Black History Month at CMU

A whole raft of events at Carnegie Mellon University in celebration of Black History Month:

Redefined:  Black History Month Events 

(Most events sponsored in part by the Division of Student Affairs and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.)

Ongoing throughout February:  University Libraries Black History Month Display  at Hunt Library.

February 5:  Black American Music Past & Present

7p-11pm in The Underground, Morewood Gardens. Sponsored by SPIRIT Black Awareness Committee with DJ Gemz


February 6:  Black History Month Featured Speaker & Black Caucus Reception.  Keynote Address by Yewande Austin.  Focus the Nation Concert featuring Ms. Austin immediately following keynote address.

Yewande Austin is the President and founder of the Change Rock Institute, a company dedicated to producing award-winning multicultural and empowerment programs across the nation. In the past she has been the owner of Lotus Records, a consultant at Independent Marketing, and the Marketing Manager at HBO. She has formal music studies at Howard University and the Carnegie Mellon University Conservatory of Music and is currently at the University of Sheffield in England where she is pursuing a joint M.A./Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a focus on the psychological impact of music. She is also a singer recognized for her unique talents and powerful message. For more information, visit

4:30-6pm in the Rangos Ballroom, University Center.  RSVP Recommended to or 412.268.2075.  Hosted by the Black Graduate Student Organization (BGSO), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), SPIRIT, Black Business Association (BBA), IMPACT and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

February 9:  Black History Month Gallery Show Opening and Reception featuring photography by Adrienne Wilson, College of Fine Arts Student.  Show will be featured from February 9-14, 2008.  Reception from 4:30-6:30pm in the University Center Art Gallery


February 10, 4:30 pm:  Lecture and Discussion on the History of Rap and Hip-Hop  Talk by Jeff Chang;  part of the University Lecture Series.  Jeff Chang is an award-winning writer, specializing in culture, politics, the arts, and music. Jeff was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine, and a Senior Editor/Director at Russell Simmons'  In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, and he has helped produce over a dozen records.  He was also an organizer of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and has served as a board member for several organizations working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts, and hip-hop activism.

Hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, Department of English, Graduate Student Assembly.  For more information, visit


February 13:  Black History Month Featured Speaker:  Presentation with Q & A by Panther Bior.  Panther Bior is a Sudanese refugee featured in the 2006 documentary film “God Grew Tired of Us:  The Story of Lost Boys of Sudan”. This documentary is about the journey of young men across the hostile African terrain with the hopes of escaping death and the memories of their murdered families that plague their minds.

 12:30 pm in Rangos Hall in the University Center.  Hosted by Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment (FORGE) and Student Affairs.  Free boxed lunch for participants.  Tickets will be available at the University Center Info Desk or by contacting

February 13:  SPIRIT Fashion Show

8 pm in the Weigand Gym, Univesity Center


February 15:  Gospel Concert: Redefined 2.0

at 6 pm in the Rangos Ballroom in the University Center.  Hosted by Impact Movement and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.  For more information, email Sheun Ogunsunlade at

February 15-20:  Speak Truth to Power Exhibition in the University Center Art Gallery.


February 16: Workshop and Discussion on Entrepreneurship & Film featuring Tommy Oliver, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Digital Media and Economics and is founder and director of photography of Black Squirrel Films.  4:30 pm in Adamson Wing, Baker Hall.  Hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs;  part of the University Lecture Series


February 17:  Speak Your Mind Diversity Dinner & Discussion:  Is inequality making us sick?  (featuring clips from the documentary Unnatural Causes) with facilitator Dr. Amy Burkert,  the Assistant Dean of the Mellon College of Science and Education Initiatives, and is also the Advisor for Health Professions Program and a teaching professor in the Biology department.

5-6:30pm, Class of 1987, University Center.  Hosted by MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Health Students) and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.


February 18: DRUMline Live, Presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  7:30 p.m. at the Byham Theater.  For more information about the performers, visit or


February 18:  Special Movie Screening, HBO Documentary Film THE BLACKLIST Volume 2.  This is a special viewing of soon to be released second part of this documentary series which is the is the brainchild of renowned portrait photographer/filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and acclaimed NPR radio host, journalist and former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell.

