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Howard-Hamilton Says Stand up & continue the movement

Seeking to "pay homage to our sisters who have paved the way," Dr. Mary Frances Howard-Hamilton presented Listening to the Voices of Our Sisters: Her Presence Is Everywhere in February 9's convocation.

The "Listening to the Voices of Our Sisters" convocation.

Howard-Hamilton spoke of important African-American women, including the recently deceased Coretta Scott King. "They have given us a blueprint on how to cope and strive with a world that does not honor our presence," said Howard-Hamilton. She asked students to interact with each other for two minutes and discuss the women that were in their "freedom choir," as well as ask themselves what those women would wish them to do with their lives.

The recent death of Coretta Scott King gave Howard-Hamilton a wake-up call. "You need to stand up and continue the movement," she told the audience. She emphasized that it is up to the current "Millennial" generation to bring about positive change in the world. Howard-Hamilton then shared some startling statistics about the ratio of African American to Caucasian students in colleges and graduate schools, and gave some tips for becoming stronger and more influential members of society. "Are you brave enough to sing?" she asked.

Her presentation was preceded by two opening performances. Amanda "Revolution" Lucas read one of her poems and introduced the speaker, and Dr. Candace Hinton of Indiana State University sang "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" in a stunning vocal performance that received a standing ovation. The convocation was the annual Carter G. Woodson Memorial Convocation, and was part of Berea College's Black History Month activities. The event was sponsored by the Black Cultural Center.

Howard-Hamilton is the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington. She earned her Ed.D. from North Carolina State University, and her M.A. (in College Student Personnel Services) and B.A. (in Speech and Dramatic Arts) from the University of Iowa. She has received awards including the 2000 S. Earl Thompson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residence Life and Food Service by the Association of College and University Housing Officers International, and Outstanding Student Affairs Faculty member by the Southern Association for College Student Affairs Administrators.

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