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Celebrate Black History Month 2013

Shaun harper bhm 2013 1

Throughout February Stony Brook University will host Black History Month, an annual tradition that celebrates the African American experience.

Professor Shaun Harper

The month will kick off with the Black History Month Opening Ceremony on January 30, from 1 pm to 2:30 pm in the Student Activities Center, Ballroom A. The guest speaker is Shaun Harper, who is on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, as well as co-founder of the Penn GSE Black Male Grad Prep Academy.

Professor Harper maintains an active research agenda that examines race and gender in higher education, Black male college access and achievement, and college student engagement. He has published nine books and more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. Harvard University Press is publishing his newest single-authored book, Exceeding Expectations: Black Male Achievers and Insights into College Success.

Harper is editor-in-chief of the Routledge book series on Race and Racism in U.S. Higher Education. Several associations have praised his scholarship, including the Association for the Study of Higher Education (2008 Early Career Award), the American Educational Research Association (2010 Early Career Award) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (2012 Robert H. Shaffer Award for Faculty Excellence).

Professor Harper earned his bachelor’s degree from Albany State, a historically Black university in Georgia, and his PhD in higher education from Indiana University.

Throughout February there will be educational, social and cultural programs reflecting the month’s theme — Sankofa! The Revival — held on campus. The concept of Sankofa has its origin in Ghana, West Africa. When literally translated, it means, “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” Sankofa is used throughout the pan-African world to promote the idea that African people must go back to their roots in order to move forward. The theme Sankofa! The Revival was created to re-ignite awareness, appreciation, passion and commitment to Black History Month for all people, but especially those whose ancestors are from the African Diaspora.

Additional programs include the Black History Month Unity Forum on February 26 and the Black History Month Spoken Word Contest on February 21. The activities culminate on February 28 with the Black History Month Closing Program.

All events are open to members of the Stony Brook University community. For a current calendar of events, visit

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