The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Black History Month

Tuesday, February 3
1-2:30 p.m., Tennessee Room, UTC University Center

The Chattanooga Human Rights/Human Relations Commission, in conjunction with the UTC Office of Diversity will sponsor the panel discussion, "A Conversation on Race in Chattanooga: Have Race Relations improved within our Community?" 1-2:30 p.m., Tennessee Room UTC University Center. Eleven participants from government, business, education and community based entities will participate. Each will be asked to provide an initial response, with open participation from the audience. The panel discussion is open to the public. Parking will be available in the parking garage on East Fifth Street. The Human Rights Commission was established in 1986 by an ordinance of the old City Commission. Its main purpose is to "encourage understanding and goodwill, to promote justice, to eliminate discriminatory practices between and among its citizens because of race, religion, creed, color, sex, age, handicap, national origin, or economic status." Hal Baker is the chairman and Michael McReynolds serves as chairman of the program committee. For more information, please call or email Ms. Charlie Garrett at 757-4811.

Friday, February 13
7 p.m. at McClellan Gym

Five Greek organizations at UTC will participate in a stepshow on Friday, February 13 at 7 p.m. at McClellan Gym. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UTC University Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the University Center, or tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, please call 425-8620 or 425-8613.

Saturday, February 14
5 p.m., 2nd Baptist Church

Black History Banquet and exhibit—2nd Baptist Church, 5 p.m.


Tuesday, February 17
7 p.m., UTC University Center

Black Student Alliance sponsors “Meet Justice Adolpho Birch,” 7 p.m. UTC University Center. Birch serves as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee and is the first and only Black to hold the office of Chief Justice in the state, having served in that capacity from May, 1996 through July 7, 1997. Birch was appointed to the State Supreme Court by Governor Ned McWherter in December, 1993. He was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice by a state-wide election in 1994 and retained by a state-wide election in 1998. Birch has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Tennessee; the United States District Court (Middle District of Tennessee); and the United States Court of Appeals. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a member of the American Judges Association. He holds membership in the Tennessee Bar Association, the Nashville Bar Association and the Napier-Looby Bar Association. Along with his professional responsibilities, Birch continues his commitment to education. He has been an adjunct faculty member and lecturer at several institutions. He currently is on the faculty of the Nashville School of Law.

Justice Adolpho Birch


Thursday, February 19
7 p.m., UTC University Center
Office of Equity and Diversity Initiative sponsors “Meet Doris Pilkington,” 7 p.m. in the UTC University Center. In 2002, the film Rabbit Proof Fence by internationally acclaimed director Phillip Noyce hit Australian and international cinemas, exposing for the first time the unimaginable suffering of Australia’s indigenous people at the hands of the government and its policies which were collectively termed “The White Australia Policy.” The government believed that the removal of indigenous children from their parents was a way to breed out their “aboriginality.” Rabbit Proof Fence tells the true story of three young aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their parents and placed in internment camps where they would be taught the way of the white man.

Doris Pilkington

But the white man underestimated the children of the Rabbit Proof Fence. Molly, her sister Daisy and cousin Gracie escaped from the camp and walked more than 1,000 miles through the harsh terrain of the Australian outback, evading police, government officials and aboriginal trackers to finally be reunited with their mother. Molly is the film’s star and her real life daughter is Doris Pilkington, author of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. Doris Pilkington was born in Australia’s northwestern outback in 1937. At the age of three, she was removed from her home and placed in the Moore River Native Settlement, the same internment camp from which her mother Molly had escaped years before. This time, Molly was returned to the camp with Doris and another daughter, Annabelle. Once again, Molly escaped, this time with daughter Annabelle. Doris was left behind and grew up in the internment camp. She was determined to make something of herself despite years of emotional torture. Doris realized that only education would free her from the usual occupation bestowed on children of the camps: domestic help. Against all odds, she qualified as a nursing aide and went on to study journalism and film and video production.
  Tuesday, February 24
6 p.m. UTC University Center

Taste of Black History through Food, sponsored by the Black Student Alliance at 6 p.m. in the UTC University Center.

Wednesday, February 25
H.H. Battle Mentors Day will be held Wednesday, February 25 on the UTC campus. It will be the first major event sponsored by the Reverend Herman H. Battles Professorship in African-American Studies, held by Dr. Melissa U. Anyiwo. Anyiwo teaches American History, specializing in African-American, with a focus on African-American Women and an interest in Black culture and popular culture.

Eighty Hamilton County High School students will be paired with current college students who will show them around the campus. The highlight of the day will be a formal luncheon. A keynote speaker as well as the President of the Black Student Alliance, Nikki Jones will address the crowd.

“The intent is to demonstrate the diversity of the UTC campus and the importance of a college education. In this setting, students will be able to interact with both African American students and faculty,” Anyiwo said.

Mentors Day seeks to raise awareness about the possibilities of a college-education among African American high school students in the Chattanooga area.

The Reverend Herman H Battle Professorship is supported by an endowment fund established by donations from the local community. The Professorship seeks to advance the cause of higher education, particularly in the area of African-American history and culture.

Anyiwo was appointed to the professorship in the fall of 2002.

The late Reverend H.H. Battle was minister of First Baptist Church and a 19-year member of the Chattanooga Board of Education. Battle Academy, an elementary school that partners with the University at the corner of Main and Market Streets, is also named in his memory.
For more information, please call (423)425-4301.
  Wednesday, February 25
6 p.m., University Center
Littleton H. Mason Singers—showcase

The UTC Black Student Alliance is a supporter of this program.
7 p.m., Memorial Auditorium
Dr. Maya Angelou will speak at the Memorial Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Dr. Maya Angelou