IUPUI Africana Studies Program receives award from National Council for Black Studies

385606_w296INDIANAPOLIS — The Africana Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received the Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson Award for Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Africana Studies from the National Council for Black Studies.

The award was presented at the 38th annual National Council for Black Studies Conference in March in Miami, Fla. IUPUI’s Africana Studies Program served as the local co-host of the council’s 2013 conference, along with IU Bloomington, Notre Dame and Purdue universities.

“This award acknowledges the collective efforts of Africana studies faculty, students and staff who played strategic roles in the local conference planning as well as their active participation in the NCBS conference that was held in Indianapolis last year,” said Bessie House-Soremekun, director of Africana studies and professor of political science and Africana studies. “We are deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award named in honor of two great exemplars of social responsibility, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Carter G. Woodson.”

The 2013 National Council for Black Studies conference, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, had the second highest attendance in the organization’s history. The conference, which featured more than 400 concurrent sessions, drew on the diverse talents of IUPUI Africana studies faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the Indianapolis community. Professor Monroe Little served as chair of the local arrangements committee, and IUPUI senior Kendrea Williams and graduate assistant Juhanna Rogers provided invaluable service as members of the local arrangements committee.

IUPUI and Indianapolis community members also presented papers and served as volunteers at the conference. House-Soremekun presented a welcome speech at the opening reception at the Madame Walker Theatre Center. Three IUPUI students — Stella Brown, Leon Bates and Gregory Efiom — were inducted into the National Council for Black Studies National Honor Society.

The National Council for Black Studies was founded in 1975 by African American scholars who believed in the importance of providing scholarly information on the historical contributions of Africa and the experiences of African descended people in the African Diaspora. It has emerged as one of the most respected professional organizations in the United States dedicated to engendering an ongoing respect for people of African descent.

University center founders honored at Walker/Douglass lecture series

Two founders of university centers focused on African American business ventures were honored for their contributions during an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis lecture series named for historic businesswoman Madam C.J. Walker.

Juliet E.K. Walker, a pioneer scholar of black business history in America, received the first Madame C.J. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award during the inaugural Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Annual Lecture Series on Dec. 6 at the Jewel Center in Indianapolis.

Juliet Walker is the founder of the Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of Texas at Austin, where she has been a professor of history since 2001.

Bessie House-Soremekun, director of Africana studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, received the Global African American Activist Ambassador Award.

House-Soremekun is founding executive director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, part of the School of Liberal Arts. The center’s mission is to build entrepreneurial capacity and sustainable development initiatives in America and African countries.

Juliet Walker, who earned her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago, is considered the foremost scholar in black business history in America. Her development of that field is linked to the publication of her book, “Free Frank: A Black Pioneer on the Antebellum Frontier.” Her book, “The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship,” was the first comprehensive study of African American businesses.

“It is entirely befitting for Professor Walker to receive this prestigious award … for the first woman to establish a major field in black entrepreneurship to (receive the inaugural) award named after the first female self-made millionaire in the United States,” said Walker’s letter of nomination.

photo house-soremekun

Bessie House-Soremekun

The Walker/Douglass lecture series was co-hosted and co-created by the Africana Studies Program, an academic unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, under the leadership of House-Soremekun, and the Frederick Douglass Papers in in the Institute for American Thought in the School of Liberal Arts, led by Professor John Kaufman-McKivigan.

The theme for this year’s event was “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker: The Historical Development of a Business Empire.” Madam Walker was a self-made African American millionaire, having made a fortune from beauty and hair-care businesses before her death in 1919. Juliet Walker was the luncheon keynote speaker for the event.

The Activist Ambassador Award acknowledges House-Soremekun, also professor of political science and Africana studies at IUPUI, for investing in multicultural networking; exhibiting hope and faith for a brighter future for African-Americans; and bridge building to ensure the African-American community is enlightened and enhanced.

“The presentation of this award is emblematic of the impact that Dr. House-Soremekun has made both at home and abroad,” said David A. Scott Sr., who presented the award to House-Soremekun on behalf of the African American Restoration Movement of Indianapolis and the Globe Changers Movement.

Call for nominations: Madame C.J. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award

Deadline: Monday, November 24, 2013 at 5:00 P.M.

