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Black History Month Culminates with Caribbean Day and Keynote Speaker

Photo credit: Timothy White

Following a month of activities commemorating Black History, Old Dominion University will celebrate "Caribbean Day" on Thursday, Feb. 25. Designed to expose the ODU community to the rich heritage and culture of the Caribbean region, which is also a part of the Africa Diaspora, the event organizers have planned numerous activities to engage participants on academic and cultural levels.

"Often when one thinks about the Caribbean, the thoughts center around tourism and the tropical and beautiful beaches, not the economic deprivation or absolute poverty experienced in the region," notes Melvina Sumter, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice and director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

12 - 1:30 p.m., Webb Center Lobby
A "History and Culture of the Caribbean" poster presentation with booth displays for each country in the region.

Two afternoon lectures will focus on how the natural resources of the Caribbean transformed the islands into some of the wealthiest places on earth and later how imperialism transformed the islands into some of the poorest places on earth, as well as on the issues and challenges that impede the economic development of the region. Special guest presenter, Fitzgerald Hinds, former member of Parliament and Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago, will discuss the economic future of the Caribbean to include the importance of self-reliance as a development strategy and the necessity of building strong coalitions.

"Caribbean Day is also designed to sensitize the ODU community to the issues and challenges of the Caribbean region, such as the recent devastation in Haiti," adds Ingrid Whitaker, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice.

1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Hampton/Newport News Rooms, Webb Center
"Sankofa: The Legacy of Slavery, Colonization and Economic Development in the Caribbean"
Guest panelists will include Jelmer Vos, assistant professor of history; Kilsa Benjamin, adjunct instructor of English; and Fitzgerald Hinds, an attorney with Hinds and Associates and the former Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security and a member of Parliament in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Moderated by Kideste Wilder-Bonner, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

4 - 5:15 p.m., Potomac/York River Rooms,Webb Center
"Economic Empowerment in the Caribbean: Challenges and Strengths Ahead"
Joining Hinds for this lecture will be Omar Hawthorne, a Fulbright scholar and Ph.D. candidate in ODU's Graduate Program in International Studies; Dawn Rothe, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice; and moderator Kyshawn Smith, Ph.D. candidate in ODU's criminology and criminal justice program.

5:15 - 5:45 p.m., Foyer, Mills Godwin Building
Caribbean Cuisine Sampling and Live Steel Band Performance
Enjoy the taste of traditional cuisine from various Caribbean countries while listening to Caribbean rhythms from a live steel band performance by the CalypsoNuts.

5:45 - 7 p.m., Mills Godwin Building Room 102
Cultural Presentation
Enjoy a cultural performance presented by the African Caribbean Association, a dance performance by the Latin Student Association, and a colorful fashion show of carnival costumes.

Caribbean Day events are sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, ODU- National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, African Caribbean Association, College of Arts and Letters, Office of Intercultural Relations, and Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

7:30 p.m., Mills Godwin Building Room 102
Malaak Compton-Rock: "If It Takes a Village, Build One"
Compton-Rock is the founder and director of the Angelrock Project, an on-line e-village promoting volunteerism, social responsibility and sustainable change, and offering information on how to lead a life of service. A dedicated humanitarian and wife of comedian Chris Rock, Compton-Rock has been involved with UNICEF and Oprah Winfrey's South African School of Leadership for Girls, as well as her own service projects. Her work, "Journey for Change" was featured in the 2009 CNN documentary "Black in America 2." More information about her work is available at www.angelrockproject.com.

The ODU Women's Center and the Office of Intercultural Relations are co-sponsor's of her lecture.

Click here for information on the remaining 2010 Black History Month events.

This article was posted on: February 24, 2010

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