Emory Report
January 22, 2007
Volume 59, Number 16

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January 22 , 2007
Discussions and dance to highlight Heritage Month observance

by kim urquhart

A keynote speech by a world-famous entertainer and a variety of special events throughout Emory’s 2007 observance of African American Heritage Month will engage the community on important social and political issues pertaining to race.

“Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements of the black community,” said Donna Wong, director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services.

The keynote speaker for the month-long event will be musician, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, who will speak Thursday, Feb. 15 on “Encountering the Divine Through Black Expressions.” Belafonte is expected to share an inspiring account of his career and personal growth in the context of the human rights struggle.

To kick off Heritage Month on Thursday, Feb. 1, Coca Cola Commons in the Dobbs University Center will be transformed into a “Black Bazaar” where vendors will set up shop. The celebration will also extend to the sports arena as Emory’s Brotherhood of Afrocentric Men perform a pre-game step show when the Atlanta Hawks take on the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, Feb. 7.

On Feb. 10, Emory’s Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will hold its annual fundraiser, “Step for Sickle Cell.” Predominantly black colleges around the Southeast will compete to raise funds for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia.

Other scheduled events will look at social and political issues facing the African American community. A panel discussion titled “Contested Terrain: Emory, Atlanta, Race Relations from 1906-2006” is set for Tuesday, Feb. 6, sponsored by the Sociology Department and the Transforming Communities Project. The Student Government Association’s 7th annual State of the Race Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 21 will tackle controversial racial issues impacting the campus climate.

The Black Student Caucus and Candler School of Theology are hosting a full week of events during Emory’s month-long celebration. Students and alumni of area seminaries will test their knowledge of African American history and culture in a Battle of the Sexes trivia competition on Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Cannon Chapel’s Brooks Commons. Candler students and recent graduates can attend a career fair on Feb. 13, and chapel services on Feb. 13 and 15 will feature the Rev. Melva Sampson of Spelman College and a musical performance by the Caucus’ own Voices of Imani. An African Dance Workshop is offered on Wednesday, Feb. 14, and on Feb. 16, the Black Man-Ologues will explore the challenges of sexuality, religion and relationships.

Arts-related programming sponsored by the African American Studies Department includes a poetry reading by the Baobab Collective on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library. Play Twenty-1, a coming of age story described as “American Pie” meets “A Different World,” is set for Wednesday, Feb. 7 in Harland Cinema at 5 p.m.

In addition, one of Emory’s most distinguished holdings, the Carter G. Woodson collection, continues to be on view in the Schatten Main Gallery. Known as the “Father of Negro History,” Woodson initiated the national observance of Negro History Week that would later grow into Black History Month.

Most Heritage Month events are free and open to the public, though some require tickets.

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services at 404-727-6754 or visit www.emory.edu/MULTICULTURAL for a complete schedule of events.