University News

Black History Month Panel Discussion Feb. 15 at Western

February 10, 2016

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MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of African American Studies will present a panel discussion themed "Department of African American Studies Still Matters," at noon Monday, Feb. 15 in the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center.

The discussion is being held as part of WIU's observance and celebration of Black History Month. The panel includes:

• WIU Professor Emeritus A. Gilbert Belles, who helped establish a Black Studies program at Western and chaired the Afro American Studies Department for one year.

• WIU alumnus James Johnson, class of '69 and '73, who was the founder of the Black Student Cultural Center, later named after author and poet Gwendolyn Brooks. He was also a member of the committee to establish a Department of Black Studies at Western.

• WIU Professor Emeritus Essie Manuel Rutledge, who was chair of African American Studies at WIU from 1976-1984 and acting director of African American Studies in 1993.

• Professor and chair of the WIU African American Studies Department F. Erik Brooks.

For more information on the discussion, call (309) 298-1181.

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