

Gladney went to Chicago in the 1930s, Starling to New York City in the 1940s and Foster drove from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950s. In researching her book, Wilkerson made the same drive, without stopping to eat or rest in places where, in his time, Foster would not have been allowed to eat or rest.

The Warmth of Other Suns has won several awards and honors, including the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Hillman Book Prize, the 2011 Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the 2011 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, the Independent Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University, the NAACP Image Award for best literary debut and was shortlisted for the 2011 Pen-Galbraith Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Wilkerson has taught at Princeton University and Emory University. She is currently a professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised.

In receiving the Ambrose Award, Wilkerson joins historians Michael and Elizabeth Norman, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay; documentarian Ken Burns; journalist Rick Atkinson; the late journalist Studs Terkel; film maker Steven Spielberg; and broadcaster Tom Brokaw. +sookie tex

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Rutgers Today Media Contact: Ken Branson (732) 932-7084, ext. 633 E-mail:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Deep River: The African American Choral Spiritual

From the days of slavery 150 years ago, the African American spiritual grew out of the earliest days of Black America.

Over time, spirituals spread across denominations, cultures, and concert venues around the country and the world. Many of us have heard this music without being aware of how deep the meaning and history run beneath the surface. “Deep River” is a one-hour radio special produced in partnership with IU’s African American Arts Institute, and hosted by Ross Gay, a poet and professor of creative writing. The guest is IU Emeritus Professor James E. Mumford—performer, composer, educator, and director of IU’s African American Choral Ensemble for more than two decades.

Spirituals, according to Dr. Mumford, are "books in the library of primary sources of the real experiences of enslaved Africans." Spirituals can tell us "how they felt about slavery, were able to endure it; define it; adapt it; hate it; to fight it, and to eventually come out of it."

African American Choral Ensemble

African American Choral Ensemble

The language in spirituals, their poetry, comes out of the necessity to use double entendre in order to veil the messages hidden in each song. As Dr. Mumford says, "one finds in the Spirituals the polarities of hope and despair, joy and sorrow, death and life."

“Deep River” premieres on WFIU Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m., and can be heard on demand at The program is funded in part by a grant from Arts Week Everywhere, an annual celebration of the arts on the Indiana University campus and in the Bloomington community. Arts Week Everywhere is sponsored by the Indiana University Office of the Provost and coordinated by students in IU’s Master of Arts Administration program.

WFIU — Public Radio from Indiana University — is your local source for classical music, jazz, and news. WFIU is an NPR affiliate serving central and southern Indiana.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John Bailey, Marketing Director WFIU – Public Radio from Indiana University 1229 E 7th St Bloomington, IN 47405 (812) 855-0198 +sookie tex

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative

Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative Goal is to Raise Awareness of Risk Factors
Key Info

2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative. IPFW Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is partnering with the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., at barbershops in nine Indiana cities, including Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW’s) Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is partnering with the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) to launch the 2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative. This statewide endeavor will educate males—particularly African American males—about the importance of regular testing and disease prevention.

Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., health screenings will be given at neighborhood barbershops in nine Indiana cities: Bloomington, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Michigan City, and South Bend.

Animation of a spinning barber poleThe goal is to educate African American males about risk factors associated with certain diseases. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the major health risks for African American males are heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

A kickoff event took place at the Statehouse on Thursday, April 26.

The Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males is collaborating with the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and county coalition chapters, ABC Barber College, hospitals, health providers, and numerous community partners. More information and a complete list of participating locations are posted online at, or contact Kenneth Christmon, associate vice chancellor, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, 260-481-6608 or

IMAGE CREDIT: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quantitative Evidence of the Continuing Significance of Race: Tableside Racism in Full-Service Restaurants

Quantitative Evidence of the Continuing Significance of Race: Tableside Racism in Full-Service Restaurants

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that more than one-third of restaurant servers discriminate against African-American customers.

“Many people believe that race is no longer a significant issue in the United States,” says Sarah Rusche, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study. “But the fact that a third of servers admit to varying their quality of service based on customers’ race, often giving African-Americans inferior service, shows that race continues to be an issue in our society.”

Researchers wanted to determine the extent to which customers’ race affects the way they are treated at restaurants, so the researchers surveyed 200 servers at 18 full-service chain restaurants in central North Carolina. The majority of the servers surveyed – approximately 86 percent – were white.

Colored Waiting RoomSurvey results showed that 38.5 percent of servers reported that customers’ race informed their level of service at least some of the time, often resulting in providing inferior service to African-American customers. Findings show that many servers perceive African-American customers to be impolite and/or poor tippers, suggesting that black patrons, in particular, are likely targets of servers’ self-professed discriminatory actions.

The survey also found that 52.8 percent of servers reported seeing other servers discriminate against African-American customers by giving them poor service at least some of the time. Findings also show that restaurant servers share anti-black perceptions through racist workplace discourse, indicating a considerable amount of talk about the race of their patrons. Only 10.5 percent reported never engaging in or observing racialized discourse.

“‘Tableside racism’ is yet another example in which African-Americans are stereotyped and subsequently treated poorly in everyday situations,” says Rusche. “Race continues to be a significant barrier to equal treatment in restaurants and other areas of social life.”

For Immediate Release: Matt Shipman || News Services || 919.515.6386 Sarah Rusche Release Date: 04.23.2012 Filed under Releases +sookie tex

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Symposium on Health Care Offers Solutions for Black Community

WASHINGTON ­– In an effort to address the health care issues in the Black community, scholars, experts and activists gathered at Howard University’s Armour J. Blackburn University Center on Tuesday, April 10, for the Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communications and Technology 2012 Symposium on U.S. Healthcare.

The daylong symposium was led by Howard’s School of Communications and featured a host of key decision makers and specialists who discussed possible solutions to health issues that directly affect the African-American community.

Chukwuka Onwumechili, Ph.D., interim dean at the School of Communications, opened the symposium by explaining the importance of Black leaders meeting to discuss the status of health care amongst the Black community.

“We are proud to host this symposium in the hopes that we can all come to an understanding or even a solution to the injustices in health care amongst us,” Onwumechili said.

Throughout the day a number of panelists shared research findings and tackled challenges facing health care in the U.S. and the disparities that African-Americans face. To address this problem, the symposium highlighted three areas: communication, technology, and the environment.

Kerry-Ann Hamilton, Ph.D., researcher of mobile technology and its efficacy in health intervention, presented research that she conducted about the integration of cell phones being used to meet health needs in underserved communities.

“Many HIV-positive clients have social challenges that interfere with their ability to take medications as prescribed or to attend scheduled clinic appointments,” she explained.

“Researchers have found mobile phones and text messages, in particular, are effective channels to target at-risk populations to receive medication adherence reminders.”

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings
Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings presented the keynote address after the symposium luncheon and discussed medical and policy issues surrounding U.S. health care. During his speech, Cummings described the importance of the Affordable Care Act for the Black community.

“The Affordable Care Act ensures that people are not denied health insurance and are not charged at a higher rate by extending civil rights laws to eliminate discrimination,” he said.

Cummings went on to explain that in Congress, efforts are being made to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and that “we as pivotal members of the Black community must find ways to avoid such elimination.”

About Howard +sookie tex

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 24 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

By Kelsey Evers University News