How to cite the report: Blackmon, A.T. & Reamey, B. (2011, September). Transformation through social innovation, engaged scholarship, collaboration, and partnerships. Division of Community Affairs. Retrieval date. University of Alabama.
CCBP Graduate Assistant
TUSCALOOSA — Cynthia Tucker knows firsthand why it’s important to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who pastored a church 100 miles away in Montgomery, Ala., when she was growing up in Monroeville.
Tucker, who won a Pulitzer Prize as editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will be the banquet speaker for the 24th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream celebration, on Friday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hotel Capstone.
Born in Monroeville, Ala., the Auburn University graduate is the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Hunter-Gault, a distinguished journalist with National Public Radio and The New York Times, became the first black female to enroll at the University of Georgia in 1961.
It was 1955, the turbulent year of the bus boycott of the segregated Montgomery Transit System. Tucker was born on March 13. “We lived close to Montgomery and even closer to Selma,” Tucker said. “I grew up watching the national news accounts with my parents. So, as a kid I was very much aware of what was going on and that it would make a big difference in my life.”
Both of Tucker’s parents were educators. She recalls how John Tucker, a middle-school principal, and Mary Louise Marshall Tucker, a high school English teacher, would discuss the Civil Rights Movement events with their children and did all they could to ensure they received a good education.
“I am of the generation of black Southerners whose lives were shaped by the Civil Rights Movement, because it provided us much more opportunity than our parents,” said Tucker, whose long list of credits includes a year at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow in 1988. “My parents stressed education for their children, because they knew that the world we made our careers in would be different from theirs, and they knew we needed an education to take advantage of it.”
Many, many people can credit King for their success because without the movement King led change would not have come, she said.
“I think you can draw a straight line from MLK’s life and work to the election of a black president for a second term. I think everything he did in his life and career built the foundation,” Tucker said. “It’s pretty clear to me that I would not have been editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution without the Civil Rights Movement. Accomplishments of the black middle class can be attributed to King. He gave his life for that.”
Tucker said celebrations like UA’s Realizing the Dream are important in keeping the memory, achievements and legacy of King — a man known throughout the world — alive into the 21st Century.
“I believe it is very important to know where you came from so you’ll understand where you are and where you’re headed,” Tucker said. “I think that it is absolutely critical to have an understanding of this country to understand its history and to understand that racial history in this country has been full of conflict and injustice and oppression. I think it is impossible to understand America today unless you understand how the country was built and founded and the people who were courageous enough to help all of us surmount these incredible barriers.”
When speaking at UA in celebration of King, Tucker, who was only 13 when King died, said she thinks she’ll talk about building on the legacy and the project King was working on the day he was killed in Memphis, Tenn., April 4, 1968.
“King was planning a Poor Peoples March,” she said. “He recognized the fact that poverty didn’t have racial boundaries. He wanted to claim better pay and better working conditions.”
“Today, while there are far more opportunities for people of color, income has gotten much worse over the last 30 years. Building on King’s legacy, we should correct the economic injustices that are still very much apparent,” she said.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The singing ensemble Take 6 and the Aeolians of Oakwood University will highlight the 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Concert Hall at The University of Alabama’s Moody Music Building. Tickets for the event are $15 and may be reserved by calling 205/348-7111.
The concert is part of a weekend of events organized by West Alabama’s Martin Luther King Realizing the Dream Committee, including a banquet featuring Cynthia Tucker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist formerly with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tucker is a native of Monroeville, Ala., and a graduate of Auburn University. The Pulitzer Prize winning former editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is currently the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Among the nation’s most recognized vocal ensembles, Take 6, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has received 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and a Soul Train Award. Take 6 features Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley. The group was founded at Oakwood University in Huntsville in 1980 and took its current name in 1988. Take 6’s newest recording, “One,” in 2012, is notable for the group’s return to its spiritual heritage.
The Aeolians of Oakwood University is a vocal ensemble founded in 1946 by Dr. Eva B. Dykes. The group has traveled around the world, including a 2012 performance at the Moscow International Performing Arts Center under the patronage of Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Russia. The group’s current director is Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand.
In addition to the concert, the Realizing the Dream Committee will recognize three West Alabamians at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Hotel Capstone. Tickets are $25 each and are available by phoning 205/348-7111. Tucker will be the speaker.
Lubna Alansari, a UA undergraduate from Saudi Arabia, will receive the Horizon Award for her work in sponsoring workshops for students in the Alabama Black Belt as well as the student on The University of Alabama campus that focused understanding and working with various cultures around the world.
