Former N.Y. Governor to Speak at Celebration of African/African American Studies Program
Former New York Gov. David Paterson will deliver the keynote address during the 10th anniversary celebration of Eastern Kentucky University’s African and African American Studies Program Feb. 17-18.
Paterson, the first African American governor of New York and the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state, will speak about “African Americans and Politics in the 21st Century” on Monday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Keen Johnson Ballroom.
The Monday night program kicks off a two-day celebration, “Celebrating Our Past and Embracing Our Future,” which concludes with a day-long conference on Tuesday, Feb. 18 that features a lineup of speakers. All events are free and open to the public; reservations are required for the Feb. 17 dinner and the Feb. 18 luncheon. Those interested in attending should contact the AFA office at 859-622-1299 or at email@example.com by Feb. 10. Students, groups and classes are welcome.
Established in 2003, the program, which offers a minor and certificate, has grown to encompass approximately 500 students taking classes each semester.
“We want people to come, feel comfortable, celebrate with us, recognize our shared humanity and learn something about African and African-American culture,” said Dr. Salome Nnoromele, director of the program for most of its 10 years. “Students are especially welcome.”
The Feb. 17 portion of the program begins with a reception at 5 p.m. at Walnut Hall. The dinner, which features ethnic food selections in addition to a choice of beef or fish, will also include readings by EKU students as well as music from Louisville jazz musician Ron Jones.
In 1985, Paterson was elected to the New York State Senate to a seat once held by his father, former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson. In 2003, he rose to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Three years later, Paterson was selected as running mate by then-New York Attorney General and Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Eliot Spitzer. When Spitzer resigned from office, Paterson was sworn in as governor in March 2008 and served until 2010. He currently serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee and as a board member of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Presentations on Feb. 18, all in the Keen Johnson Building, include:
· “Using Media to Save Lives in Zambia: Not What Happens, but What Matters,” Melvin Coffee, Department of Communications, University of Kentucky; and “Social Construction of The Other, as Power-Driven Myths and Ideology,” Abdoulaye Saine, Department of Political Science, Miami University, 9-11 a.m.
· Anniversary Luncheon, “Remembering and Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela,” Ralph Hogges, retired professor of education, Florida International University, 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
· “Fade to Black: African American Images in the Mainstream Media over the Years,” Michael Randolph, Department of Communication, EKU, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
· “Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: The Amanda America Story,” Jean Jackson, Washington, D.C.; Norman Powell, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, EKU; and Carolyn Dupont, Department of History, EKU, 3-5:30 p.m.
· “Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Making Health Equity Visible,” Sheila Pressley, Department of Environmental Health Science, EKU, 6-8:30 p.m.
Nnoromele said courses and programming offered through EKU’s African and African American Studies Program fill a critical void.
“Most students come to Eastern without much knowledge of African or African American history,” she said, “so our primary role is to teach about the contributions of Africans or African Americans, not just in the U.S. but globally. The real world is much bigger than they realize.”
A second goal of the program is to mentor students and train them to be leaders. “We grow students,” she said.
Published on January 24, 2014