NIAGARA MOVEMENT CENTENNIAL DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES

Felix L. Armfield | Kimberly K. Biggs | Peggy Brooks-Bertram | Kevin Cottrell | Wanda M. Davis | Bruce J. Dierenfield | Donna Ford | James P. Gribbins | Musa Abdul Hakim | Sharon Yvonne Holley | Larry E.Hudson Jr. | Avon Kirkland | David Levering Lewis | Shelia K. Martin | Waldo Emerson Martin Jr. | Bernadette Medige | Wilma Morrison | Jesse E. Nash Jr. | Barbara A. Seals Nevergold | Kim Pearson | Bryan Prince | Stephanie J. Shaw | Patricia Sullivan | Lillian S. Williams | Jason R. Young

Felix L. Armfield
Armfield is an associate professor in Buffalo State College's History and Social Studies Education Department and is author of Black Life in West Central Illinois (Arcadia Publishing, 2001). In Armfield’s present scholarship he is working on a biography of Eugene Kinckle Jones, a black social work pioneer during the early twentieth century, and the first permanent Executive Secretary of the National Urban League, 1916-1940.

Kimberly K. Biggs
Biggs brings 25 years of experience as an Interpretive Park Ranger in the U.S. National Park Service and 12 years of experience in researching, developing, and presenting lectures, in-house exhibits and park publications on the Niagara Movement. She is a founding member of the 2006 Niagara Movement Centennial Committee and has written numerous articles on the Niagara Movement.

Peggy Brooks-Bertram
Brooks-Bertram is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at the University at Buffalo; co-principal investigator, Smoking Cessation Program with Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Minority Health Coalition; and co-investigator, National Institute of Environmental Health Services, a partnership grant with UB and the African American community. In addition to a number of distinguished awards, Brooks-Bertram hold two doctoral degrees and has written and researched extensively on topics such as African American women and health service issues. She is a founding organizer of Uncrowned Queens.

Kevin Cottrell
A historian, preservationist, educator and entrepreneur, Kevin Cottrell has been lecturing both locally and nationally on the topic of the Underground Railroad, particularly as it relates to Western New York, and Southern Ontario. He has written and collaborated on numerous articles appearing in national publications such as the New York Times and has appeared on television both nationally and internationally. Mr. Cottrell has been named citizen of the year twice in his hometown of Buffalo, NY for his work in the heritage tourism industry around the topic of the Underground Railroad and its economic potential to underserved communities. Cottrell is the owner-operator of Motherland Connextions, a company specializing in Heritage Tourism.
Web site: www.motherlandconnextions.com

Wanda M. Davis
Dr. Wanda M. Davis received her doctorate in Higher Education and History from Penn State and is currently an associate professor, graduate faculty, at Buffalo State. Davis’s research interests include African American education during the Antebellum and Civil Rights Studies, 1865-1975. Professor Davis is currently working on a book: The Emergence of the African American University. Davis serves on the Editorial Board of National Association of Student Affairs Professionals Journal and has served on the board of the American Educational History Journal. Honors include being a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellow at Harvard University; career consultant to Black Issues in Higher Education and participation in the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) Study Tour to Ghana, West Africa.

Bruce J. Dierenfield
Bruce J. Dierenfield is Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professor of Modern American History and director of the African American Experience at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Prior to coming to Canisius, Dierenfield worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and taught at the University of Alabama, Purdue University, and Texas Woman’s University, as well as at the University of Helsinki, Nanjing University, and, as a senior Fulbright professor, the Universities of Cologne and Bonn. He is the author or coauthor of three books, including The Federal Role and Activities in Energy Research and Development, 1946-1980: An Historical Summary (1983), Keeper of the Rules: Congressman Howard W. Smith of Virginia (1987), and The Civil Rights Movement (2004). His articles on a variety of subjects have appeared in Congress & the Presidency, the Journal of Policy History, Religion & Education, Ronald Reagan’s America, Minnesota History, and One Hundred Americans Making Constitutional History. He is presently finishing three additional books, including A Godless Nation? The School Prayer Case of Engel v. Vitale, The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union and War against Religious Establishment, and a third edition of John White’s Black Leadership in America: From Booker T. Washington to Jesse Jackson. Dierenfield has served as a consultant for school districts, the Educational Testing Service, and the Fox television network. He speaks frequently on radio and television on contemporary issues.

