October 1, 2020

Retired NBA Player Scores with Black History Keynote

Retired NBA player, activist and motivational speaker Etan Thomas delivered the Black History Month keynote last Wednesday at UMW. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Retired NBA player, activist and motivational speaker Etan Thomas delivered the Black History Month keynote last Wednesday at UMW. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

It was a game-changing moment for Etan Thomas. Pulled over by the police, he sat silently on the road as an officer fixated on him. The policeman’s fingertips hovered over his holster, ready to grab his gun, while his partners tried to pinpoint why the black teen looked so familiar.

It must be from a mugshot, they said. When they demanded he pop his trunk, revealing high school basketball gear inside, they finally recognized the star athlete whose achievements were often splashed across the local newspaper.

The former Washington Wizard shared that story during his Black History Month keynote Wednesday at the University of Mary Washington. Packed into the UC’s Chandler Ballroom, students, UMW athletes and coaches, faculty, staff, university administrators, President Troy Paino and wife Kelly, and community members listened raptly as Thomas discussed systemic racism, police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline, stop-and-frisk and more. Thomas’ appearance came as the University celebrates Farmer Legacy 2020, honoring Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the civil rights icon and late Mary Washington professor, who would have been 100 this year.

Thomas’ activism was borne out of that teenage incident, he said, buoyed by his mother’s passion for social justice, and a speech teacher who encouraged him to channel his emotions into an oratory, which he delivered at regional and national competitions, garnering media attention.

“I realized I could use this basketball thing to speak for people who can’t speak for themselves,” said Thomas, whose advocacy work earned him prestigious awards from the National Basketball Players Association and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation. Read more.

Retired NBA Player Scores with Black History Keynote

It was a game-changing moment for Etan Thomas. Pulled over by the police, he sat silently on the road as an officer fixated on him. The policeman’s fingertips hovered over his holster, ready to grab his gun, while his partners tried to pinpoint why the black teen looked so familiar. It must be from a […]

Retired NBA Player Scores with Black History Keynote

It was a game-changing moment for Etan Thomas. Pulled over by the police, he sat silently on the road as an officer fixated on him. The policeman’s fingertips hovered over his holster, ready to grab his gun, while his partners tried to pinpoint why the black teen looked so familiar. It must be from a […]

Retired NBA Player Scores with Black History Keynote

It was a game-changing moment for Etan Thomas. Pulled over by the police, he sat silently on the road as an officer fixated on him. The policeman’s fingertips hovered over his holster, ready to grab his gun, while his partners tried to pinpoint why the black teen looked so familiar. It must be from a […]

Colors of Africa – Celebrate African, Caribbean, and African American Culture, Feb. 15

Colors of Africa Saturday, Feb. 15 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center

Colors of Africa
Saturday, Feb. 15 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
Sponsored by the African Student Union and the James Farmer Multicultural Center

Colors of Africa seeks to celebrate the culture that Black people create. Whether it is Black people of the African continent, African Americans, or the Caribbean, Blackness is a transnational and multicultural experience and it ought to be celebrated as such.

Sponsored by the African Student Union and the James Farmer Multicultural Center. If you have any questions, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540-654-1044 or visit students.umw.edu/multicultural

Etan Thomas to Give Black History Month Keynote, Feb. 12

Former Washington Wizard, activist, author and motivational speaker Etan Thomas will deliver UMW's Black History Month keynote address on Feb. 12.

Former Washington Wizard, activist, author and motivational speaker Etan Thomas will deliver UMW’s Black History Month keynote address on Feb. 12.

Former Washington Wizard, activist, author and motivational speaker Etan Thomas will deliver UMW’s Black History Month keynote address on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the UC’s Chandler Ballroom.

Thomas is a prolific author of poetry, nonfiction books and articles. His 2018 work, We Matter: Athletes and Activism, is one of Book Authority’s Top Ten best activism books of all time. The African-American Literary Awards named it a best nonfiction book for 2018. Thomas received the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award for social justice and the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Legacy Award. He writes for The Guardian and is seen on MSNBC and ESPN as a special correspondent. He also co-hosts a radio show, The Collision, where sports and politics intersect.

Hosted by the James Farmer Multicultural Center, the event is part of Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of the civil rights icon and late Mary Washington professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., who orchestrated the Freedom Rides in 1961 to desegregate interstate transportation and bus terminals. UMW is committed to advancing Farmer’s work in social justice and civic engagement, and like Thomas, is preparing young people to address our society’s greatest challenges. Read more.

