For those of us who won’t want to leave our rooms today to puddle-jump all the way to Worker’s Appreciation Day dinner, why not get some Ratty take out, stay in and watch our very own President Ruth Simmons address the Rhode Island General Assembly?
President Simmons will be the keynote speaker for the Joint Legislative Black History Month Celebration today at 5 p.m. Fans of the president can tune in to Capitol TV.
Read the full press release after the jump.
Legislative Black History Month celebration scheduled Feb. 24 at State House
STATE HOUSE – The first annual Joint Legislative Black History Month Celebration — “Yesterday, Today, Forever…” – will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, in the House of Representatives chamber in the State House.
The event is sponsored jointly by the Rhode Island General Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) and the Rhode Island Black & Latino Caucus of State Legislators. Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events and has been celebrated annually in February in the United States since 1976.
Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, President of Brown University, will present the keynote address to the gathering, which will include members of the legislature, other state officials and guests. Dr. Simmons was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown in 2001. A French professor before entering university administration, she graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and completed her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature at Harvard University. She served in various administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College prior to assuming the presidency at Brown.
The program will also include two performances, once by Community Musicworks and another by Joe Wilson, a member of the Trinity Theatre company. Janelle Williams, a junior at Central High School in Providence, will help open the celebration; the Rev. Carl H. Balark of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Providence will offer the invocation and Michael Sheppard will offer a solo singing performance.
Also addressing the gathering will be Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox, a member of the caucus.
Also taking part in the ceremonies will be the other members of the Black & Latino Caucus, including Rep. Anastasia P. Williams, caucus chair; Sen. Juan M. Pichardo, caucus vice chair; Rep. Grace Diaz; Rep. Joseph S. Almeida and Sen. Harold M. Metts, secretary of the caucus. The Black & Latino Caucus was established to serve as a voice for the state’s diverse populations at the General Assembly and to advocate as a group for legislation of particular interest to those citizens.
The printed program for the celebration event also pays tribute to former minority members of the General Assembly, including: Sen. Charles Walton, Rep. Aisha Abdulla-Odiase, Rep. William Bailey, Rep. Melvoid Benson, Rep. Stella Brien, Rep. Marsha Carpenter, Rep. George Castro, Rep. Peter Coelho, Rep. John Hernandez, Rep. George Lima, Rep. Maria Lopes, Rep. Joseph Newsome, Rep. Ray Rickman, Rep. Mary Ross, Rep. Maxine Shavers, Rep. Leon Tejada, Rep. Mahlon Van Horne and Rep. Lenny Walker.
The “Yesterday, Today, Forever…” celebration will be broadcast live by Capitol TV and can be seen on Channel 15 for Cox Communications and Full Channel subscribers and on Channel 34 for Verizon customers.