Donna Ford
Donna Ford is a volunteer at the St. Catharines Museum and served on the Advisory Committee which developed the Award-winning Exhibit Follow the North Star. She is the Chairperson for the Central Ontario Network for Black History, whose mission is to raise awareness of African Canadian history through its members. The Network is made up of six Historical/Interpretive Black History sites and individual members in the Niagara/Hamilton Region.

James P. Gribbins
Gribbins, Director/Director of Photography of Gribbins Films, spent 27 months in production for a documentary linking the Underground Railroad with the Erie Canal and Buffalo Waterfront. A 1984 graduate of Buffalo State College, Gribbins’ work has taken him all over North America and has seen him receive win numerous awards. His other documentary work includes segments of the History Channel’s Modern Marvels and History’s Mysteries, and VH1’s The Road Home: The Goo Goo Dolls. Most recently Jim has worked on the upcoming documentaries for PBS, America’s Houses of Worship and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo.

Musa Abdul Hakim
An associate librarian at Buffalo State College's E. H. Butler Library, Musa Abdul Hakim has traveled to Mali to research digitization techniques for centuries-old manuscripts of Timbuktu. He has spoken about his findings at several national conferences.

Sharon Yvonne Holley
Holley is Extension Services Administrator at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, where she previously held the position of Coordinator of Urban Services. She is a board member of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier and is author of “African American History Rap” in Talk that Talk: An Anthology of African American Storytelling (Simon and Schuster, 1989) and in The African American Book of Values (Doubleday, 1998).

Larry E. Hudson Jr.
Hudson is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Rochester. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Keele University (U.K.) and has published widely on the history of slavery in the united States, and is currently at work on three publications: Plantation Slavery in America, 1776-1865, Soldiers and Slaves: Freedom and Slavery in the Nineteenth Century World, and The Public and Private Works of Frederick Douglass, an edited collection of conference papers for the University of Rochester Press.
Web site: www.rochester.edu/College/HIS/faculty. page.php?uid=9

Avon Kirkland
Kirkland began producing television programs since 1978 when he created his first production, the groundbreaking, and award winning 25-part drama series, Up & Coming. His Ralph Ellison: An American Journey was an official selection in the documentary competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired for presentation as a PBS special by the multiple-Emmy Award winning series, American Masters. Kirkland is currently producing and directing Up From Slavery: The Triumph and Tragedy of Booker T. Washington, a 90-minute biography of the controversial black leader.

David Levering Lewis
In 1985, Lewis, professor, History, New York University, embarked on what became a two-volume life and times of the American intellectual and radical, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. The first Du Bois volume, published in 1993 as W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, won the Bancroft, Parkman, and Pulitzer. Volume two, W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963 (2000), was a finalist for the National Book Awards and also won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. An edition of Du Bois writings appeared from Henry Holt in 1994: W.E.B. Du Bois A Reader.
Web site: history.fas.nyu.edu /object/history.faculty.leveringlewis.interests.html

Shelia K. Martin
Shelia K. Martin is a tenured member of the English Department at Erie Community College, with a wide range of research interests including African American Literature/History/Rhetoric/Communication and African American Women’s Studies. Martin received a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study at Harvard University during the summer of 2000 and completed an educational study tour of Ghana sponsored by the American Association of Higher Education in 1990.

Waldo Emerson Martin, Jr.
A Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, Martin's upcoming publications include A Change is Gonna Come: Black Freedom Struggle and the Transformation of America 1945-1975 (University of North Carolina Press, 2006) and Black Against Empire: A History of the Black Panther Party (with Joshua Bloom, The New Press, 2006). He has published widely on African American history and culture and, in spring 2005, was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Washington University.
Web site: history.berkeley.edu/faculty/Martin

Bernadette Medige
Bernadette has a B.A. in graphic design and M.S. in art therapy studies from Buffalo State College, where she worked on videos in conjunction with courses in the science and art therapy departments. In addition to her research and writing for Gribbins Films, she works with multiple-handicapped children, is teaching an art therapy course at Buffalo State this semester, and is a regular contributing writer for Buffalo Report. In her writing and involvement with Citizen Action/Alliance for Quality Education, she has been an advocate for public education and civil rights.

