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Shepherd announces ‘Spirit of Black History’

By Staff | Feb 19, 2010

Shepherd University announced lineup of special events as part of its “Spirit of Black History Month” programs reflect the diversity and celebration of the month. Activities include a full production of the play “Big River,” an Afro-Brazilian Dance performance by Sul Da Bahia Capoeira, and a series of interviews with everyone from Hilary Shelton, Director of NAACP Washington Bureau, to Reggae artist Ziggy Marley, which will be aired on the University’s Web site and radio station WSHC- 89.7 fm.

“The theme that weaves through all of our programs is that we must find ways to come together,” says Christana Johnson, director of the University’s Multicultural Student Affairs and Disability Support Services, adding, “That means we must get closer to each other and to understanding more of ourselves.”

With that in mind, the University has opened up discussion groups and online forums where everyone from community members to students and their parents can discuss issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and the African American experience.

Johnson also points out that the events were created collaboratively, bringing together faculty, students, staff and those in the Shepherdstown community. The Black History Month events also had full support from the President’s Office, where senior level staff was directly engaged in many of the activities.

“Black history has a dynamic in our courses and programming. We recognize the inherent value in observing Black History Month,” says Shepherd University President, Dr. Suzanne Shipley. “This region is rich in examples of leadership we can learn from and honor. It’s something that will last a student’s a lifetime.”

According to Dr. Shipley, developing the cultural empathy of students is of paramount importance for their personal and professionaldevelopment. “Employers regularly point to cultural understanding as essential to success in the work place. Our students will only be truly successful in life if they have this.”

The community is also invited to attend the performances and join the online conversation. For more information, visit www.shepherd.edu.