Dr. Paula Sue Burnham, a former administrator at Shelton State Community College, will receive the Mountaintop Award for her role as a student in supporting the enrollment in 1956 of Autherine Lucy Foster, the first African-American student to be admitted to the University of Alabama as well as for her work in helping women further their education to enter the workforce.
Michael Culver, a transition patient advocate for the Tuscaloosa V.A. Medical Center, will receive the Call to Conscience Award for his work in helping diverse groups of veterans re-enter civilian life.
A Unity Breakfast will be offered at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the Hay College Center at Stillman College, and a Unity March will be held at noon Monday, Jan. 20, starting at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and proceeding to City Hall. Finally, a mass rally will be held at 6 p.m. at the First African Baptist Church, 2621 Stillman Blvd.
This year’s MLK theatrical performance will be Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Harlem’s 1930s Cotton Club lives on in this musical revue that pays tribute to the jive swing of Thomas “Fats” Waller. Performances run February 8–17 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State’s Martin Campus. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Discounted rates are available in advance for groups of 10 or more. Tickets and more information are available at www.theatretusc.com or by calling (205) 391-2277, according to Adam M. Miller, managing director of Theatre Tuscaloosa.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream program exists to raise consciousness about injustice and to promote human equality, peace, and social justice by creating educational and cultural opportunities for growth, empowerment and social change so that every person may experience the bounty of life’s abundant possibilities. The program is a collaborative effort of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College.
Celebrating history, health and healthy living, UA’s Center for Community-Based Partnerships, Infrastructure Engineering Inc., Whatley Health Services and local service agencies present A Juneteenth Event - a Joseph and Lauretta Freeman Foundation health fair. The event will provide free health screenings, educational workshops, healthy cooking practices, exercising ideas, a farmers market, medication therapy management and musical celebrations. Food, fun and other services will be available to the community, including children’s activities.
Saturday, June 23th from 9am-5pm at the McDonald Hughes Center, 3101 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, AL.
By Kirsten J. Barnes CCBP Graduate Assistant
What started out as a summer camp experience inspired 19-year-old D’Anthony Jackson to launch his own business, select a major in journalism and compete for a summer internship two years later at the UA Center for Community Based Partnerships (CCBP).
After spending two summers as a participant with the Black Belt 100 Lenses project, a photojournalism camp that prepares high school students in the art of photography by talking photos of people and places throughout Alabama’s Black Belt Region, Jackson was hooked on the art form.
“I just loved it. My major is journalism and the program gave me a chance to express my love for journalism and photography,” said Jackson, a rising sophomore at the University of West Alabama.
The program not only helped him decide on a career, but it also gave him the foundation to try his hand at professional photography by starting his own photography business.
“I started the business my senior year in high school,” said Jackson, a Linden High School graduate and Marengo County native. “I do senior portraits and weddings and other events.”
As a student participant in the program, Jackson focused on taking photos of Linden, Ala., in Marengo County.
“I took photos that explained what my community is to me,” Jackson said, adding that it was easier to tell his story through photos. “I took pictures of railroads, buildings, people and stores. We had to have 50 black and white photos and 50 color photos. When I tried to explain my community with my mouth, it was different from taking and showing photos. You can see more perspectives about the community using photos.”
This year, Jackson will attend the camp, not as a student, but as a facilitator, working as a CCBP intern. The camp is scheduled for Sunday–Thursday, June 10–14, 2012.
Dr. Heather Pleasants, CCBP director of Community Education, whose office oversees the program, is thrilled to have Jackson’s participation.
“D’Anthony represents the best of what we hope students will be able to accomplish through and beyond their participation in the project,” said Pleasants, who has worked with the program since joining CCBP in 2009. The project is a partnership between the Black Belt Community Foundation, CCBP and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
“The program uses creative activity as a vehicle to help kids explore their potential,” Pleasants said. “We use photography and writing to work with the students who come to the camp. It helps them see themselves and the communities around them differently and in a way that they hadn’t previously been able to articulate.”
100 Lenses is the brainchild of Elliot Knight, a doctoral student who came up with the concept as a UA undergraduate and launched a similar project with UA students prior to launching the program for high school students. This year’s program will involve 60 youth. “My favorite part of the program is the time I get to work with the students,” said Knight, who for the past two years has been working more in a support role rather than a lead facilitator because of his dissertation research. He is using the program as a basis for his doctoral research and has interviewed participants extensively.
