Morgan Associate Professor, Coordinator Of Theatre Arts Nominated For Two Distinguished Awards

Dr. Shirley Basfield Dunlap of Morgan State University (MSU) was inducted into The National Theatre Conference at the historic Gramercy Park Mansion. The Players, a private social club founded in New York City by the noted 19th-century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, recently.

Associate Professor and Coordinator of Theatre Arts in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Morgan, Dr. Dunlap was nominated by Black Theatre pioneer Woodie King, Jr. and Baltimore’s Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director Ian Gallanar.

The New York Theatre Conference, a professional society founded in 1925, is made up of distinguished directors, playwrights and theatre scholars from the American Theatre community. Its purpose includes exploring ways of best serving the interests of the American Theatre, and to initiate, encourage and support projects of value and significance with a view to strengthening and broadening the influence of theatre as well as to connect, to support and to advocate for the American Theatre.

Dr. Dunlap also received a nomination for Best Director from this year’s Broadway World Regional Awards for the play “Red Velvet,” produced by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. “Red Velvet” is a ‘bioplay’ based on the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American Shakespearean actor.

Broadway World is an online news service, based in New York City, which provides daily coverage of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional and international theatre productions.

Dr. Dunlap will direct the Spring 2019 Morgan State Fine and Performing Arts musical production of “Dream Girls.”

At the opening night of “Red Velvet” at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Director Basfield Dunlap (far right), poses with Kimberly Moffitt, Moffitt’s family, and Christian Gibbs (center), an actor performing the lead role of Ira Aldridge.

Courtesy Photo/UMBC

At the opening night of “Red Velvet” at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Director Basfield Dunlap (far right), poses with Kimberly Moffitt, Moffitt’s family, and Christian Gibbs (center), an actor performing the lead role of Ira Aldridge.

Life in Baltimore: Peace Corps Volunteer from Baltimore Teaches in Mozambique

“When I graduated from college, I was looking for the next great adventure of my life,” Nancy Holt said about her desire to join the Peace Corps, a world-class organization with a remarkable track record for making a positive impact all around the world for more than fifty years.

Nancy Holt, an education volunteer teaches chemistry in Mozambique. She is a graduate of Brown University and McDonogh School in Baltimore County.

Holt joined the 207 Maryland residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 6,000 residents who have served since 1961. She learned about the Peace Corps programs from a classmate at Brown peaking her curiosity so much that she applied and pursued the training.

Teaching in Mozambique has been a unique experience. Holt finds that the people are friendly and hardworking.

Mozambique is a southern African nation whose long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches as well as offshore marine parks.

Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975, ending 470 years of Portuguese colonial rule in the East African nation. The official language is Portuguese although there are sixty different dialects. Mozambique is still suffering from the effects of a 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992.

Holt lived with a host family for several months to learn and understand the country. While with the family, she had to learn Portuguese to enable her to teach chemistry. She has become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. The students try to do their best. There is a strong effort to get more girls involved and active in school and in science in general which is a cultural shift for Mozambique. She has integrated the scientific method and hands-on laboratory lesson, which is unusual in the classroom experience for the students.

“I believe that Peace Corps service will have a profound impact on my personal and professional aspirations. By the end of my service I am hoping to be fluent in Portuguese, have a comprehensive knowledge of teaching strategies and methods, create international connections and life-long friendships,” Holt said.

Nancy’s parents, Harry Holt, Sr. and Nancy Brown-Holt, her brother, Harry Holt, Jr. had the opportunity to visit Mozambique this summer to visit Nancy and to enjoy family time.

Life in Baltimore: Polishing Our Pearls in Charm City

— By the end of next week, the city will be colored in pink and green, as more than 5,000 members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. convene for the 86th North Atlantic Regional Conference (NARC) April 26-30, 2017. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the nation’s oldest service organization for college-trained African American women.

Under the theme, “Polishing Our Pearls in Charm City,” the conference will feature opportunities for members to render services, experience the enchantedness of the Inner Harbor, conduct the business of the region, and build leadership skills.

NARC chairman, Tracey Barbour-Gillett states,” It’s been fourteen years since the conference has been held in Baltimore. We are excited to highlight the great things happening here in Baltimore, and we have several Baltimore-specific experiences planned for attendees. The level of support of members in the metro area has been outstanding throughout the planning process.”

According to North Atlantic regional director Meredith L. Henderson, this is the largest regional conference ever.

