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Feb. 27-March 2: 37th Annual Pan African Conference
TV's "Judge Mathis" to speak Friday, March 1.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-18-2013
Mankato, Minn. – The honorable Judge Greg Mathis, nationally known for his role in the award-winning syndicated television show, “Judge Mathis,” is the headline speaker at the 37th Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference to be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, March 2 at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Mathis will speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Mathis’ speech is free and open to the public.
This year’s conference theme is “Accepting and Valuing Diversity in the Pan African Community.” It is intended to recognize the many different ethnic groups that make up the Pan African community, including members of the LGBT community, while connecting with President Barack Obama’s position on recognizing the rights of all citizens.
A complete schedule and registration information is available online at:
For more information about the conference, call Michael Fagin at 507-389-1126 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conference will host delegates from throughout the United States as well as a number of international students and nationally known speakers.
In addition to Mathis, the speakers include George Amedee, a professor of political science at Southern University at New Orleans; Tamarat Tademe, professor of human relations and multicultural education at St. Cloud State University; Mahmoud El Kati, professor emeritus at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.; civil rights activist Spike Moss and Peter Hayden, president of Turning Point in Minneapolis.
The topics discussed at this year’s conference will cover a wide range of issues and concerns that impact the Pan African community. The conference will allow students, community leaders, and professionals to engage in discussions covering economic, social, cultural, political and legal concerns in the Pan African community.
Major highlights of this conference will concentrate on issues of gender, homophobia, educational attainment, the judicial system, violence, and the retention of Black students on predominantly White campuses. A number of panels will address inter- and intra-conflicts within the Pan African community and interactions with the greater society.
The first day of the conference will embody a number of workshops and panels reflecting the diversity of sub-Saharan new African immigrants in the United States and the vast cultural diversity found among African people.
This year’s event will include a number of cultural activities that will reflect African cultural through dance, poetry, spoken word, and traditional African dress. The conference will maintain its tradition of elders teaching the youth which will be highlighted in the youth activities starting Friday evening (March 1) starting with a traditional Black fraternity step show. High school students attending this year’s conference will have specific workshops designed to help them in money management, financing their college education, as well as cultural uplifting activities including sessions on Kwanzaa, and the history of African Americans in the United States and the diaspora of Africans spread throughout the world.
Recognized in this year’s conference will be African American leadership in Minnesota with a special panel discussion entitled “Black Civic Leaders in the State of Minnesota.” The honorable LaJune Lange will be honored and recognized during the lunch session on Friday, March 1 in the Centennial Student Union.
Fagin founded the conference in 1977 after traveling to West Africa with a few students, and Mahmoud El-Kati, a recurring guest speaker, inspired Dr. Fagin to institutionalize the conference and celebrate Africa and its culture.
Among the sponsors of the event are Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Business, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Education and Office of Institutional Diversity.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.