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Audrey T. McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2011

IU's Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center organizes a new kind of 'family reunion'

March 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- "Many Cultures, One Family Tree" is the theme of the Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center 's first annual Black Family Reunion.

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Photo by Chris Meyer

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Print-Quality Photo

This event, held in conjunction with the Black Graduate Student Association and several co-sponsors, will take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday (April 2) in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

"It celebrates the strength, diversity and enduring qualities of our collective family," described Audrey McCluskey, director of the center.

Admission is free to the public, but pre-registration is strongly recommended to reserve tickets for the catered family dinner that concludes the event.

The program will include an opening invocation by Samuel Obeng of the African Studies Program; James Mumford, emeritus professor and emeritus director of the African American Choral Ensemble; and poet Maria Abugunde Hamilton of African-American and African Diaspora Studies.

There also will be an interactive African musical performance by Bernard Woma, a dances of the Diaspora workshop, a Kiswahili workshop with Alwiya Omar, a fashion show by Epiphany Modeling Troupe, a sampling table with foods of the African Diaspora, games and a genealogical lecture and presentation by Donna Stokes of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Audrey McCluskey

Audrey McCluskey

Print-Quality Photo

The Neal-Marshall Library will present a Family Portrait Exhibit. Participants are asked to submit via email one family photograph with information identifying family members and the family name to June Evans ( by Friday (March 30).

The event will conclude with the Family Dinner catered by Judges' Tip of the Rib Restaurant of Indianapolis and a spoken word performance and farewell dance.

"In celebrating the diversity and strength of our families, we acknowledge our rich cultural heritage and the sacrifices of those who came before us and made a way out of no way," McCluskey said.

"This reunion reminds us that we are of one family, bound by the common thread of humanity that Martin Luther King Jr. so often referenced. We must celebrate and fortify each other and pave the way for the future generations," she added.

Co-sponsors include the African Studies Program, the Department of African-American and African Diaspora Studies, the Monroe County chapter of the NAACP, the Kelly School of Business Office of Diversity Initiatives, the Office of Mentoring Services, the Neal- Marshall Black Culture Center Library and the Office of Multicultural Initiatives.

For more information contact the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at 812-855-9271.