tenth Annual Multicultural Sankofa
Valdosta State University’s African American Studies Program celebrated the Tenth Annual Multicultural Sankofa on Friday, May 5, 2011, in the Student Union Theater.
Graduates, their families and friends, VSU administrators, faculty and staff were in attendance to celebrate the individual achievements and collective triumphs of those students whose academic achievements may not be acknowledged in the traditional commencement ceremony. The guest speaker for the occasion was Minister LeRoy Henderson, Radio Personality and News Director at Black Crow Media. Called “the man with the golden voice,” Henderson challenged the 2011 graduates to “take someone else” along with them as they continue their academic pursuits and achieve their career goals. In the spirit of the old African American Baptist preacher, Henderson captured the spirit and essence of Sankofa by encouraging the graduates and visiting guests to first acknowledge that “in order to understand our present and ensure our future, we must know our past. We should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward.”
The ceremony acknowledged Spring 2011, Summer 2011, and Fall 2011 graduates. Other program participants included, Dr. Calvin Walker (Associate Professor of VSU’s OASIS Program and African American Studies Program), Ms. Lavisa Darling (Assistant Sankofa Program Chair), Mr. Stanley Jones (Valdosta State University Registrar), Mr. DeMario Jones (Out-Going SGA President) and Ms. Di’Andria "Nikki" Forman (2008 VSU graduate). Closing meditation was given by Dr. Napoleon Bamfo, Professor of Political Science.
Dr. Shirley Hardin, Director of African American Studies, presided over the program and presented the following Sankofa Awards for 2011:
2011 AFAM Student of the Year Award: Mrs. LaTonya Harris-Dasher
Graduating Senior, Criminal Justice Major and African American Studies Minor
2011 AFAM Student of the Year Award: Mr. DeMario Jones, SGA President 2010-2011
Graduating Senior, Political Science Major and African American Studies Minor
2011 AFAM Teacher of the Year Award: Dr. Marty L. Williams
Dr. Mark Smith, head of the English Department, accepted the Award,
The Tenth Annual Multicultural Sankofa Award: Ms. Avraye Henry, SGA Secretary 2008-2011
Graduating Senior, Secondary Education Major
Appreciation Plaque given to Ms. Melva Morfaw
Ms. Morfaw retired in February 2011 after serving African American Studies for 13 years as Senior Secretary and part-time instructor.
2011 Community Servant of the Year Award: Reverend Willie F. Wade
Program Coordinators for Sankofa 2011
Ms. Lavisa Darling, Ms. Chardonnay F. Watson, Ms. Latoya Long and Ms. Tamika Booker