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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Campus Quick Hits

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

MLK Day of Service Brings in 97 Volunteers
Students and employees from Brookhaven, Richland and North Lake colleges joined forces Jan. 21 to give back to the community for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The national event, organized locally by Andrew Deibert, service-learning coordinator, brought in 97 volunteers from the district, including 37 from Brookhaven College, the host site. Divided into seven groups, volunteers tackled hefty service projects within four hours -- projects were not unveiled until that day. Tasks this year included gathering items for Catholic Charities for children, infants and refugees, and raising money for scholarships at the Town North YMCA. Students also made toys for the Farmers Branch Animal Shelter, collected books for Medical City Children’s Hospital and helped with activities at Lindan Park Care Center.

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Dr. Dennis Simon

IPS Event Speaker Talks Civil Rights
To kick off the Institute of Political Studies Spring event series, Ahad Hayaud-Din, government professor, invited to his classroom Dr. Dennis Simon, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor from the Department of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Simon presented “The Politics of Memory and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary Season" Feb. 4 as a special tribute to the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. Every year SMU holds a Civil Rights pilgrimage lead by Dr. Simon; the participants travel to several monumental venues and meet with important movers and shakers of the Civil Rights Movement. In his presentation, Dr. Simon discussed the impact of journalism and textbooks on the way “American History” is remembered by future generations.

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Community College Day

Community College Day in Austin
Sixteen representatives from the Brookhaven College Student Government Association joined approximately 1,500 students from community colleges across Texas Feb. 5 for Community College Day in Austin. BCSGA students networked with other attendees and discussed the impact of budget cuts on higher education with Senator Royce West and Representative Rafael Anchia. The Texas Association of Community Colleges, event organizer, encouraged attendees to discuss its five-point campaign of community college legislative priorities with their representatives in Congress; the proposal outlines steps toward providing Texans with more accessibility to higher education through two-year colleges. Addressed by the campaign is the lack of grants and scholarships to cover the rising costs of tuition, in addition to the reduction of faculty due to limited funds. All seven colleges in the district sent student representatives to this all-day event.

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Dr. Rick Halperin

Discussion on Human Rights
Brookhaven College welcomed Dr. Rick Halperin, award-winning professor, to the Performance Hall stage Jan. 31 as a part of the Open Book Project's Spring 2013 event series. Dr. Halperin is also the director of the Embrey Human Rights Program in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University and the elected chair of Amnesty International. Dr. Halperin discussed violence against women in the Congo, raising time-old questions like “Who are you as a person?” and “Do you think that everyone is entitled to the same unalienable rights?” After going over some international headlines that feature intolerable infringement on human rights, Halperin ended by talking to the young adults of the next generation and how they “are the hope for a better world” and responsible for the assurance of a free world for all its inhabitants.

For more information of the activities and opportunities of the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU, visit their website or call them at 214-768-8347.

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Dr. Wright Lassiter

Chancellor Recalls Segregation for Black History Month
The Office of the Student Life kicked off Black History Month Feb. 6 with a guest presentation by Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor of the Dallas Community College District. Being raised to “know the rules” and “not get in trouble,” the chancellor adopted his father’s mantra of “to get ahead, get something in your head, and be two, three times better at it than anyone else.” Dr. Lassiter shared a brief historical lecture, starting with Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois in the Niagara Movement and the establishment of the NAACP. He also discussed his personal experiences of rigid segregation in the pre-civil rights South with an antidote of his encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while honeymooning, and the feeling of eating with his family in an all-white family restaurant for the first time in 1963. The chancellor concluded his presentation with a reminder that although great things have been accomplished in the pursuit of civil rights, there is still much left to do.