Wilma Morrison
Wilma Morrison is curator and preserver of the Nathaniel Dett Chapel and the Norval Johnson Heritage Library. A life-long and active member of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, Wilma presently serves as Treasurer of this British Methodist Episcopal Church in Niagara Falls. She serves on The Central Ontario Network for Black History and is also Founder, Past President and still an active member of the Niagara Black History Association. A local historian of Niagara’s Black history and culture, Wilma was instrumental in saving the Niagara Falls British Methodist Episcopal Church from being sold and possibly demolished. She spearheaded the establishment of the Norval Johnson Heritage Library, a full lending library with over 1,200 volumes dedicated to Black History.

Jesse E. Nash Jr.
Jesse E. Nash Jr. is a sociologist; lecturer; administrator; program planner and developer; organizational consultant; musician and amateur photographer. A professor emeritus at Canisius College, Nash's research interests include applied sociology; sociological theory; African American studies; community planning and development; urban studies; social problems; social organization and change; social stratification; and the sociology of health and aging.

Barbara A. Seals Nevergold
Seals Nevergold is Coordinator of Student Support Services of the Educational Opportunity Center at the University at Buffalo. she serves on the boards of several local groups, including Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier and is co-founder of Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc. which identifies, collects, and disseminates the biographical histories of African American women who have been the community builders in Western New York during the one hundred year-plus period of 1901-present.

Kim Pearson
An award-winning teacher, magazine writer, and public relations project manager with more than 25 years of experience in private and public sector organizations, Pearson has, since 1990, served as an associate professor at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey. Her work have appeared widely in journals like the Journal of African American History. Pearson co-edited and produced a multi-media CD-ROM called The Niagara Movement Revisited.
Web sites: www.tcnj.edu/~kpearson and professorkim.blogspot.com

Bryan Prince
As a board member and volunteer at the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum, Prince studies the stories of those remarkable people that followed the North Star to freedom and has had the good fortune to share them with, to learn from, and to be inspired by groups and individuals across the United States and Canada. A native of the historic Canadian Elgin Settlement and Buxton mission, which was a haven for fugitive slaves prior to the American Civil War, Prince is author of I Came As A Stranger: The Underground Railroad.

Stephanie J. Shaw
Professor Shaw's teaching and research interests focus on the history of African-Americans, especially African-American women. Her first major work, a book entitled What a Woman ought To Be and To Do: Black Professional Women Workers during the Jim Crow Era (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1996), concerns the way in which women who came to work in the feminized professions during the segregation era were reared as children and, subsequently, how they worked in the public and private spheres as adults. The book won the 1996 Association of Black Women Historians' Letitia Woods Brown prize for the best book in African- American history and was selected as an Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.
Web site: history.osu.edu/people/person.cfm?ID=728

Patricia Sullivan
An Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina, Sullivan is author of Freedom Writer: Virginia Foster Durr, Letters from the Civil Right Years (Routledge, 2003) and Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (University of North Carolina Press, 1996). She has been awarded a number of prestigious fellowships and served as an editor for Encarta Africana and Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and the African American Experience.
Web site: www.cas.sc.edu/hist/facultyprofiles/sullivanp.html

Jason R. Young
Jason R. Young is an Assistant Professor of History at the University at Buffalo. His current manuscript-in-progress is Rituals of Resistance: The Making of an African-Atlantic Religious Complex in Kongo and the Lowcountry in the Era of Slavery. Young has published and presented in the areas of United States history, African American history, the African Diaspora, the Atlantic world.
Web site: www.cas.buffalo.edu/depts/history/peop le/young.shtml

Lillian S. Williams
Williams is associate professor and chair of the African American Studies Department at the University at Buffalo. Her myriad research interests include the history of African American women in Buffalo and Mary Burnett Talbert, about whom she has published extensively. In addition to many book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and articles, Williams is the author of Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York, 1900-1940 (Indiana University, 1999).
Web site: www.africanamericanstudies.buffalo.edu/faculty/williams/williams.htm