Author-activist-economist Naomi Tutu lectures at Northeast State March 25

Northeast State Community College and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) proudly welcomes Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to campus on March 25 as keynote speaker for Women’s History Month.

Tutu will give her lecture entitled “What Gift Do You Bring” at 1:30 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus in Blountville.

Born in South Africa during apartheid, Tutu faced the challenges of growing up black and female to become an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught how much humanity loses when anyone is judged purely on physical attributes. In her speeches, she blends the passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

The third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, she was born in South Africa and has also lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States. Naomi Tutu started her public speaking as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970’s when she was invited to speak at churches, community groups and colleges and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa.

She received her first degree from the University of Paris at Sorbonne. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Berea where she was a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society. She went on to earn her M.A. in International Development and Development Economics from the University of Kentucky.

As chairperson of the Tutu Foundation from 1985 until 1990, she helped South African refugees in African countries get scholar-ships to learn skills that would make them self-supporting while in exile. In addition to speaking, Tutu is a consultant to the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also leads women’s retreats through the organization Sister Sojourner.

Her appearance is sponsored by TnCIS and the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee. Her lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 354.2554 or kmlazarova@NortheastState.edu


Migrant mural on display at Northeast State

A colorful mural and documentary photographs created by children from migrant farm worker and local families living in rural Appalachia and West Tennessee will be displayed March 8 – April 9, at Northeast State Community College on the first floor of the Wayne G. Basler Library. On March 31, at 12 noon, Sonia Hoffmann, art instructor for the mural project, will give a lecture in Room L106 of the Basler Library on the College’s main campus.

The mural is the result of a partnership between Telamon Corporation, Tennessee Arts Commission and East Tennessee State University’s Migrant Education Program in Johnson City. During summer 2009, over 20 students enrolled in the Migrant Education Program worked with Peruvian artist, Sonia Hoffmann and a team of bilingual volunteers to create the 6’ x 8’ painting.

The children received instruction in art history, illustration and painting, with an emphasis on Mexican culture. The children’s drawings were used to create a composite design honoring the contribution of migrant farm workers. The project was documented by photographer, Chuck Rector, a graduate of Milligan College.

Northeast State is the third stop for the mural, which will be displayed at various venues across Tennessee. The mural was exhibited at Walter’s State Community College and was displayed at ETSU earlier this month as part of Hispanic Student Day.

The photographs accompanying the mural exhibition were taken by migrant and local youth participating in Telamon Corporation’s statewide Youth Initiative, Growing Tennessee: Rural Youth Cultivate Common Ground, which is funded by Office of Head Start, Tennessee Arts Commission, Starbucks Foundation, East Tennessee Foundation and PeyBack Foundation. Many community partners make the initiative possible, including 4-H, The University of Tennessee and Milligan College. Cameras and film were donated by Olympus, Fuji and Ritz.

Since 1995 Telamon has been the only provider of Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services in Tennessee. The children and families of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers receive education, nutrition, health, and social services at five childcare centers across the state.

The Growing Tennessee initiative is in its fifth year, and over 150 youth have participated in a variety of community based art activities, including photography, digital storytelling, mural arts, ceramics, and most recently, video production.