The Center for Creative Leadership and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently named two Jackson State University professors, Robert Luckett and Byron Orey, as participants in the WKKF Community Leadership Network, an 18-month fellowship program that trains local leaders in skills that can benefit their communities. It will include 80 participants, including Native American tribal leaders, elected officials, educators, civil-rights activists and faith leaders.
Luckett, a civil-rights historian and associate professor of history, also serves as director of JSU’s Margaret Walker Center. He is also the interim director of the Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education Center on JSU’s campus. In November 2017, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba appointed him to the board of trustees for Jackson Public Schools. He also won Best Professor in the 2019 Best of Jackson Awards.
Orey, a political science professor, researches topics such as race and gender in politics, voting behavior, political psychology, legislative studies and public opinion. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, the Southern Political Science Association, the Midwestern Political Science Association and the Mississippi Political Science Association.
The first WKKF fellows’ gathering will take place in Battle Creek, Mich., in March 2019. A release from JSU states that the meeting will focus on allowing the participating leaders to get to know each other, explore their individual leadership styles, and practice communicating with vision and purpose.
For more information about the WKKF Community Leadership Network and a complete list of fellows, visit wkkfcln.org.
Black History Month Events at USM
The University of Southern Mississippi recently launched its Black History Month programming, which features events throughout February. The theme for this year is “Do It For The Culture.” USM kicked off Black History Month on Tuesday, Feb. 1, with its first film, “Selma,” for the Southern Miss Activities Council’s movie series at the Joe Paul Student Theater.
Other movies include “Night School,” “The Help,” “Southside With You,” “Nobody’s Fool” and “Black Panther.” They will screen at 8 p.m. The Cultural Legends Ball, which the Afro-American Student Organization sponsored, was on Feb. 5. It paid tribute to African American legends, and black artists and culture.
On Monday, Feb. 11, Benjamin Stubbs, associate director for university commons and student involvement at the University of West Florida, and DJ Jhonny Denis will host “Until I’m With the Homies” at 6 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center. The program will discuss how some hip-hop artists have used the medium to express their hopes, challenges and fears, and how it can relate to challenges and conflicts on the USM campus and in the community.
The Fresh Food Company, USM’s residential dining facility, will hold its 19th annual Soul Food Luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The luncheon features traditional African American soul food cuisine.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, USM will host the Armstrong-Branch Distinguished Lecture Series at 7 p.m. inside Bennett Auditorium. The lecture is named in honor of Gwendolyn Armstrong and Raylawni Branch, the first African American students at USM, who enrolled in September 1965. Kathleen Neal Cleaver, a law professor at Emory University School of Law who served as communications and press secretary for the Black Panther Party during the 1960s, will be the featured speaker.
USM will conduct the “Strategies for Success in Graduate School” program on Thursday, Feb. 21, at noon in the Luckyday Multipurpose Room. The program aims to help African American students network with professionals, and learn strategies and techniques for graduate school.
The USM Student Government Association will conclude the university’s Black History Month programming with “The Big Event,” in which students will travel to sites around Hattiesburg to perform volunteer services, on Saturday, Feb. 23.
For more information on USM’s Black History Month events, email Valencia Walls, coordinator of multicultural services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit usm.edu.
MSU Hosting Science Night at the Museum
Mississippi State University’s Museums and Galleries Committee will host its third annual “Science Night at the Museum” on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The event includes demonstrations, activities and tours where visitors can learn about MSU’s academic programs in fields such as anthropology, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy, meteorology and more.
Events will take place in Hilbun Hall and the Cobb Institute of Archaeology from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Visitors will be able to see an International Space Station flyover at 5:57 p.m., weather permitting. At 6:30 p.m., MSU will hold a public reception in Hilbun Hall for the unveiling of “Mississippi Cretaceous Panorama.” The panorama, a 50-foot mural located inside MSU’s Dunn-Seiler Geology Museum, details the geological history of the Starkville area roughly 65 million years ago. MSU senior art majors Moesha Wright and Todd Rowan painted the mural under the direction of MSU Professor Emeritus of Art Brent Funderburk. A recently discovered mosasaur fossil that the E. Montgomery family of Starkville donated to the university will also be on display during the event.
For more information on events and collections at MSU’s museums and galleries, visit museums.msstate.edu or follow the Mississippi State Museums and Galleries on Facebook.