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Old Dominion University will celebrate Africa Day Thursday, Oct. 18, with a series of cultural events and an address by the ambassador of Lesotho, H.E. Molelekeng Ernestina Rapolaki, at 5 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb University Center.

Africa Day, which will become an annual event at the university, is an opportunity to educate students, faculty, staff and the community about current events and the cultural characteristics of the many countries on the African continent. Through student and faculty collaboration, the event will highlight regional and national achievements in Africa in an effort to dispel the stereotypes that often are propagated by news headlines.

Prior to the ambassador's address, Lesa Clark, director of multicultural student services, will read President Roseann Runte's Africa Day proclamation. Mentioned among the various reasons for holding Africa Day, as stated in the proclamation, are that ODU recognizes knowledge of the various continents and the peoples who live on them as integral to the personal growth, learning and academic success of its students; that knowledge of the history, peoples and cultures of Africa is a critical part of 21st- century education; and that the day will help highlight the new major in African-American and African studies and the university's many study abroad programs in African countries.

The day's activities will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the North Mall of Webb Center with a World Bank photo exhibition and an Africa Quiz. A student/faculty panel discussion is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Webb Center's Hampton/Newport News Room.

The topic for the panel discussion will be "Africa: Dispelling the Myths and Confronting Realities." Each panelist will give a 10-minute presentation, followed by approximately 20 minutes of dialogue with the audience based on the presentations. Speakers will include: Mohammed Seifeldein, ODU student: "Dissecting the Myth of the 'Dark Continent'"; Ibeabuchi Chukwuma, ODU student: "African Economic Development and Fair Trade"; Jennifer Fish, associate professor of women's studies: "The Economic Diversity of African Women"; and Dr. Tsigeweini Tessema, research associate in the School of Community and Environmental Health: "The Inequity of Wealth and Health." Michael Clemons, associate professor of political science and geography, will serve as moderator.

Following the ambassador's address at 5 p.m., a reception and cultural festivities will be held in the North Cafeteria. The evening festivities will close with African music, provided by DJ Esperanto, and dance from 7-9 p.m. in the North Cafeteria.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (757) 683-3114.

This article was posted on: October 9, 2007

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.