North Carolina Newspapers

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By Patrice High
phigh@email.unc.edu
Have you ever heard of
Around the Circle or Ring
Shout? What about
Hekima or Communiversity?
It not, then you are missing out on
just a tew of the exciting and educa
tional programs offered at the Sonja
Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center.
Co-program coordinator and publi
cist Lorie Clark is responsible for pub
lic relations for the BCC. She directly
works with fundraising and the Sonja
Havnes Stone Memorial Lecture; the
seventh annual lecture took place
March 1, 2001.
The lecture
"pays tribute
to the legacy of
Dr. Stone by
inviting an
African-
American
woman whose
commitment
to the commu
nity mirrors
that of the late
Dr. Stone."
Clark also
works with
publications of
the BCC,
including the
newsletter and
the program
guide.
The BCC
also co-spon
sors programs
and events
with the
Women's
Center,
Campus Y,
Arts Carolina,
the Jazz
Department
and Playmaker's Theatre. Clark also
said that other organizations use the
BCC for their meetings.
Assistant Program Coordinator
ri^dera malika-salaam took on a num
ber of programs when she joined the
BCC staff m 1999. They include
Around the Circle, Ring Shout, Sauti
Mpya, Hekima and the Blacks in the
Diaspora Lecture Series. All these
programs were in place when malika-
salaam arrived, with the Blacks in the
Diaspora Series being the oldest run
ning program of the BCC.
Around the Circle, the program
most frequented by students, occurs
weekly. Students or student-run
organizations usually facilitate these
discussions on topics that range from
interracial relationships to self-esteem
issues. Each Wednesday the BCC is
filled with students yearning to hear
the latest tidbit of information coming
from the other students in the BCC.
Another of malika-salaam's pro
grams, Hekima, gives students a
chance to read books and discuss
them in an informal setting. The pro
gram provides an opportunity to con
nect over something as simple as
reading a book.
One of the most important BCC
programs is Communiversity, a pro
gram run by Kelly Navies. The youth
program is designed to "provide
youth ages K-12 with academic and
cultural enrichment," said Navies.
Communiversity has three compo
nents: Homework Assistance,
Literacy and Teen Outreach. Each
program focuses on a different age
group, providing them with an age-
related service. There are about 45-50
Communiversity students and about
30 volunteers.
Navies' vision for Communiversity
is for it to be permanently institution
alized and have a permanent director.
malika-salaam also has visions for
BCC programming in the future. She
feels that the BCC needs new pro
grams, but that it depends on what
the student body wants. She would
also like to see the return of a program
called "Anthesis," which was sort of a
support group for African-American
females on campus.
Clark said she is pleased with the
programs the BCC produces; howev
er, she would "like to see more collab
oration with other organizations and
departments."
"The BCC mission is to serve all
students through our programs," said
Clark, "and our programs reflect the
history and accomplishments of
Africans and African-Americans."
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