“A lot of them talk about getting out there and seeing the importance of interacting with people and being proactive,” he said. “They see things in their communities differently. They learn to consciously think about what’s important to them.”
Like Jackson, Knight said students take away something life-changing from the program. Many of them start their own businesses or major in an area related to their interest, but all of them take photos and examine their surroundings more closely.
“The pictures help them to develop pride in where they are from,” Knight said, adding that interacting with other students from small towns just like theirs throughout the state also increases their self-esteem and makes the state seem smaller. By interacting with other students with diverse perspectives, he said they come to realize that not having a place where young people can hang out together and share interests is not limited to their community. And they don’t just rubber-stamp what they’ve heard in the past: They become critical examiners of their entire environment, Knight said, which leads them to embrace grassroots change, beginning with themselves.
Jackson is exited to be furthering his skills by working with the 100 Lenses directors and participants in the 2012 summer camp. The program has a mission to give youth a voice and a forum to raise and address issues that affect them and their community through analyzing and depicting the culture of the Black Belt region. Jackson will be helping to establish a network of citizens, who through cultural analysis and both visual and written expression, are committed to improving the quality of life in the Black Belt.
There will be the usual camp activities, but this year “I’ll have more of a leadership role,” continuing to develop skills he began in high school and is continuing in college. During his first year at UWA, Jackson was named Freshman of the Year after being nominated by Director of Student Support Services Vicki Spruiell.
Jackson was recognized because of his active college life and high grades. He made the Dean’s List, is a Student Support Services Orientation Ambassador, Residence Hall Association President, and he is a member of the Scarlet Band from Tiger Land, the UWA choir, Phi Eta Sigma, the Student Government Association and the student newspaper MUSE. In addition, he was cast in a play in cooperation with the university and Pickens County.
“I just like to be involved,” said Jackson, adding that was one of the reasons the program was a perfect fit for him. “I don’t like to just sit in my room. I like to help people and stay involved. I guess they picked me as Freshman of the Year because while doing all of these things, I was still able to keep my grades up.” He reports a GPA of 3.75.
Jackson said he is using skills honed in the 100 Lenses program to make connections and meet important people. Following one of the budding theater actor’s performances of “The Face in the Courthouse Window,” he got to meet Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his wife Diane, who were in the audience as guests of UWA President Richard Holland.
Today the 100 Lenses archives has more than 7,000 images depicting the work of more than 200 high school students from 12 Black Belt counties in Alabama: Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox counties.
“The past couple of camps we’ve had an emphasis on photography and writing, but now we have added performance,” Pleasants said. “These creative areas come from the backgrounds of those who are participating in the camp. Videography and spoken word will be incorporated as well.”
The Division of Community Affairs promotes engagement and outreach scholarship and major community events such as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture and Concert. In fall 2012, the division will host the 13th annual National Outreach Scholarship Conference. Community Affairs subdivisions are the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Crossroads Community Center, and Equal Opportunity Programs, each with their own mission and objective.
The Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) provides leadership and operational assistance for hundreds of engaged scholarship projects locally, nationally and internationally, including publishing one of the leading research journals in the field, the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. CCBP’s motto is “Engaging Communities and Changing Lives.”
Contact: Dr. Heather Pleasants, firstname.lastname@example.org, 205-535-8073
Black Belt 100 Lenses Summer Camp Set For June 10–14
TUSCALOOSA — The third annual Black Belt 100 Lenses Summer Camp begins Sunday, June 10. The University of Alabama campus will host 50 public and private high school students from the 12 counties of Alabama’s Black Belt region.
The campers will develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the history and people of the Black Belt region through photography, writing, performance, discussion, and multiple hands-on activities.
The project is one of the signature programs under the Office of Community Education in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP). Community Education Director Dr. Heather Pleasants had this to say as the camp opened: “The camp’s legacy is the growth in knowledge, creativity and leadership that students experience. We look forward to seeing how these students will go on to create positive change in their communities and how the 100 Lenses experience affects their life’s goals.”
Key personnel for the camp are graduate students Meredith Randall, Kristin Law and Elliot Knight. Camp facilitators are undergraduate students Betsy Seymour, Greg Houser, Juan Carlos Rayes, Katy Gunn, Katie Berger, Ellie Isenhart and D’Anthony Jackson.
