January 29, 2013 - Samford University will sponsor a series of Black History Month and related programs during February. The theme will be "Lift Every Voice and Sing: Connecting the Past with the Future."
The programs will be free and open to the public. Most will be in Reid Chapel at 10 a.m. (Other program locations and times are listed in bold with the event.)
The speakers will include:
Feb. 5---Dr. Jonathan Bass, chair, history department, Samford University, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’" Dr. Bass is author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther king, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders and the ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’ A member of the faculty since 1998, he is also Samford’s University Historian.
Feb. 7---Timotheus Miller, senior, Wenonah High School, Birmingham. A group of Wenonah students will visit Samford for the program and have lunch with Samford Student Government Association members and Samford President Andrew Westmoreland.
Feb. 12---Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga., the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Warnock also has served at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham; Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York City; and Douglas Memorial Community Church, Baltimore, Md.
Feb. 18---Andrew Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership, sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, Panel Discussion, "'God's Institution' or Gross Injustice: Slavery Before the Civil War," led by Dr. Richard Carwardine, historian and president of Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, U.K., Bolding Studio, 6 p.m. Samford religion professor Joe Scrivner and history professors John Mayfield and Jason Wallace will join the panel.
Feb. 19---Andrew Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership, sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for ethics and Leadership, Dr. Richard Carwardine, historian and president of Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, U.K., "Abraham Lincoln and the Challenge of Emancipation." Dr. Carwardine's book, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, won the 2004 Lincoln Prize for the best nonfiction work on the Civil War.
Feb. 21---Mayor William Bell, City of Birmingham. Bell has served as Birmingham's 33rd mayor since 2010. Previously, he was president pro-tem of the Jefferson County Commission and the first African American president of the Birmingham City council. He was interim mayor of Birmingham in 1999. Bell's career in local politics spans more than 22 years.
Feb. 26---Dr. Elizabeth Sloan-Ragland, director, WJAB Public Radio, Huntsville, Ala. A 1973 graduate of Samford, she was the first African American female to reside in campus housing at the school. Following graduation, she began her communications career at Alabama Public Television. She joined Alabama A&M University, home of WJAB, several years later, and has remained there for most of her career.
Feb. 28---Cedric Sparks, executive director, Division of Youth Services, City of Birmingham. Sparks is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Miles College Law School.
Feb. 28---Thurgood Marshall Symposium, sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, Cumberland School of Law, "Confronting Modern Barriers to Civil Rights Advocacy in America," professor Tanya Hernandez, Fordham University School of Law, Carroll Courtroom, Robinson Hall, 11 a.m.
Dr. Denise Gregory, Samford chemistry professor and Black History Month co-chair, said, "I am very excited about the programming that has been put in place for Black History Month. Several members of Samford's community have worked to secure the exceptional speakers we will meet in February. I look forward to seeing all of Samford enriched through these planned events."
Jay Roberson, Samford associate athletics director, also serves as a Black History Month co-chair.
January 16, 2013 - Neuroscience research is yielding new insights into the development of young adults, showing that the college years may be prime time to acquire competencies in ethical recognition, reasoning and action. As the prefrontal cortex matures in the later stages of brain development, it becomes possible to engage in more complex reasoning; to take into account the wider and longer-term consequences of actions; and to deal more competently with ambiguous or conflicting moral claims.
This phenomenon is among many topics explored in the Mann Center’s workshop, “The Moral Development of College Students.” Offered most recently to the faculty of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, the seminar encourages members of faculty to think in new ways about their roles in fostering student character and ethical competencies.
The Mann Center has identified three characteristics that should be recognizable in all Samford University graduates:
• Competent in ethical recognition, reasoning and action.
• Committed to lifelong development of virtuous character and spiritual maturity.
• Prepared for moral agency in navigating the increasingly complex social and ethical demands of life in families, organizations, professions, and society.
“Minimally, students must learn the compliance requirements in various fields of practice – professionally and by code examples,” said Mann Center Director John C. Knapp. “Ideally, they should learn to employ moral judgment to adjudicate between competing claims, obligations and values.”
The workshop covers formal and informal influences on moral development, showing how each member of the faculty can play a crucial role in this process. “College life can and does affect moral development – for better or for worse,” said Dr. Knapp. “We must recognize that many students are questioning the values and beliefs of their upbringing as they formulate their own moral identities. In the midst of this developmental journey, they are making important life decisions with moral implications. We must be intentional about equipping them to navigate life's challenges.”
January 16, 2013 - Richard Carwardine, president of Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford, will speak February 19 on the topic, "Abraham Lincoln and the Challenge of Emancipation." A noted historian and author of an award-winning biography of Lincoln, Dr. Carwardine will discuss the continuing significance of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Lincoln 150 years ago.
The 10 a.m. lecture in Reid Chapel is the Mann Center's 2013 A. Gerow Hodges Lecture in Ethics and Leadership.
An evening event on Monday, February 18, will feature Dr. Carwardine in a panel discussion of how the issue of slavery divided the Christian community between the nation's founding and the Civil War. He is researching a new book on the influence of religion on American culture during these formative decades. The panel will also include three Samford faculty members Dr. Joe Scrivner, Dr. John Mayfield, and Dr. Jason Wallace. This 6 p.m. program in Bolding Studio will be preceded by a reception and exhibit of artifacts from the period, provided by Samford University's archivist.
The Christian community was still deeply divided over race 100 years later, when in 1963 the struggle for African-American civil rights reached a crescendo in Birmingham, Alabama. The February programs are part of a series of events in 2013 marking the 50th anniversary of the most violent year in this city's history.