“Black Women in American History and Culture” is the theme of this year’s commemoration of February as National Black History Month at Middle Tennessee State University.
“Throughout the month, we are highlighting the famous and not-so-famous women who have added to the value of our nation,” says Vincent Windrow, chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee and director of the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center.
In fact, all honorees at this year’s Unity Luncheon, an annual highlight of Black History Month honoring the “unsung heroes” of the community, are women. Thenartis Ellis, Mary Scales and Olivia Wood will be feted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. Tickets to the luncheon are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available by contacting Brenda Wunder at 615-898-2591 or email@example.com.
On Friday, Feb. 10, attorney Phyllis Rambsy will host a “Ladies Night Out” at 7 p.m. in the Tom Jackson Building. Rambsy is an associate of Sherrard & Roe PLC, a Nashville-based law firm.
Dr. Patricia Reid-Merritt, an expert on female empowerment and social justice, will speak on “Sister Power” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Room 160 in the College of Education Building. Reid-Merritt is a professor of social work and Africana studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, N.J.
Dr. Cheryl Slaughter-Ellis, a professor in MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance, will receive this year’s John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award at a reception at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the MTSU Foundation House, located at 324 W. Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro. The Pleas Award has been presented since 1996 to a minority faculty member who makes significant contributions to MTSU and the surrounding community.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) will be the Black History Month celebration keynote speaker, addressing the topic of “Campus Community Collaboration” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Business and Aerospace Building’s State Farm Lecture Hall. (This is a change from the date published in the University’s Black History Month calendar; the original March 2 date was rescheduled to accommodate the congressman’s re-election campaign.)
Jackson has served Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District since winning a special election in 1995. He is the son of civil rights leader and two-time presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Jackson. The congressman’s wife, Sandi Jackson, represents the 7th Ward on the Chicago City Council.
All Black History Month events at MTSU, except the Unity Luncheon, are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, go to www.mtsu.edu/aahm. For more information, contact the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center at 615-898-2238.
— Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)