The Africana Studies Program and Frederick Douglass Papers at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis invite nominations forthe inaugural Madame C.J. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of which will be presented at the upcoming Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Annual Lecture Series that will take place on December 6, 2013. This award is named in honor of the phenomenal Madame C.J. Walker, who is credited with being the first female self-made millionaire in the United States as a result of her creative genius, hard work and ingenuity in creating a hair-care business in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The above programs invite nominations for senior scholars who currently hold the rank of Associate or Full Professor. In particular,  nominations are sought for an individual who has served as a dedicated pioneer and innovative scholar in the fields of History, Black Business History, African or African American Entrepreneurship, Business and Marketing, Sociology, Women’s Studies, African Studies, African American Studies, Anthropology, or other related disciplines.

According the Call for Nominations: “We seek to honor a scholar who has served as an intellectual front-runner and scholar extraordinaire in uncovering the contributions, historical narratives, and real world experiences of African or African American entrepreneurs as they created various products and services to enhance the economic marketplace and promote economic development in their communities and nations. We seek to honor a scholar who has dedicated his/her lifetime to the relentless pursuit of knowledge and all that this embodies to create a large body of research and publications which has been considered by his/her peers to be of the highest quality. We seek scholars who have made indelible impacts on the academy both in terms of the sheer volume of their publications as well as the depth of their research. We seek to honor scholars who have performed original, innovative work to illuminate the historical and contemporary activities, accomplishments, and manifestations of entrepreneurial endeavors in order to demonstrate how it has impacted the survival mechanisms of African or African American entrepreneurs either on the continent of Africa or in the African Diaspora with regard to the promulgation of various principles of self-help and economic self-sufficiency.”

Please, email all letters of nomination along with a resume of the nominee to Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun, the Director of Africana Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis at beshouse@iupui.edu.

 

Inaugural symposium, “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker: The Historical Development of a Business Empire”

The Africana Studies Program at IUPUI and the Frederick Douglass Papers invites the public to attend the upcoming inaugural symposium that is part of the Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Annual Lecture Series. This lecture series is designed to celebrate the brilliance, accomplishments and ingenuity of two African American global icons, namely Madame C.J. Walker who was the first African American female millionaire entrepreneur in America and Fredrick Douglass, a great orator, abolitionist, and political statesman. Our first public symposium will take place on Friday, December 6, 2013 at the Jewel Center from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Please see the event flyer.

The theme of this year’s symposium is “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker: The Historical Development of a Business Empire.” The events of the day are as follows:

  • Registration and continental breakfast is at 8:00 AM-9:00 AM
  • Welcome Remarks: 9:15 AM by Dr. Karen Dace, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Welcome Remarks: 9:20 AM by Dr. Jack Kaufmann-McKivigan, Editor and Founder, The Frederick Douglass Papers, IUPUI
  • The first panel discussion starts around 9:30 AM on the theme of “The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker”
  • Our keynote speaker for noon is Dr. Juliet E.K. Walker, the foremost scholar and expert on Black business history in America and distinguished Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, who will discuss “African American Businesses in the Arc of History: Culture, Innovation and Black Business Success.”
  • Introduction of the Keynote Speaker: Dr. William Blomquist, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI
  • At 2:00 PM, Professor Bessie House-Soremekun will make a research presentation on “Lessons Learned from History: The 10 Personality Characteristics of African American Entrepreneurs and How to Achieve Them.”

The event is free and open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Dr. Bessie House Soremekun at beshouse@iupui.edu or cmorlan@iupui.edu.

NEW COURSE: 20th-Century African Fiction

ANNOUNCING FOR FALL 2012:
L382: 20th-Century African Fiction
(Fiction of the Non-Western World)

David Hoegberg, Associate Professor of English
Tuesday evenings 6:00 – 8:40 PM
Course number 12988

The decolonization of Africa in the 1950s and 1960s sparked an explosion of African literature that continues to this day. This literature is vibrant, skillful, and deeply concerned with the social issues facing African nations. This course will introduce students to an exciting range of African fiction written in English from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Emphasis throughout the course will be on making the works accessible and interesting to students, relating them to historical contexts, and working on important reading and writing skills.

Course instructor David Hoegberg is a three-time winner of the Trustees Teaching Award in the IU School of Liberal Arts.

For non-English majors, L382 fulfills the requirement for 300-level courses outside the major. Students in English, History, Anthropology, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, and other departments will find much that is enjoyable and relevant to their work.

L382 is on the list of approved course for the Africana Studies major and minor.
Further questions?

Please contact Prof. David Hoegberg, 274-9823, dhoegberg@aol.com