8:30 pm in McConomy Auditorium.  For more information, visit


February 20:  CAUSE Lecture: Racial Politics in a Racial Democracy: Afro-Brazilian Civil Rights Movements, 1945-present.  Lecture by Dr. George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh.  George Reid Andrews’ publications include Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 (2004), Blacks and Whites in São Paulo, Brazil, 1888-1988 (1991), and The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900 (1980).  He is currently writing a history of Afro-Uruguayan political and cultural movements from the mid-1800s to the present.

4:30-6:30pm in Steinberg Auditorium: Baker Hall A53;  refreshments at 4:30 pm, lecture and discussion from 5-6:30 pm.


February 20, 9pm-1am:  UC Late Night Event Hosted by FORGE


February 21: The Renaissance: A Night of Expression Through the Arts Benefiting the Jubilee Soup Kitchen.  9pm-12am in The Underground, Morewood Gardens.  Hosted by BGSO (Black Graduate Student Organization)


February 23:  Civil Rights Pioneers:  Showcase of Commemorative United States Postal Stamps

4:30 pm in Hunt Library, Maggie Murph Cafe. Dessert Reception to follow showcase presentation.  Hosted by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, Office of Dean of Student Affairs & Pittsburgh Postal Services

February 24: Speak Your Mind Diversity Dinner & Discussion with Facilitator:  Dr. Edda Fields-Black on IDENTITY THEFT:  “Stereotypes.”  Dr. Edda Fields-Black is an Associate Professor the Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University.  She is also the Faculty Director of the African and African American Studies minor.  She is the author of the book Deep Roots : Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008)

5-6:30pm in Danforth Lounge, University Center.  Hosted by SPICE (Speak Peace Inspire Change & Empower) Morewood Gardens Special Interest House and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs

February 25:  Islam and the African American Community.  Lecture by Arif Jamal, faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

6:30 pm in Doherty Hall 1112.  Hosted by the Muslim Students Association and SPIRIT


February 27:  Common Ground: Crossing Cultures Part 4, Experiences in Africa -- featuring Rotimi Abimbola and Zenobia Bell.

11am-1pm in the McKenna Room, University Center.  Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs


February 27: Black History Brain Bowl

7 pm in Breed Hall, Margaret Morrison.  Hosted by SPIRIT

Jan 20-Feb 25: Human rights film series at Duquesne

January 20 & 26;  February 3, 11, 17 & 25:  Abundance & Abuse, a series of six award-winning films about vital issues ranging from business ethics to environmental destruction.  Experts will introduce each film.

Films include Mountain Top Removal (Jan 20), Fast Food Nation (Jan 26), A Killer Bargain (Feb 3), Darwin's Nightmare (Feb 11), Frozen Angels (Feb 17), and Persepolis (Feb 25).

Details on each film at  Screenings are all at 7 p.m. in 105 College Hall at Duquesne University.  Free & open to the public.  Duquesne campus map

Feb 23: Sustainable Monroeville meeting

February 23:  Sustainable Monroeville brainstorming session.  We will discuss what is already sustainable about Monroeville, and dialogue about what sustainability means to us and how we, as a community, will go about re-creating our community as a sustainable one.  Organizer Elisa Beck is particularly interested in the overlap between social justice and environmental issues. To her, environmental issues are social justice issues, and she'll explain why.

7 p.m. at the Monroeville Public Library.  

Feb 23: Bioneers Monday!

February 23:  Bioneers Monday.  Join GTECH Strategies and Steel City Biofuels for the first Bioneers Monday of 2009!  Come be inspired by the words of Bioneer Speaker and activist Thomas Clayton-Müller. The connections between global and local environmental and social issues are real, and this young leader links them beautifully!  Check out .

6 p.m. at the office of GTECH Strategies and Steel City Biofuels (next to Construction Junction, at 214 North Lexington Street, Point Breeze, 15208).  For more info, and to RSVP, please contact Maureen at  or 412-241-1013 x8.

