WMU News

Campus events planned for Black History Month

Jan. 29, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A traveling program dedicated to the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement will kick off the activities taking place on the Western Michigan University campus Feb. 1 through 29 during Black History Month.

The Dream Alive Program, which has been staged at colleges, corporations and conferences around the country, will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

A live commentary, the program takes audience members back in time, from the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., and King's "I Have A Dream" speech to Memphis, Tenn., in 1968 and the last public address King made before his assassination. Dream Alive's creator, former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, will be playing the role of King.

Rogers was America's youngest lieutenant governor and only the fourth African American in U.S. history to be elected as a state's No. 2 chief executive. A 2001 Trumpet Award winner, he completed his term of office in January 2003 and now practices law in Colorado.

The Dream Alive Program has received numerous positive reviews, earning such praises as: "uncanny, electrifying, spellbinding, awesome, touching--like King was in the room" and "It was as though the late civil rights leader...returned in the form of Joe Rogers."

It is being brought to campus by WMU's Division of Multicultural Affairs, which will serve as host for a discussion between Rogers and the audience immediately after the presentation. For more information, contact Sherrie Fuller in the Division of Multicultural Affairs at (269) 387-4785 or <sherrie.fuller@wmich.edu>.

Several other public events also are being planned in conjunction with Black History Month. More information about the following events may be obtained by contacting the sponsors. Unless otherwise specified, the events are free and open to the public.

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31

WMU's Minifest XVII-Expo 9 (see related news release in this packet), which focuses on rhythm and blues, will take place in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. This annual communitywide event explores different musical styles. Each day's activities will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday will feature guest lectures by Drs. Melvin Peters and Alphonso Simpson Jr. followed by a question-and-answer period. Saturday will feature a live musical performance by Priscilla Price and the Soul Band. For more information, contact Dr. Benjamin C. Wilson, professor Africana studies, by calling (269) 387-2667 or sending e-mail to <benjamin.wilson@wmich.edu>.

Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 2-4.

Dr. Robert A. Hill, one of the nation's foremost experts on Pan-African history and Caribbean social activism will present two talks and a workshop. Hill is an associate professor of history at the University of California at Los Angeles and editor-in-chief of that university's Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers Project. He is on campus as part of WMU's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Hill will speak on "The Remains of the Name: The Origins of the Harlem Renaissance and the Discourse of Egyptology," at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, in Room 1110 Dalton Center.

Hill will present a documentary editing workshop called "Editing Archival Documents" from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Room 210 Bernhard Center. The workshop will cover organizing materials, evaluating and transcribing texts, applying textural and editorial conventions, and preparing the edition for the publisher. Seating is limited, and reservations required. To register or for more information, contact Sharon Carlson in University Archives and Regional History Collections at (269) 387-8496 or <sharon.carlson@wmich.edu>.

Hill will speak on "The Remains of the Name Part II: Pan-Africa and Pan-Islam in the Awakening of 'Africa for Africans,' 1917-1919" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Room 1110 Dalton Center.

Monday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 9

The student group Cognoscenti with support from the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethic Relations wraps up its Spike Lee movie night series with "School Daze" Feb. 2 and "Get on the Bus" Feb. 9. Both films will start at 7 p.m. in 3502 Knauss Hall. Cognoscenti seeks to establish and promote a culturally authentic campus environment for people of African descent. For more information, contact the Walker Institute at (269) 387-2141.

Monday, Feb. 2, through Monday, Feb. 26

Photos of the Middle Passage and African American History Museum, an exhibit that came to WMU this past November will be on display in the Lee Honors College building during the building's regular hours. The display is being sponsored by WMU's student NAACP chapter, Africana Studies Program and Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethnic Relations.

Friday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 13

The student group Cognoscenti, with support from the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethic Relations, will continue its student "think tank" discussions to stimulate thinking out of class at 11:30 a.m. in the food court area of the Bernhard Center's Bronco Mall. For more information, contact the Walker Institute at (269) 387-2141.

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Dr. Lawrence T. Potter Jr., director of WMU's Africana Studies Program, and Dr. Julia Robinson Harmon, associate professor of comparative religion and of American studies, will be the featured speakers at an American Studies Program brown bag luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Lee Honors College building. For more information, contact Potter at (269) 387-2141 or <lawrence.potter_jr@wmich.edu>.

Friday, Feb. 13

The Collegiate Black and Christian Bible Study student group will be hosting a "Black Excellence Ball" at 7:30 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's West Ballroom. This black tie affair, which costs $2, will feature a dinner, a speaker, entertainment, dancing and an awards program that will recognize students for scholastic achievement as well as the black student organization cited for Outstanding Leadership Development Among Black Students. For more information, contact Michelle Miller at <youngida18@hotmail.com> or Gracee Biskie at (269) 387-2502.

Sunday through Friday, Feb. 15-20

The student group Cognoscenti, with support from the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethic Relations, will sponsor several activities in observance of Black Love Week. For more information, contact Quan Lateef at (269) 387-9857 or the Walker Institute at (269) 387-2141.

Monday through Thursday, Feb. 23-26

The Africana Studies Program is cosponsoring four days of panel discussions in observance of Africana Studies Week. For more information, contact the Africana Studies Program at (269) 387-2141. The Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethic Relations is cosponsoring all but the Feb. 26 presentation. All of the programs will be held in Room 209 of the Bernhard Center. For more information, contact Dr. Lawrence T. Potter Jr., director of WMU's Africana Studies Program, at (269) 387-2141 or <lawrence.potter_jr@wmich.edu>.

A reception, with an address on "The Critical Need for African Studies and Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education" presented by two students and African Studies Program Director Lawrence T. Potter Jr., will lead off the events from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23.

A student panel discussion called "Relations or Relationship? A student Forum on the State of Black Male-Female Relation(s)hips" will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24.

A student and faculty panel discussion called "Telling the Story: 50 Years After Brown vs. Board of Education" will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Room 209 Bernhard Center.

A student and faculty panel discussion called "Black Voter Impact in 2004: What's the Agenda?" will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A student and faculty panel discussion called "Black Wellness: Mind, Body and Soul: A Discussion on Mental Wellness, Patient Treatment and Health Insurance" will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25. It is being cosponsored by the Division of Multicultural Affairs, which may be reached at (269) 387-4785.

Wednesday, Feb. 25

The student group Cognoscenti with support from the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethic Relations will present another installment in its ongoing poetry slam series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Lee Honors College building. For more information about the series, which uses the arts to stimulate discussion, contact Quan Lateef at (269) 387-9857 or the Walker Institute at (269) 387-2141.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu


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