Selected by an advisory committee prior to the camp, participants are chosen based on creative submissions. The students were given cameras and asked to explore and document what was important in their lives and communities. Participants will share those photos with their peers to generate ideas to make their communities better. During camp, students will work together on creative photography activities, hear from community leaders, participate in creative writing workshops, and collaborate with local artists.
Black Belt 100 Lenses Camp will culminate with an exhibition of the students’ photography and writing at a reception with their families and community leaders on Thursday, June 14 at The University of Alabama’s Ferguson Center Gallery. The exhibit will continue until June 29. Following this initial exhibition, photographs will travel to venues in all 12 counties of the Black Belt region, each event organized with the help of the campers from their home county.
In conjunction with promoting skills in the art of photography and creative writing, the program also includes the goals of strengthening each students leadership skills, knowledge of Black Belt history, civic and community awareness, and critical thinking skills.
Doctoral Student Elliot Knight, the founder of 100 Lenses, is writing his dissertation about the history and impact of 100 Lenses.
Following is a sampling of his presentations and exhibitions based on his research: Fall 2008, Imagining America national conference. Los Angeles; fall 2009, Imagining America national conference, New Orleans; fall 2009, National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, Lincoln, Nebraska; spring 2010: Connecting the Dots: David Matthews Center for Civic Life national conference, Point Clear, Ala.; September 2010: Alabama Rural Health Conference in Tuscaloosa; spring 2011: Citizens Toolbox National Conference, Miami University; January 2012: Alabama Digital Humanities Center Luncheon in Tuscaloosa.
Future presentations: Proposals accepted at Scholarship in Action: Communities, Leaders and Citizens Conference, Auburn University, August 9-11, 2012 and NOSC 2012, September 30–October 3, The Univesity of Alabama. Other submissions awaiting notification.
Black Belt 100 Lenses is a partnership between the Black Belt Community Foundation, The University of Alabama’s Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and both public and private high schools in Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox counties.
The Division of Community Affairs student page is designed to serve as a resource for undergraduate and graduate students interested in developing as scholars in community engaged scholarship. DCA recognizes that in order for students to develop as scholars, they need access to financial resources to support their intellectual and scholarly development and a place to submit their research. This page maintains information useful to student development of engagement scholarship and future opportunities.
Zach Dodson wins Student Employee of the Year Award
For 20 hours each week, Zach Dodson helps the community by completing tasks in the Center for Community-Based Projects. Yun Fu, CCBP’s program assistant and Zach’s supervisor, said he “has an ‘I’ll do it attitude,’” adding, “He brings a unique set of skills and personal traits to CCBP that all the employees admire.”
Zach, who completed his bachelor’s degree in economics this semester, is from Jacksonville, Fla. He recently learned of his acceptance into the graduate program in management and marketing here at the University.
The University of Alabama honored over 4,000 student employees during National Student Employment Week, April 9-13, for their contributions to the University To recognize the essential role student employees play in the daily workings of all university departments, supervisors from throughout the campus nominated outstanding student employees for the University’s Student Employee of the Year Award.
On recommendations from Fu and the CCBP directors, Zach was selected as the Work-Study Student Employee of the Year and was one of four finalists for the overall Student Employee of the Year Award.
The Black Belt Community Foundation supports groups working toward innovative change in communities within the Black Belt. The Foundation provides monetary support through two grants. Read more…
The University of Alabama Division of Community Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Research hosted a National Science Foundation Grants Videoconference on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. CST in the Minerals Industrial Building (MIB) room 212.
The conference provided an opportunity for NSF Program Directors to share the foundation’s direction in ensuring that the nation’s students, from K-12 through graduate school, continue to emerge as leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics enterprise. Program Directors from the Education and Human Resource (EHR) Directorate with a budget of over $860 million will discuss new initiatives, strategic directions and programs – activities that institutions of higher education can launch to help NSF accomplish its organizational goals and mission.
The videoconference was particularly beneficial for new faculty, graduate students, researchers and administrators to gain key insight into a wide range of current issues at NSF including the state of current funding and new and current policies and procedures. NSF program officers representing various divisions in EHR and research directorates will present to provide up-to-date information about specific funding opportunities and answer questions.
•New programs and initiatives in the Education and Human Resource Directorate;
•Proposal preparation–specifically centered on high quality collaborative proposals; and
•The NSF merit review process.
For partnerships on projects and grant applications, contact Dr. Angelique Tucker Blackmon at email@example.com.
Unique to this conference, all student presenters will have their registration paid for by The University of Alabama Graduate School.
For more information, please visit the website.