Meredith L. Henderson, North Atlantic Regional Director, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will roll out the

Courtesy Photo/AKA

Meredith L. Henderson, North Atlantic Regional Director, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will roll out the “Pink Carpet” for more than 5,000 conference attendees.

“It is only fitting to return to Baltimore boosting the economy and including a community forum to discuss violence in Baltimore which mirrors many of our communities across the nation,” she said.

Panel discussions will provide our members with take-aways to implement in their communities.The community at-large is invited to attend a rousing and provocative forum that will focus on the unlawful police killings of black people, the discrimination in the criminal justice system, the disparities in employment, education and health services in black communities on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to noon at Carter Memorial Church of God in Christ, the topic: featuring and Former Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and a member of the sorority, will moderate a panel discussion on the topic: “Ending the Violence and Building Healthy Communities.” The panel will feature elected officials, policy makers, U.S. Representative Anthony Brown, who is the keynote speaker.

“Generally our regional conference is all business however, this conference is different in that our NARC will feature a number of programs open to the public and designed to provide opportunities for our young people,” said Henderson, referring to the Diversity Career Fair scheduled for Thursday, April 27, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

That evening, from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, the public meeting will welcome dignitaries from Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia regions and members of the PanHellenic Council to honor community leaders who exemplify the sorority ‘s five International Program Targets: Educational Enrichment, Health Promotions, Family Strengthening, Environmental Ownership and Global Impact.

Grammy-nominated R&B artist, Eric Benet will perform in concert Friday evening April 28, 9:00 pm. Area high school students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the HBCU Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday, April 29th at 9:00 am. Many students cannot visit the campuses of these colleges therefore information on their admissions processes, and financial aid will be available at the expo.

Leah’s Book Club celebrates Women’s History Month

Leah’s Book Club held the 7th annual Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea on Sunday, March 19 at the Rawlings-Fulton Clubhouse at the Forest Park Golf Course. Fifteen women in the community were honored and Leslie Basil Payne was presented guest author.

Leah’s Book Club was organized in 1998 by Dr. Leah Goldsborough Hasty for like-minded readers to get together to discuss books, particularly those about or written by African American authors.

Beginning in 2000, each December the club began to host a holiday tea with invited friends and Irene Bennett Reid, an avid reader and charter member of Leah’s Book Club, delighted the membership and audiences with her review of the books.

In 2011, members of Leah’s Book Club thought it fitting to honor Irene’s memory with the Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea during Women’s History Month. Each year, the club members honor and recognize women who have made contributions to their communities and who embody the same spirit and concern for the welfare of others as Irene demonstrated throughout her career.

Book club member Lorna Brice opened with a welcome and meditation about the empowered woman; Ernestine Dunston gave the occasion with an overview of Leah’s Book Club; and the Hon. KurtL. Schmoke— president of the University of Baltimore, former Baltimore Mayor, and Irene’s son— gave an uplifting greeting.

Guest author Leslie Basil Payne was introduced by Dr. Louise B. Smith to discuss her book “The Legacy of Nobody Smith,” a novel based on the life of Dr. Smith’s husband, the Rev. James Smith. After the program, Payne spoke with guests and signed copies of her book.

Previous speakers and authors at this event, included Taylor Branch; Antero Pietila; Dr. G. Derek Musgrove; Larry Gibson; A. Dwight Pettit; and F. Michael Higginbotham.

The program was chaired by Dr. Brenda Conley and Claudette Swain.

The 2017 National Women’s History Month honorees are Deborah Bacote,Cherry Blackwell, Laura Phillips Byrd, Elizabeth Dyett, Dr. Jacqueline Frierson, Raquel Gilmer, Cardrienne Griffin, Lavertta Harden, Esq., Edelle Marcus, Christine Moore, Rev. Lillian Catherine Smith, Lenora Wilson, Sandra Wilson, and Karla Reid Young. Each honoree was highlighted in a power point presentation and escorted to the podium by their sponsor where they received a certificate and gift. Karla Reid Young gave a heartwarming response from the honorees.

The ladies of Leah’s Book Club are committed to highlighting women in the community and providing an audience for authors to discuss their books at the annual Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea.

Members are Lorna Brice, Lorraine Brown, Dr. Brenda Conley, Merita Donaldson, Ernestine Dunston, Juanita Edgerton, Leah Hasty, Dr. Brenda Bowe Johnson, Bennie Keene, Dorothy Marshall,

Marilyn Mc Donald, Casaundra Ross, Alice Shelton, Dr. Louise Smith, Margaret Smith, Claudette Swain and Beaulah Wallace.