Actress to headline Black History Month events
The Office of Campus Life’s Diversity Programs will kick off Black History Month on Monday, Feb. 4, with a keynote address by actress Taraji P. Henson.
Henson, a 42-year-old Academy Award-nominated actress, currently has a role as a detective on the CBS series, “Persons of Interest.” She has also appeared in movies such as “Baby Boy,” “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and “Hustle and Flow.”
“The purpose of choosing Taraji P. Henson to speak for Black History Month was to bring someone to UALR who is influential not only to African-Americans, but to the entire student body and will be able to share a positive message amongst our peers,” said University Program Council member Eboni Franklin, a senior media production and design major who has been part of the organization for nearly two years.
Since 2011, the university has been choosing speakers for Black History Month every year. The first speaker for Black History Month was Ntozake Shange, playwright of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” The second speaker in 2012 was actor Hill Harper.
“I feel this is a step in the right direction for UALR, by showing the community that we are invested in bringing the best to our school no matter the cost,” said Lucia Okaro, the special chair for executive events for the University Program Council. Okaro is a junior management information systems major.
The topics that will be discussed at this event will be “Finding Faith in Yourself,” to inspire students to achieve their goals in life.
“This will enrich the university by learning cultural values and issues of our community,” said Kara Matthews Brown, diversity programs coordinator.
Other events planned for Black History Month include a Jabali Afrikan Dance Performance in Ledbetter Hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13; a showing of the film “Flight” in Ledbetter A at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18; a talk by Robert L. Green titled “How Teacher Expectations Can Increase Student Achievement” in the Student Services Center Auditorium at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20; and a discussion forum on hair in Ledbetter A at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28.