Southeast Plans Black History Month Activities

by News Bureau on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 20, 2012 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Black History Month in February with events designed to commemorate the heritage of African-Americans.

A number of activities, programs and discussions are planned. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Read-A-Thon will be held throughout the month in local schools. Volunteers will read in classrooms in Cape Girardeau elementary schools and share multicultural literature with the students. For more information or to volunteer, contact Marcia Brown Haims at (573) 651-2188 or mjbrown@semo.edu.

Other activities planned during Black History Month include:

Athenaeum Series – Artist’s Talk by Kristin Powers NowlinFeb. 1 Kent Library – Sadie’s Place (2nd floor) Noon

The artist has dealt with issues of race and gender in her artwork for nearly 18 years. In her current body of woodblock prints, she uses images and symbols for the ways that either our popular culture or our scientific/academic cultures have used to specify the race of an individual. Skin, hair, facial features and family trees have all been explored and exploited as ways to include or exclude people from one category or another. Individually, the woodblock prints either consciously use these stereotypes as a way to question their absurdity or explore the issues through more personal history and narratives. As a whole, her work challenges the unique history of race in American culture. For more information, please contact Vicki Gruzynski at (573) 651-2748 or vgruzynski@semo.edu.

Cross Cultural Relationships: Myths, Facts, Stereotypes and RealitiesFeb. 1 University Center – Ballroom B 6 p.m.

Participants will be encouraged to engage in a proactive and productive discussion on the emerging cross-cultural experiences that promote and develop intercultural understanding. The facilitators will discuss their experiences with “building bridges” and having the difficult conversations that must occur to address the myths and stereotypes that support division rather than promote inclusion. For more information, please contact Valdis Zalite at (573) 651-2512 or vzalite@semo.edu.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: A Discussion of Biology, Bioethics and Culturally Competent Health Care: Panel DiscussionFeb. 8 University Center – Redhawks Room Noon

Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old black mother of five, migrated to Baltimore, Md., from the tobacco farms of Virginia. She is known to scientists as HeLa (the method used to identify human cells using the first two letters of the first and last name). Her cervical cells, taken from her without her knowledge or consent, became the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture and are still alive today (even though Henrietta died in 1951). These cells are famous worldwide, while Henrietta is relatively unknown and buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold the world-over, contributed to the discoveries of the polio vaccine and AIDS treatments, and led to important advances like in vitro fertilization and gene mapping. Join this discussion of the amazing contributions of the HeLa cells as well as the astonishing consequences. For more information, please contact Bobbi Palmer at (573) 651-5902 or bjpalmer@semo.edu.

Learning the Unwritten Rules for African American Professionals: Open ForumFeb. 15 University Center – Indian Room 6 p.m.

An open forum facilitated by Male Initiative Program: Men Encouraging New Ways to discuss the false perceptions and challenges that African American men and women may encounter as professionals in their chosen fields. The forum is an opportunity to debate and share the unwritten rules that often exist in the professional world and discuss approaches and methods to overcome them. For more information, please contact Steven Taylor at (573) 651-2891 or staylor@semo.edu.

Southeast’s Multicultural ShowcaseFeb. 18 Show Me Center and University Center 10 a.m.

Southeast showcase is a multicultural recruitment program for students and their families. During Southeast Showcase, prospective students will tour campus with a current Southeast student, meet with professors in their areas of interest, eat in the campus dining halls and learn more about living on campus and becoming an involved student. For tickets, register online at www.semo.edu/admissions/specialevent. For more information, please contact James Williams at (573) 651-5942 or showcase@semo.edu.

The Black Woman REDEFINEDFeb. 21 University Center – University Room 6 p.m.

This event is for prospective high school or transfer students. This will be an open discussion with the goal of encouraging black women to redefine for themselves the important things in their life, such as emotional wellness, intimacy, spirituality and balance which may often elude them in their everyday challenges and activities. For more information, please contact India Jeffery at (573) 986-6040 or ijeffery@semo.edu.

Athenaeum Series – I am a Woman: A 21st Century Perspective of Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I a Woman Speech by Dr. Camesha Hill-CarterFeb. 22 Kent Library – Sadie’s Place (2nd floor) Noon

This is a poignant look at how society and gender biases still plague all women. In this talk, Dr. Hill-Carter will look at the six themes that are eloquently spoken at the 1800s Akron’s Women’s Convention. Those themes are religion, politics, women’s issues, education, independence and self-concept/image. For more information, please contact Vicki Gruzynski at (573) 651-2748 or vgrusynski@semo.edu.

National TRIO Day CelebrationFeb. 23 Show Me Center Meeting Rooms 6 p.m.

National TRIO Day celebrates the sustained impact and success of the Federal TRIO programs in communities and reflects on the importance of educational opportunity programs in creating a fairer society for all Americans. TRIO programs act to protect and further access to higher education for low-income first-generation students and students with disabilities. Accomplishments of participants in the McNair Scholars Program and Student Support Services will be highlighted. This event is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Monica Barnes at (573) 986-6117 or mbarnes@semo.edu.