Feb 22: Steel City Stonewall Democrats Endorsement event

February 22:  The Steel-City Stonewall Democrats Endorsement event, beginning with a meet and greet of candidates. Candidates for Statewide, Countywide and City offices have been invited and many are planning to attend. Light refreshments will be served and a cash bar is available.  Candidates will be given an opportunity to speak, and there will be time for you to ask questions. In addition, candidate responses to our questionnaire will be available at the event. You should attend this event to find out more about the candidates before you go to the polls in May.

2:30 p.m. at the Inn on the Mexican War Streets, located at 604 West North Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15212.  (The Inn is a beautifully restored Victorian Mansion:  Candidates speak beginning at 4 p.m.  Free to members, $3 for non-members -- you can renew your membership or find out more about the organization at the event.  Note that only members can vote in the Endorsement.

Feb 21: Health Fair at McGinnis Sisters

February 21:  Get Healthy Health Fair at McGinnis Sisters natural food store in Monroeville (11:00AM - 3:00PM).  Enjoy cooking demonstrations and samples of Dr. Dan's Spread of Life, Schneider's Dairy Super Skim Cottage Cheese. Don't miss the blood pressure and glucose screening.  Sample Gluten Free desserts and Artesian Gourmet all-natural
dips.  Cathy Frank will be on hand to discuss children's food allergies.

Cooking Demonstrations will take place every hour:
12:00 PM - Terrific Tofu
1:00 PM - Healthy Seafood with Annette Richardson
2:00 PM - Easy Chicken Recipes

Feb 20-21: Global Issues, Global Solutions conference

February 20-21:  Global Issues, Global Solutions inter-university conference (cosponsored by CMU, Pitt, Carlow, Duquesne, and LaRoche). 

Opening event on Friday, February 20 in McConomy auditorium (at CMU):  Speak Truth to Power, the play
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ariel Dorfman was inspired to write a theatrical presentation based on interviews with over fifty human rights activists from around the world. The resulting play, Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, was presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in September 2000, and broadcast as part of PBS's The Kennedy Center Presents. Our conference will begin on Friday evening with a production of the play performed by local college students.

Keynote lectures on Saturday by Ellen DorseyMicheline Ishay
Workshops and panels will include 
Human trafficking
Careers in Global Issues
Darfur, Hunger & Poverty Relief
Environmental justice
Women's rights

Feb 9: What's Really Going On in Iraq?

February 9: What's Really Going On in Iraq? Raed Jarrar, Iraqi architect, journalist, and Iraq Consultant for American Friends Service Committee.  Free and open to everyone.  Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi-born architect and political analyst who moved to the US in 2005.  He was the country director of the only door-to-door casualties' survey in Iraq in 2003, and then established a local Iraqi grassroots organization that carried out hundreds of reconstruction projects in ten Iraqi cities.  Jarrar is currently the Iraq Consultant for the American Friends Service Committee in Washington, DC.  He blogs at  

In this talk, Jarrar will address the US occupation of Iraq from the perspective of ordinary Iraqis. He will debunk myths about the occupation, explain why the "Sunni vs. Shiite vs. Kurd" model of conflict is problematic, provide concrete examples of how U.S. is stifling democracy in Iraq, and argue that the U.S. should completely withdraw from Iraq.

* La Roche College, Monday, Feb. 9, 12:30 p.m. in the College Center, Ryan Room
* Duquesne University, 3-4:30 PM, 609 Fisher Hall, Feb. 9, co-sponsored by CIQR and the Social Justice Group. For inquiries concerning this event, please contact Greg Barnhisel, Department of English,   412-396-6432.
*  Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh, 7:30 PM , Schenley Drive, Feb  9,  sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee with co sponsorship by many groups including the Thomas Merton Center. For more info contact<

Feb 6-7: “Making Whiteness Visible”

