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Marshall to honor celebration with events, activities during February

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University is preparing to observe Black History Month with a host of activities and events on campus.

These will range from a game show, to guest speakers, to luncheons.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Division of Multicultural Affairs will have a luncheon while giving away its annual "Living the Legacy Awards." This is part of a monthlong celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's work. This year the keynote speaker will be Sheyann Webb-Christburg, who marched with Dr. King in her youth and is the author of the book "Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days."

Also at the luncheon the 2013 recipients of the Living the Legacy awards will be honored. Receiving awards will be Dr. David Trowbridge, Outstanding Faculty Service; Stephanie Holman, Outstanding Community Service; and Charles Meyers, Outstanding Student Service. The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lower level of the Memorial Student Center. For more information, contact Dr. Shari Clark, vice president of Multicultural Affairs, at 304-696-4677.

Marshall's Center for African American Students' Programs will be hosting a game show style event at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center room BE-5. Contestants are encouraged to form teams of 2-8 and will compete for cash prizes. The event is open to all students, as well as outside groups.

"This is an annual event we've had for the last five or six years," said Maurice Cooley, director of Marshall's Center for African American Students' Programs. "Our office contracts with a company called 'Simplified Entertainment,' which showcases a variety of events to universities across the country. We are going to have teams from residence halls, sororities, fraternities and student clubs. We're going to have a team coming down from Huntington High. We are also hoping to attract teams from the community in the form of local youth and church groups. We also attract a large audience that comes down just to see the event. There will be cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 for the top three teams."

The John Marshall Dining Room will be hosting its annual Soul Food Feast at 2 p.m. Feb. 10. The buffet will feature a wide variety of dishes rooted in the African American experience. These include chitterlings, crispy fried chicken, barbecue ribs, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, candied yams, potato salad, beverages and an assortment of tasty desserts. Ticket for the event will be $6 for students and youth, $12 for adults. The event is open to the whole community.

"This event has been going on many years," Cooley said. "It is another way we celebrate African American history and culture. One of the biggest aspects of African American culture is the importance of bringing the family together over dinner. My family would always get together on Sundays after church over dinner. The afternoon was spent with eating, talking, conversations and fellowship with your family. About 80 percent of the individuals who come to the feast are from the community. There is no place in town where you can have this course of food at such an affordable price. It is pretty awesome and I can't think of a better experience that's going on in Huntington that afternoon."

Tickets will be available at the door, guests can also avoid lines by reserving with the Center for African American Students' Programs or by calling 304-696-6705.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the Don Morris Room of the student center will host the university's annual Diversity Breakfast sponsored by the Division of Multicultural Affairs, and the Center for African American Students Programs. The event will last from 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 p.m.

This year's breakfast theme will be "We Are the World." The breakfast will feature a keynote speech by Joseph A. Slash, the current president and chief executive of the Indiana Urban League. Slash is also a former deputy mayor of Indianapolis.

"I have heard from multiple faculty members that the Diversity Breakfast is one of their favorite events of the year," Cooley said. "This is an experience that is socially enjoyable that brings in faculty, students, administrators, and the community. It is a celebration of living in a diverse global society. We will have music from the Marshall University Jazz combo, a full course breakfast buffet, and a performance by a choral group. Our keynote speaker Joseph A. Slash is a Marshall graduate who is nationally regarded as a social activist and community leader. He is knowledgeable and led a variety of initiatives in the education sector as well as other non-profit social movements. It is an honor to invite him back to our alma mater."

Attendance to the event is by reservation only and seating is limited. Single reservations are $20 each, and tables of eight are available at the community rate of $150. For additional information, call 304-696-6705.

Visiting poets Ross Gay and Erika Meitner will be reading poetry at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, in room 154 of Smith Hall.

Gay is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University whose body of work touches upon the African American experience. He is the author of two poetry collections: "Against Which" and "Bringing the Shovel Down." Meitner is a first generation Jewish American whose grandparents were holocaust survivors. Her body of work includes "Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore," "Ideal Cities" and "Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls." She is a professor of English at Virginia Tech.

Prior to Gay and Meitner's poetry reading, there will be a small reception for the poets from 4 to 5 p.m. in the third floor Drinko Library Atrium. Both events are free and open to the public.