UMW Hosts Judge Hatchett for Black History Month

Glenda Hatchett, best-known for her nationally syndicated show Judge Hatchett, will provide the keynote lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 11 as part of Black History Month at the University of Mary Washington. Judge Hatchett will speak on her experiences throughout her career, spanning from serving as the senior attorney and manager of public relations for Delta Air Lines to being the first African-American chief presiding judge of Atlanta’s Fulton County Juvenile Court and presiding over the two-time Emmy nominated national show. Hatchett-Closeup A book signing and sale for Hatchett’s national best sellers, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say! And Dare to Take Charge, will take place following the presentation at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The event is open to the public free of charge. The James Farmer Multicultural Center is hosting a series of events throughout the month, including:
  • Cuisines of Black Cultures, Mondays in February in Seacobeck Hall
  • UMW Jazz Night: A Tribute to Duke Ellington, Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Pollard Recital Hall
  • Gospelfest, Saturday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • The Enslaved Community of James Monroe, Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Dismantling Racism Workshop, Monday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 414
  • 25th Annual Step Show Competition, Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
For more information and a complete listing of events, please visit http://students.umw.edu/multicultural/ or contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at (540) 645-1044.

Freedom Rider to Share Story and Documentary at UMW, Feb. 3

More than 50 years ago, a 19-year-old college student named Joan Trumpauer Mulholland bought a flight to Mississippi and joined the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. It was 1961, the year that dozens of sit-ins occurred in diners and drugstores and the same year that the Freedom Rides challenged segregated interstate bus travel in the Deep South. Mulholland, a white teenager raised in the South, was arrested and sent to prison for two months for her involvement in the protests.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW's Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Mulholland will share her story at the University of Mary Washington on Monday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. as part of the Black History Month celebration. The evening will begin with a showing of the new documentary, “An Ordinary Hero,” which chronicles her unlikely journey. After the documentary, Mulholland and the film’s director will lead a discussion and answer questions.

Mulholland was among the former Freedom Riders who joined UMW as it commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in 2011 with a three-month celebration. The centerpiece of the celebration was a 1960s-era bus and exhibit of historical photos on Ball Circle.

UMW’s Black History Month celebration also will feature the following events:

  • Saturday, Feb. 1 – Black History Month Kickoff Celebration: Gospelfest
    • 3 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4 – Great Lives Lecture: Martin Luther King Jr.
    • 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 – Civil War to Civil Rights: Trail to Freedom Teacher Resources Toolkit
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Angela Rye, principal at IMPACT Strategies and the youngest woman to serve as executive director and general counsel of the Congressional Black Caucus
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 – An Evening of Jazz: A Tribute to America’s Great Black Artists
    • 7:30 p.m., Lee Hall, the Underground

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a detailed list of events, visit http://students.umw.edu/multicultural/programs/black-history-month-celebration/.

Freedom Rider to Share Story and Documentary at UMW, Feb. 3

More than 50 years ago, a 19-year-old college student named Joan Trumpauer Mulholland bought a flight to Mississippi and joined the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. It was 1961, the year that dozens of sit-ins occurred in diners and drugstores and the same year that the Freedom Rides challenged segregated interstate bus travel in the Deep South. Mulholland, a white teenager raised in the South, was arrested and sent to prison for two months for her involvement in the protests.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW's Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Mulholland will share her story at the University of Mary Washington on Monday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411 as part of the Black History Month celebration. The evening will begin with a showing of the new documentary, “An Ordinary Hero,” which chronicles her unlikely journey. After the documentary, Mulholland and the film’s director will lead a discussion and answer questions.

Mulholland was among the former Freedom Riders who joined UMW as it commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in 2011 with a three-month celebration. The centerpiece of the celebration was a 1960s-era bus and exhibit of historical photos on Ball Circle.

UMW’s Black History Month celebration also will feature the following events:

  • Saturday, Feb. 1 – Black History Month Kickoff Celebration: Gospelfest
    • 3 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4 – Great Lives Lecture: Martin Luther King Jr.
    • 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 – Civil War to Civil Rights: Trail to Freedom Teacher Resources Toolkit
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Angela Rye, principal at IMPACT Strategies and the youngest woman to serve as executive director and general counsel of the Congressional Black Caucus
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 – An Evening of Jazz: A Tribute to America’s Great Black Artists
    • 7:30 p.m., Lee Hall, the Underground

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a detailed list of events, visit http://students.umw.edu/multicultural/programs/black-history-month-celebration/.

Angela Davis to Present Keynote Lecture on Feb. 15

American political activist and author Angela Davis will serve as the 2012 James Farmer Visiting Lecturer and Black History Month Keynote speaker at UMW. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium.

The lecture is sponsored by the James Farmer Visiting Professor Committee and the AT&T Student Leadership Colloquium. For more information, contact Courtney Chapman-Thomas, director of leadership and strategic initiatives, at (540) 654-1665.

For more information about Davis, read the press release from Thursday, Feb. 9.