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Civil Rights Icon Ruby Bridges to Deliver Keynote Lecture for Black History Month

Ruby Bridges, the social justice advocate and human rights icon, will give the keynote lecture for Old Dominion University's Black History Month 2012.

Bridges, who faced incredible racism and discrimination as the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Her lecture is free and open to the public.

In his famous 1964 painting "The Problem We All Live With," Norman Rockwell depicted the 6-year-old Bridges on Nov. 14, 1960, as she was escorted by deputy marshals on her way to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.

As an adult, inspired by her desire to help children achieve their hopes and dreams, Bridges established the Ruby Bridges Foundation. The foundation began by taking small steps to achieve a grand vision - to provide children with an equal opportunity to succeed. Appropriately, the work began at Frantz, where the foundation started an after-school program featuring multicultural arts classes. Later, a program called Ruby's Bridges was developed to promote cultural understanding through community service.

For more information about the lecture, contact ODU's Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR) at 683-4406 or oir@odu.edu.

Bridges' address is the first of many events celebrating Black History Month at ODU, under the unified theme "Black Women in American History and Culture: Visionaries and Pioneers."

Black History Month features a variety of programs designed to inform, educate, inspire and unify the campus and greater community. Also known as African American History (Heritage) Month, Black History Month is a national celebration and observance highlighting aspects of American culture that are often marginalized.

Here is a list of many of the other Black History Month events at ODU:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 7 - International Café: "Hot Buttons - The African Diaspora of Brazil," 12:30-2 p.m., Intercultural Center, 2114 Webb Center

Brazil is often viewed as an "anything goes" cultural environment. However, there are multiple types of cultural and legal prohibitions that don't exist in the U.S. This talk will illustrate a particular case of a clash of interests (religion, gender, class, race) resulting from a law proposed concerning Pagode music. Presenter: Samuel Coppage, associate professor of information technology at ODU

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 - Dance with African Caribbean Association, 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., North Cafeteria, Webb Center

Learn dances from Mapuka to Alanta.

  • Thursday, Feb. 9 and Friday, Feb. 10 - "Tunnel of Oppression," 7-10 p.m., Webb Center. Sponsored by ODU's Office of Housing and Residence Life

This event raises awareness about systematic oppression that occurs in our society every day. Participants are led through a series of scenarios focusing on various topics, including but not limited to racism, socioeconomic inequality, body image issues, homophobia and campus violence.

  • Thursday, Feb. 9 - "History of the N-word," 6-8 p.m., 102 Mills Godwin Jr. Building. Sponsored by ODU's Black Student Caucus

A screening of a documentary titled "The N-word," surrounding the evolution of the N-word in America, and featuring stars such as Whoopi Goldberg, Nia Long and Talib Kweli. A discussion moderated by Timothy Robinson, assistant professor of English at ODU, will follow.

  • Friday, Feb. 10 - HIV testing, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hampton/Newport News Room, Webb Center. Sponsored by Student Health Services

This event is being held in recognition of National Black HIV Testing Day.

  • Monday, Feb. 13 - "Social Dynamics Between Africans and African Americans," 7-9 p.m., North Cafeteria, Webb Center. Sponsored by the ACA, Black Alumni Council, Minds About Progress and the Office of Intercultural Relations

An open dialogue on the perceptions, misconception and myths held by Africans of African-Americans, contrasted by those held by African Americans of Africans. A short film featuring interviews on campus will lead into a discussion on common experiences and interests. Moderator: Kideste Wilder-Bonner, lecturer in ODU's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

  • Friday, Feb. 17 - "Brother II Sister," 6-9 p.m., Chesapeake Room, Webb Center

A panel discussion on the topic of relationships and love from a wide variety of perspectives.

  • Saturday, Feb. 18 - Legacy of Hope Prayer Luncheon, noon, Rectors' Room, Webb Center. Sponsored by Sword of the Spirit

An event to raise money and collect goods for food banks in the Hampton Roads area. Admission is a canned good. Monetary donations are welcome and encouraged.

  • Monday, Feb. 20 - "The State of the African American Woman," 8 p.m., Hampton/Newport News Room, Webb Center. Sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

A discussion of issues facing African American women. The women on the panel will be collegiate women, faculty members and representatives from the community. After the panel discussion, there will be a brief Q&A session.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21 - International Café: "The African Diaspora of England," 12:30-2 p.m., Intercultural Center, 2114 Webb Center

This talk chronicles the extent to which black newcomers are/were welcomed in England, their struggles to balance work, studies and family responsibilities both in their homes of origin and in England, their fight against racial abuse - and through it all, the robust role they now occupy in English social and economic history. Presenter: Victoria Time, associate professor of sociology at ODU

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21 - "Improving the Graduation Rates of Students of Color," 3-4:15 p.m., 101 Mills Godwin Jr. Building. Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice
  • Thursday, Feb. 23 - "Open Hair Forum," 6:30 p.m., 102 Mills Godwin Jr. Building. Sponsored by D.E.S.T.I.N.E.D.

Three different hairstylists will discuss a variety of hair techniques: a master hair stylist, a natural hair stylist and a stylist for weaves and braids. Audience members will be able to ask the stylists questions as well as a panel of students with different hair styles and textures.

  • Friday, Feb. 24 - "Sister 4 Sister - I am Woman … Unveiled," 6-9 p.m., River Rooms, Webb Center

A panel discussion featuring issues such as self-esteem and body image. ODU facilitators: Althea Tate, assistant professor of women's studies, Tim Robinson, assistant professor of English, and Lesa Clark, assistant dean for intercultural relations

Annual East Coast Gospel Festival:

  • Friday, Feb. 24 - 7 p.m., 1012 Batten Arts and Letters Building

Fun, games, food, music and fellowship. Admission is $2, and all proceeds go to Relay for Life.

  • Saturday, Feb. 25 - 7 p.m., North Cafeteria, Webb Center

A grand evening of gospel music, featuring guest psalmists, and a host of community and university choirs, including ODU's Ebony Impact Gospel Choir. Cost is $5 for students, $7 for the general public. Contact OIR at 683-4406.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 28 - Friends of Women's Study Dinner, North Cafeteria, Webb Center. Reception at 6 p.m., dinner at 7. Sponsored by ODU's Department of Women's Studies, the ODU Women's Center and Friends of Women's Studies

The speaker will be Jehmu Greene, an American political commentator and social justice organizer. RSVP to sparks@odu.edu by Feb. 21. The cost is $15 for students, and $30 for the general public.

This article was posted on: January 30, 2012

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