SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — If knowledge is power, members of the Wittenberg University organization Concerned Black Students (CBS) have found the key to success. In a Black History Month calendar filled with exciting and informative events, members of the organization and the Black History Month Planning Committee agree that the Black Knowledge Conference on Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Shouvlin Center is the centerpiece.
“This is about empowering the mind,” said Forest Wortham, director of multicultural student programs. “This isn’t just about education for black folks. It’s for everyone because we’re all part of history and affected by it everyday.”
CBS is currently 123 members strong, and the organization’s Black History Month Planning Committee has organized a wide variety of events for the month of February. Tuesdays in February are movie nights at the William McClain Black Culture House, and an African Dance Workshop was held in the dance studio in Chakeres Theatre on Feb. 4. Upcoming events include a Unity Poetry Slam with an open microphone on Feb. 17 at Wally’s Pub in the Benham-Pence Student Center, Bowling and Skating Night at Beaverview Lanes on Feb. 19 and the annual Black Quiz Bowl at Otterbein on Feb. 26. The latter is an exclusive event only for Ohio schools in which 10-12 students from each participating university display their knowledge of black history. Wittenberg’s team placed third in 2004.
A special presentation by James W. Loewen, a former professor of race relations at the University of Vermont and the author of the acclaimed books Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America – What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong is on the calendar for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, in Bayley Auditorium in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. He will speak about fabrications taught in the American educational system regarding black history specifically. Loewen’s appearance at Wittenberg is jointly sponsored by CBS, the Womyn’s Center, Faculty Endowment Fund Board, the Departments of Sociology, Geography and Education, the Offices of Student Affairs, Provost and Multicultural Student Programs and the HPER Center.
In addition, several fellowship opportunities are being offered. Brother-to-Brother, Sister-to-Sister and Brother-to-Sister are events hosted by the African-American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., and African-American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
The Black Knowledge Conference, which will involve students from several other area universities and includes events from 9 a.m. until after midnight, celebrates and analyzes black culture with various discussion sessions on such topics as youth leadership, empowerment and “Our Debt to Africa: What Today’s Youth Owes Its Ancestors.” A high point is expected to be a discussion session and concert later in the evening by Wordsworth, an internationally acclaimed hip-hop artist.
Erica Calloway, Wittenberg Class of 2005 from Columbus, Ohio, and Alexandra Edwards, Wittenberg Class of 2007 from Cleveland, Ohio, are unified in the opinion that the Black Knowledge Conference and the rest of the month’s activities offer something for everyone. As members of the Black History Month Planning Committee, Calloway and Edwards helped create the overriding theme of “Empowering the Month.”
“The Black Knowledge Conference embodies our culture and provides opportunities for education,” said Calloway, who also noted that the committee’s publicity efforts are expected to net results in terms of increased attendance.
Rounding things out, the month closes on another positive note as the Wittenberg University Diversity Awards Reception takes place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, in the Faculty Dining Room in the Benham-Pence Student Center. Nominations for the awards were accepted in the last two months from individuals throughout the campus.
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award