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Feb. 01, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU's Black History Month goes 'Before and Beyond the Dream'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will celebrate Black History Month with a series of lectures, performances, community outreach programs and field trips that explore "Before and Beyond the Dream." Marsha Ellis Jones, senior vice president and chief diversity officer for the PNC Financial Services Group Inc., is the event's featured speaker.

The events kick off with an 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 1, celebration in the Smith Student Center Ballroom, featuring skits that explore the African-American historical timeline in the U.S. and drum and dance performances and workshops presented by the Pittsburgh-based Sankofa Village for the Arts.

JONES Students will have the chance to build their networking skills at 6 p.m., Feb. 5 in the ballroom. The Black Action Society at SRU and the University's Office of Career Education and Development are hosting the event.

Students will be involved in a "Scavenger Hunt" at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 6, working in teams to learn about people, places and significant events that have impacted today's America.

Jones, who leads PNC's development and implementation of strategies and programs that help further build and sustain a talented, diverse workforce and a culture of inclusion, will speak at 12:30 p.m., Feb. 7, in the Smith Student Center Theater. Recently featured in Diversity Executive magazine, she joined PNC after a career of more than 25 years at Merrill Lynch.

She is a member of the advisory board of the Greater Pittsburgh YWCA and chair of the development committee. She is a member of the advisory board of the Allegheny Division of the American Heart Association.

Jones earned her bachelor of arts from Lehman College, her master of arts from Columbia University and is a graduate of The Executive Leadership Development Program of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

SRU's month long event will include a "Black History Month Poetry Slam" at 5 p.m., Feb. 13, in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center. The session will highlight poetry by African-American women.

A cultural immersion trip to Washington, D.C., including visits to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial and related African-American historical sties, is Feb. 15-17.

A number of campus organizations will unite for a community outreach program to New Castle at 5 p.m., Feb. 18, where students will work with homeless women and children at the Covenant House.

"Memoirs of Black Revolutionaries," will include panelists from the civil rights era who will outline their experiences at 6 p.m., Feb. 18 in the Smith Student Center. "Beauty in Our Eyes," an evening celebrating the uplifting of African-American women through dance, music and poetry, will be offered at 7 p.m., Feb. 19, in the Alumni House.

A panel discussion titled "I'm Deeper than My Skin," is at 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21, and will present personal stories told by members of the Student Organization for Latinos/Hispanics and Allies in Weisenfluh Dining Hall.

"Rock the Runway," a platform for underground black-owned clothing brands, will present the latest in fashion at 7 p.m., Feb. 21, in the Smith Student Center. A movie related to Black History Month will be shown at 7 p.m., Feb. 25, in the center's theater.

A campuswide "Be a Match" bone marrow screening drive will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Feb. 26, in the Smith Center Theater.

The month's activities conclude with an Ebony Ball at 6 p.m., Feb. 28, in the Alumni House, with Joy Ike as the featured performer. Ike writes and performs original songs that she refers to as "Soulfolk." She was voted Pittsburgh City Paper's Best Solo Artist three years running.

Throughout the month, SRU's Frederick Douglas Institute will sponsor a display of Pan-African books in Bailey Library.

The Office of Multicultural Development, Black Action Society, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, CSIL Community Service Corps, Chosen Generation Gospel Choir, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Frederick Douglass Institute, Office of Career Education and Development, PNC Bank, President's Commission on Race and Ethnic Diversity, Robert M. Smith Student Center, Students Engage in Living Fashion, Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies, Student Union for Multicultural Affairs and the Women's Center and the Women's Empowerment Leadership Group are sponsoring the month's activities.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.