February 6 & 7:  “Making Whiteness Visible”
How often have we heard, “I’m not racist,” or “We have made so much progress, I don’t think racism is a problem any more.”  At the same time, we heard questions and discussion about race all during the recent presidential campaign.  Statistics also tell us that race is strong predictor of income, health, academic achievement, school suspensions, and even jail time.  One factor is that white privilege pervades our culture.  Do you recognize it? Would you like to be part of beginning to dismantle it?
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and East Liberty Lutheran Church are sponsoring two events in February to engage in discussion and begin to take action.  First, on Friday evening, February 6, 2009 from 7 – 9 p.m., everyone is invited to watch the movie “Making Whiteness Visible” and to participate in a discussion.  
Then, Saturday, February 7, there will be a day-long workshop (from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) Activities will include screening of the movie, a heart-to-heart conversation to make connections and build awareness, a game to analyze power dynamics, and development of a work plan that includes connecting and integrating racial justice.  The goals are to demonstrate leadership and community building, to develop a work plan, to integrate racial justice into our advocacy, and to enhance our commitment to racial justice on a personal, organizational, and community level.  
Both events will be held at East Liberty Lutheran Church, 5707 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.  They are open to the public.  Suggested donations for the movie Friday is $5.  A donation of $15, which includes a light lunch, is suggested for the Saturday movie and workshop.  Registration for this workshop is requested (so we can plan for lunch and material).  For more information and to register for Saturday, contact Edith Bell (412-661-7149; or Susan Smith (412-441-5861; 

Feb 5: Mark Kryder on innovation, at CMU

February 5:  Mark Kryder on Pursuing Memories -- Lessons in Research, Innovation, and Leadership in Academia and Industry.

(4:30 in the Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall at CMU;  free & open to the public).

Feb 4-6: Focus the Nation Teach-in on Global Warming

February 4-6:  Focus the Nation Teach-in on Global Warming.  

Keynote on Wednesday by Peter Tertzakian.  
Thursday, a national webcast on Solutions for the First 100 Days (visit National Teach-In : Launch Webcast for more info).  

On Friday, Mark Dixon recounts YERT, Your Environmental Road Trip (a year-long eco-expedition through all 50 states);  Asa Watten talks about Biofuels and the Steel City;  a panel with Lee Branstetter and Costa Samaras on Market-based Incentives for Addressing Climate Change;  John Hooker on Cultural Factors Driving Societal Consumption Patterns;  Bike Pittsburgh and someone from the City discuss Alternative Transportation in Pittsburgh;  Volker Hartkopf and Stephen Lee of the School of Architecture on Sustainability in the Built Environment;  Keith Florig and Lester Lave of EPP on Clean Power Generation (not in my backyard!);  Barb Kviz and Marty Altschul on Green Practices at Carnegie Mellon;  Nelson Cheung and the Pittsburgh Project on Community and Citizen Engagement for a Sustainable Future;  Dale Hershey on Business, Society, and Ethics.  Also on Friday are a Local Lunch (enjoy locally-grown fare for a mere $5), and from 5-8 p.m. there's a sustainability networking mixer for young professionals followed by a green dance social (9 p.m. - 1 a.m. in Kirr Commons).

Contact:  Vanessa Schweizer at .

More details on speakers and schedule at the Focus The Nation website.

Feb 4: Peter Tertzakian talk at CMU

February 4:  With keynote lecture "Beyond Boom to Bust:  The Changing World of Energy," Peter Tertzakian opens Focus the Nation, a teach-in on global climate change.  

(7 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center;  free and open to the public)

Feb 4: Lecture on Gaza at Pitt Law School

February 4: Lecture on Gaza at Pitt Law School 
Gaza: Impressions of the current situation and the larger context of the Israel/Palestine conflict.  Professor Jules Lobel will speak about his recent travels to Israel and the Occupied territories as a part of an Human Rights Delegation.  Professor Shihade, here on an Endowed Visiting Professorship on Contemorary Global Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, will speak about the violence in Gaza within the larger context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, using a critique of cultural theories of violence.

7:30 - 9:00 in Room 113, Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave in Oakland.  Sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild.

Feb 2: Joel Tarr on "Why Technology?"

February 2:  Why Technology?  University Lecture Series Journeys lecture with Joel Tarr, CMU's Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy, and 2008 Leonardo da Vinci award of the Society fo the History of Technology. 
4:30 in the Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall at CMU.

Note that more details on all the talks in the the University Lecture Series can be found online at