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Monday, March 29, 2010

Last modified: Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Herman C. Hudson Symposium at IU April 9-10 to feature keynote address by a former ambassador

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March 29, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The seventh annual Herman C. Hudson Symposium at Indiana University April 9-10 will feature a keynote address by former ambassador and Indiana native Cynthia Shepard Perry. The theme this year is "Bodies, Borders and Resistance."

Perry, who has served three past presidents as an ambassador and diplomat, will share her story of personal and educational triumph at a luncheon on April 10 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., where all of the Hudson Symposium activities will take place.

The symposium also will offer panels and individual paper presentations by undergraduate and graduate students from IU. The Hudson Symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

For the seventh year, the chair and the faculty in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS) have supported graduate student efforts to organize an annual symposium in honor of founding faculty member, Dr. Herman C. Hudson. This year, the symposium will be part of the department's ongoing 40th anniversary celebration of African American and African Diaspora studies at IU.

Many co-sponsors have come together to help make the 2010 symposium possible, including AAADS, the Student Activities Office, the Office of the Provost, the Kelley School of Business, the departments of English, history and comparative literature, IU Bloomington Libraries, the Office for Women's Affairs, and Residential Programs and Services.

A native of Lost Creek Township (located just outside Terre Haute, Ind.), Perry earned a bachelor's degree in political science and education from Indiana State University and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. After a career in higher education that included several assignments in Africa, she was appointed in 1982 by then President Ronald Reagan to become chief of the education and human resources division of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In 1986, Reagan named her ambassador to Sierra Leone. Three years later, Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, appointed her ambassador to Burundi. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed her U.S. executive director of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where she served for six years before retiring in 2008.

In 2000, she published a memoir, All Things Being Equal: One Woman's Journey (Stonecrest International). She now resides in Houston, Texas, and lectures widely on the complexities of women's educational issues and on the scourge of human trafficking in Africa and its ramifications for women and children in the world.

Other events happening in conjunction with the Herman C. Hudson Symposium include an AAADS Exhibition that opens on March 31 and a social event entitled "Dances of the Diaspora" on April 9. The annual African American Dance Company Spring Concert will conclude the weekend on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. in downtown Bloomington.

"We are very excited about this year's Symposium. We have a large number of diverse and talented scholars presenting on issues ranging from the art of spoken word to identity construction," said Caralee Jones, the 2010 symposium president and vice president of the African American and African Diaspora Graduate Student Society. "This year's Symposium is also special because it will give us a chance to commemorate one of our founding faculty members, Herman C. Hudson, and the 40-year anniversary of our department."

For a complete calendar of events for the 7th annual Herman C. Hudson Symposium, please visit the Web site at or send an e-mail to

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