Date: January 11, 2008
Department: News & Public Information
The breakfast will also feature the 2008 Chancellor's "Drum Major" awards given to individuals and an organization who have demonstrated a commitment to Dr. King's ideals. This year's award winners are Governor's special advisor on education and Bridgewater State College President Dana Mohler-Faria, former Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Sue Costa, and the New Bedford Historical Society. The Society is the first organization to receive the award, which is named in honor of Dr. King's famous speech in which he called on citizens to be "drum majors for justice."
Ms. Abernathy wrote, Partners to History, a book that has served as a testament to the courage, strength, and endurance of the two civil rights leaders. The idea came to Abernathy following a speech she delivered in Los Angeles three years after her father's death in 1990. She spent hours researching the newspaper archives at the Library of Congress, and the book contains more than 350 stirring black-and-white photographs.
Her research, she says, enabled her to see her father and "Uncle Martin" in a different light. The book is a documentary from a child's viewpoint. In fact, the children in Abernathy's family were one of the major motivations for this book, which is dedicated to her nieces and nephews. "I want them to know who Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were and what they did," she says. The first person accounts from Rev. Abernathy and other heroes in the movement provide an excellent reference for future historians and readers of all ages. The momentous March on Washington. The tragedy of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The inspiring march from Selma to Montgomery.
Ms. Abernathy is also an accomplished actress whose credits include Don King: Only in America, Chicago Hope, Miss Evers' Boys, EZ Streets, Murder in Mississippi, and the Lifetime series Any Day Now. She is also a founding member of New Road Schools, which promote cultural, racial, and economic diversity.
Music for the event will be provided by Navalle "Chops" Turner, an R&B/Pop vocalist who has mastered an incredible repertoire which covers the spectrum of songs from such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett to Luther Vandross and Sam Cooke. Mr. Turner has a diverse background in music, having performed at numerous functions, sporting events, clubs and at the Inauguration of Governor Deval Patrick. To inspire young people, Chops recently wrote and recorded "Champion" which he dedicates to the youth in the SouthCoast region.
Tickets to the event are $15 for the general public, faculty and staff; and $5 for students with UMass ID. Reservations can be made by calling Marly Dulude in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach at 508.999.8008 or sending an email to email@example.com. The deadline for reservations is January 25.
* Dana Mohler-Faria, Special Advisor to the Governor and Bridgewater State College President
Few people personify the spirit, mission and character of Bridgewater State College more than its 11th president, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria. An integral part of the campus community for nearly two decades and a lifelong resident of Southeastern Massachusetts, Dr. Mohler-Faria has followed a path of achievement that undoubtedly resonates well with many of the college's nearly 10,000 students. Dr. Mohler-Faria also serves as Governor Deval Patrick's special advisor on education.
At Bridgewater, Dr. Mohler-Faria has presided over an extensive review of the undergraduate curriculum, modernized the college's general education requirements, initiated an institution-wide assessment of diversity opportunities and programming, established the highly-prestigious Presidential Fellowship to promote faculty scholarly and creative work, and channeled significant college resources into faculty and student scholarship endeavors. Under his leadership, the college endowment has grown to $17 million is the largest for any state college in the Commonwealth.
Dr. Mohler-Faria holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, master's and bachelor's degrees in history from Boston University, and an associate's degree from Cape Cod Community College.
* Susan Costa, former UMass Dartmouth Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Susan Costa was nominated for the award because she is a "living example of promoting and advancing respect, understanding and appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity."
Dr. Costa is a 1972 graduate of UMass Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. She earned her Master of Education in Counseling from Bridgewater State College in 1987. In May of 1997, Dr. Costa earned her Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration.
Dr. Costa has a long history of dedicated service to the campus community. Prior to her most recent appointment as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Costa was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs from January of 1997 through April 2002. She had also served as Associate Dean of Students for three years, beginning in 1994. Her other past positions at UMass Dartmouth include co-consultant of the Student Enrollment Service Center, Director of Student Activities, Assistant Director of the Campus Center and Program Coordinator.
* New Bedford Historical Society
The New Bedford Historical Society is dedicated to interpreting, researching and celebrating the legacy of African Americans, Cape Verdeans, American Indians, West Indians and other people of color in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The Society seeks to establish a solid base of research and programs that will make the contributions of people of color a part of the life and history of the region as well as a part of the permanent, public record.
Historical Society members have helped organize "Portraits of a Port: New Bedford, 1847-1947", a summer teachers' institute at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and have been lecturers in the "Parks as Classrooms" curriculum in New Bedford schools and at the Massachusetts Statewide Historical Preservation Conference.