Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sister Spokesman Education Event in St. Paul

Today, I attended a Sister Spokesman event at the Midpointe Event Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Sister Spokesman is an affiliate of the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, an African American newspaper. The theme for today's event was "Education Should not be a Debt Sentence."

As an educator and cultural consultant, I knew I would have a busy day sharing my ideas and learning from other people. I displayed my publications and had interesting conversations with people who came to my table.

Tracey Williams-Dillard, MSR Publisher/CEO, led the proceedings. In the picture on the right, she is seen introducing the three panelists who discussed the event theme. Sitting from left to right are Ea Porter (Community Liason--College of Education, Leadership & Counseling, University of St. Thomas), Dr. Cheryl Chatman (Executive Vice President & Dean of Diversity, Concordia College), and Janet Tauer (Director, TRIO/Educational Opportunity Center).

The three panelists shared information and advice about many aspects of college education, such as grants and other financial support.

Conversations among participants and networking opportunities are a great addition to the value of the gatherings.

I had lively conversations with people who came to my table. I remember, for example, a question I was asked about whether I highlighted cultural differences among Americans based on race. I responded that in my book, I was highlighting traits and tendencies that define Americans. Similarly, in talking about Africans, I seek to identify traits that define them, irrespective of ethnic and other differences.

I was equally delighted to have the opportunity to talk about the rich heritage of African folklore as a treasure of profound reflections on values, relationships and the human condition.

I am pleased to share, on this page, some pictures which demonstrate a sense of the spirit that pervaded and guided today's event.

Having attended a previous Sister Spokesman event, I salute Tracey Williams-Dillard and her Sister Spokesman collaborators for their infectious enthusiasm for connecting people and engaging them in explorations of issues vital to the life and well-being of African Americans and humanity at large.

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