Diversity and Black History Month celebration!

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Date: Friday, February 8, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo, in partnership with members of Hawai`i Community College and the local community, is organizing a variety of campus events to promote a deeper sense of community through information sharing, story-telling, and cross-cultural collaboration in celebration of this year’s Diversity and Black History Month and its theme, “Connections: Past, Present and Future.” All events are open to the public.

Tuesday, February 12, has been designated as “Diversity Day” on the UH Hilo campus. A day of music, open mic “soap box” and other activities to reflect the multiple facets of diversity in the community will be held on the Campus Center Plaza beginning at 8 a.m.

A centerpiece of the month-long celebration is a film series including screening of selected episodes from the acclaimed PBS series “Eyes on the Prize” documentary of the American Civil Rights Movement. It will be shown in UCB 100 from 12-12:50 pm on Monday, February 11, Wednesday, February 13, Friday, February 15, Wednesday February 20 and Friday, February 22. The films include archival footage and spotlight the ordinary people involved in the movement, as well as historical figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Angela Davis, who will speak about “Race, Gender, Politics and Prisons” on Thursday, February 28, at 7 pm in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

On Thursday, February 14 in Campus Center 301, Dr. Richard L. Biffle III, chair of the UH Hilo education department, will present a talk on “The Tuskegee Airmen”—the first black Americans allowed to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Son of a Tuskegee airman, Biffle will discuss some of the trials and triumphs of the Tuskegee airmen and how their achievements destroyed stereotypes, leading to the eventual integration of the U.S. military. An exhibit of Tuskegee memorabilia is currently on display in the UH Hilo Library through February 29.

On Wednesday, February 20 in UCB 100 at 6 pm, UH Hilo Art Department Artist-in-Residence Oliver Jackson will present an informative slide-lecture. An internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor, Jackson’s works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among many others. For details, contact Professor Wayne Miyamoto at 974-7307 or email .

A dramatic reading and presentation about Betsey Stockton and Alice Ball will be given on Thursday, February 21 in Campus Center 301 at noon by National Student Exchange Director and Diversity Committee member Pat Williams-Clayburn. Stockton was the first known African-American woman to travel to Hawai`i and founded the first school for commoners in the islands. Ball was the first woman to receive a master of science degree from UH and became its first female chemistry instructor.

Spike Lee’s film, “When the Levees Broke,” about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, will be shown on Tuesday, February 26 in UCB 127. The film will be preceded by a soul/southern food potluck dinner from 5-8:30 pm.

A book signing by Aimee Allison, a social justice consultant, will be held on Monday, February 25 at 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Dining Room. This event is sponsored by Global Hope & Truth 2 Youth. Slam poet Clint Anderson and Josh 86 of Black Square will perform at 6 pm in the UH Hilo Campus Center Dining Room.

On Friday, February 29, Major Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D., U.S. Army (Ret.), will speak in Campus Center 301 at 10:00 am on the impact of the African-American military experience on the Civil Rights movement. A former West Point and American Military University professor, his lecture is titled, “The U.S. Army’s Segregated Tank Battalions: A Socio-Military Study of Segregation’s Impact on Battlefield Performance.”

Also on February 29, HawCC History instructor Jennie Padilla will present “African-American Women and Social Change” at 11:30 a.m. in Campus Center 301. Her talk will focus on women who shaped the early efforts for social, economic and political equality in America. At 1 p.m., hip-hop band Suspect and a “Capeoria” Brazilian martial arts demonstration, both sponsored by the UH Hilo Student Activities Council, will be held on the Campus Center Plaza. At 7 p.m., world renowned African musician Hugh Masekela will perform in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. For info, including ticket information, contact the Box Office at 974-7310.

Campus visitors must buy a daily parking pass, good in all lots, from the Parking Office at the Main UH Hilo entrance kiosk on Kawili Street, or at the Zone 6 Lanikaula Street entrance.

For further information about the Diversity and Black History month celebration, contact Pat at 974-7389 or email . Events are posted on the UH Hilo Web page calendar at .

For disability accommodations, call 974-7389(voice) or call 933-3334 (TTY).


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