Students to Host Third Annual Black Heritage Service

Feb 12th, 2016

Students to Host Third Annual Black Heritage Service

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 12, 2016 – Students at High Point University are hosting the third annual Black Heritage Service at 4 p.m. on Feb. 28 in honor of Black History Month. The event will be held in Hayworth Chapel on HPU’s campus and is free and open to the public.

Presented by HPU’s Black Cultural Awareness Club, the Diversity Club and the Chapel and Religious Life Office, this year’s event will take up the topic, “Who We Are and Why Our Lives Matter.” The service will include music, dance and spoken work, all heavily rooted in African American culture.

Danielle Criss, a senior theatre performance and dance major from Durham who is one of the original students involved in the creation of the service, says the event brings important focus to Black History Month and African American culture.

“We created the Black Heritage Service to help bring awareness and celebrate African American history. It’s an important history that we need to honor,” she says.

The event will feature speaker Clint Smith, a teacher, writer and doctoral candidate at Harvard University. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and was named the 2013 Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. As a poet and essayist, he is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, and has written for The New Yorker, The Guardian, and The American Literary Review. His two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” collectively have been viewed more than 4 million times.

The HPU Genesis Gospel Choir will provide music for the service. Special guests the Otesha Cultural Arts Ensemble of Winston-Salem and The Black Box Project from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will also perform.

“This year’s event includes an amazing line-up,” Criss says. “It is always our goal to collaborate with other members of the Triad community as this is an event that should be celebrated by all. Plan to leave overjoyed and inspired!”

An offering will be collected during the service to benefit the Diversity Leadership Scholarship, created by Black Cultural Awareness and the Student Diversity Council for incoming freshmen who are empowered to continue the diversity initiatives on campus.