Southeast Commemorating Black History Month with Discussions, Activities

Harper Hill cropped

Hill Harper

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 22, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Black History Month in February with events designed to commemorate the heritage of African-Americans.

“These events are important to the campus because diversity in all forms must be addressed to the entire community,” said Sean Spinks, retention coordinator in Academic Support Centers at Southeast.  “The events and activities provide everyone the opportunity to reflect on previous societal injustices and struggles. As students, faculty, staff and community members — we must continue to strive for equity and empowerment. Active participation in these events will help all members of the campus community engage in the continuous movement toward self-efficacy. This time of reflection and celebration encourages the campus community to voice their thoughts and learn as individuals what we all can do to build a stronger, active, and responsive community.”

Black History Month activities, programs and discussions planned at Southeast include:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read-A-Thon

Held through the month of February, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Read-A-Thon will allow local elementary students the opportunity to discover various works of multicultural literature. With the help of volunteers, these students will engage in readings as well as participate in interactive activities. For more information or to volunteer, contact Marcia Brown-Haims at (573) 651-2188 or

“Dark Girls” – A Dialogue 

Tuesday, Feb. 3, University Center Redhawks Room, 6:30 p.m.

“Dark Girls” is a fascinating and controversial film that has gone underneath the surface to explore the prejudice women of color face throughout the world. It examines the roots of classicism, racism and the challenges they encounter in America to the most remote corners of the globe. Segments of the film will provide the discussion points to lead a conversation on the impact of the discrimination based on skin color and complexion can have on the self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-acceptance of women of color. For more information, contact India Jeffery at (573) 986-7444 or


Connections Through Cultural Competence
Thursday, Feb. 5, University Center Indian Room, 6 p.m.

Participants will be encouraged to engage in a proactive and productive facilitated discussion on cross-cultural experiences promoting cultural understanding and competence. This session will provide open discussion highlighting the need to address stereotypes and debunk myths in an effort to promote campus-wide inclusion. Participants are encouraged to bring an open mind and be willing to share personal experiences, thoughts and reactions to the conversations that take place and demonstrate a willingness to be a change agent. This activity will revolve around audience participation. Facilitators will be prepared with a series of topics that will highlight the need for cultural competence across campus. For more information, contact Valdis Zalite at (573) 651-2512 or


The Etiquette Advantage
Wednesday, Feb. 11, University Center, Ballroom B, 5 p.m.

Participants will learn how to present a professional image when dining with future employers and colleagues at an interactive dining experience covering professional dress, etiquette and social skills. For more information, contact Sean Spinks at (573) 651-2273 or


The Black Evolution
Friday, Feb. 20, Towers Café, 8 p.m.

From Feb. 16-20, the Black Student Union will be hosting The Black Evolution. Monday’s event will be an African dance workout, Tuesday will be a one-act play on slavery, Wednesday will resemble the Harlem Renaissance in the form of an open mic night, Thursday will be a forum on white privilege, and Friday will be a soul food dinner. For more information, contact Micah Thomas at (314) 898-6407 or


“Manifest Your Destiny” by Hill Harper (University Speaker Series presentation and Michael Davis lecture) Wednesday, Feb. 25, Academic Hall Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Hill Harper is a humanitarian, actor, author, health and wellness ambassador/educator, and philanthropist. He is currently starring in the USA Network’s “Covert Affairs.” He is also the author of four New York Times best sellers. His collective writing and acting work has been recognized with seven NAACP Image Awards. Harper created the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering, inspiring, and guiding individuals toward a better future. Through the organization, he visits correctional facilities to deliver powerful motivational messages of hope and self-empowerment to young people serving their time and longing for a new way of life. For more information, please contact Joanna Shaver at (573) 651-2280 or