In honor of Black History Month and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Pan-African Caucus at Northampton Community College (NCC) will be sponsoring “A Month of Self-Empowerment: Practical Steps and Examples to Elevate Yourselves and Your Loved Ones.” Members of the College’s Black Student Union (BSU) will also be involved.

The Pan-African Caucus is a group of full- and part-time faculty and staff from the Bethlehem and Monroe Campuses who have joined together to promote the success of Pan African students.  

“The Pan African Caucus decided to pick a theme that felt especially relevant this year, during this time of great social upheaval and reckoning with racial injustice in this country,” says Dr. Gina Turner, professor of psychology and the coordinator of the series.  “We also wanted to highlight our own talented and distinguished Black faculty.”

Events will be virtual because of the pandemic and will include:

Hidden Figures movie talk, the film about three brilliant African American women at NASA, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.  A discussion will follow the screening.  Moderated by Dr. Gina Turner, professor of psychology.  February 11, 8:00 p.m.  https://www.steelstacks.org/event/10525/movie-talk—hidden-figures/

“Hidden Figures” Movie Talk.

The Dark Web: Untangling Technology from a Black Perspective.  A discussion of the Black experience across various technologies and how technology has contributed to the Black community.  Moderated by Lauryn Artis-Woodman, manager of instructional design.  February 16, 1:00 p.m. https://northampton.gosignmeup.com  or https://zoom.us/j/99366116432.

Representation Matters: Black STEM (Science, Math and Technology) Professionals.  Learn how Black professionals have contributed to a variety of STEM fields, historically and in modern times.  Moderated by Sonia E. Massie, assistant professor of biology.  February 19, 2:00 p.m.  https://zoom.us/j/95077079337.  

Discussion of “The 1619 Project.” In August, 2019 the New York Times published a special supplement called “The 1619 Project” to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in colonial Virginia, and to argue that slavery has been a foundational part of the American economy and American society. Brian Alnutt, professor/history, will lead a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses, as well as of the continuing impact the piece has had. February 23, 11 a.m. https://zoom.us/j/98567696568.

Keynote:  Economic Self-Empowerment.  A review of African American communities that had ownership of their resources and what they were able to build as a result of this ownership.  In the second half of the event, contemporary examples of thriving economies will be presented, and students will be challenged to assess what resources those communities possess and how they are engaged.  Students who are linked into the Zoom room will be placed into collaborative groups.  Moderated by Dr. Karen Britt, professor/business. February 25, 11 a.m. https://zoom.us/j/96735147298

Keynote: Black Economic Self-Empowerment, Dr. Karen Britt.

There is also a Call for Art on the theme of Social Justice and Self-Empowerment: Expressions and Musings on Race, Civil Rights, Social Justice and Self-Empowerment.  Submissions will be accepted through February 28. Works will be displayed in a virtual gallery through April 1. For more information and file requirements, go to https://bit.ly/2Nn9sQl  or contact Devyn Briggs, career services specialist at dbriggs1@northampton.edu.  You will be able to view the gallery here: https://bit.ly/2YenOos.

Call for art, music and poetry.

For more information about the Pan African Caucus, email panafricancaucus@northampton.edu.

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Myra Saturen has been a writer for organizations for thirty years, including 14 for NCC. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton and a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. In addition to writing for organizations, she has written for a variety of magazines and has had two young adult novels published. She also works as a writing tutor in NCC's Learning Center. She is a native New Yorker who has lived in Bethlehem Township for thirty-one years. She is married with two adult children. Her hobbies are reading, yoga and exercise.