“African-Americans in Times of War: Current Day Warriors for Social Justice” is the theme for the 2018 observance of Black History Month at MTSU.
The university kicked off this year’s slate of events Feb. 1 in the Student Union; you can see photos from the event here.
Author, minister and motivational speaker Eric Thomas will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in the Student Union ballroom.
Thomas, a high-school dropout who was homeless in Detroit for two years, credits a minister with encouraging him to go back to school.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University, Thomas created the Advantage program at MSU. The program focuses on helping “high-risk college students by improving their study habits and increasing their retention rates,” according to his website, www.etinspires.com.
Thomas’s consulting firm has worked with the employees of clients that include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.
Kevin Douglass Greene, the great-great-grandson of iconic abolitionist Frederick Douglass, was the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Unity Luncheon, held Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Student Union Ballroom.
Greene also led a free, informal roundtable discussion about his family tree from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 15 in Room 220 of the Student Union.
A U.S. Army veteran, Greene spoke at the March 22, 2017, ceremony restoring his ancestor’s name to a Nashville park. Known since 1935 as “Fred Douglas Park,” the seven-acre plot of land was returned to its historically appropriate designation as “Frederick Douglass Park” by a vote of the Metro Nashville Parks Board.
While an MTSU student, Greene delivered numerous presentations on Frederick Douglass and the many other accomplished Douglass descendants. He earned his bachelor’s degree in university studies from MTSU in 2006.
The Unity Luncheon, a staple of MTSU’s Black History Month, honors unsung heroes who have made their communities better places to live. This year’s honorees include:
• John Harris, recognized as an advocate for civility.
• Mary Patterson Watkins, recognized for her contributions to African-American arts.
• Dr. Barbara Tuckson, recognized for her lifetime in service to education.
• Raymond Bonner, recognized for his excellence in sports.
• Anthony McAdoo, recognized for his years of community service.
The John Pleas Award will be presented at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Tennessee Room of MTSU’s James Union Building. The annual event honors a black faculty member who has shown excellence in teaching, research and service.
With the exception of the Unity Luncheon, all of MTSU’s Black History Month activities are free and open to the public.
For information on more Black History Month events, visit www.mtsu.edu/aahm or contact Daniel Green, director of the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and chair of the university’s Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete calendar of events also is available here.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)