Saturday, April 10, 2021

Kim Godwin, FAMU J-School grad, poised to become ABC News president

Kim Godwin, a 1984 graduate of the FAMU School of Journalism and a CBS News executive since 2007, is on track to become the first Black woman to run a broadcast network news operation, as she has been offered the top job at ABC News, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

Godwin will fill the position vacated by James Goldston, who last month. CBS has agreed to let Godwin out of her contract so that she can make the historic move.

ABC, nor representative from its parent company Disney, did not comment on its discussions. A CBS News representative also declined to comment. NBC News reported that Godwin is currently in negotiations for the job as ABC News president.

At CBS, Godwin had editorial oversight of the network's newsgathering operation, including the national desks, foreign desks and bureaus.

Godwin's appointment would put women in lead roles at four national TV news operations. Suzanne Scott has headed Fox News Media since 2018. Susan Zirinsky has served as president of CBS News since 2019. Rashida Jones became president of NBCUniversal's MSNBC cable channel earlier this year, making her the first Black woman to lead a major national TV news network.

Before joining CBS in 2007, the Panama City, FL, native served in a variety of positions at local TV stations. She was the acting news director and assistant news director at WCBS-TV in New York, vice president and news director at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, vice president of news operations for NBC Television Stations and vice president, news director at KXAS-TV in Dallas, and Director of the Division of Journalism at FAMU.   

Friday, April 09, 2021

FAMU College of Law hosts third biennial Race + Intellectual Property Conference

The FAMU College of Law, along with Boston College, is hosting the third biennial Race + Intellectual Property (IP) Conference which began yesterday and runs thru Saturday.

The conference examines the increasingly important intersection between the emerging body of scholarship how IP reflects and reinforces inequalities along lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, class and disability. Drawing on critical race theory and critical legal theory, this scholarship is asking integral questions about the hidden racialized categories that inform law, legal decision-making, and policy making within the context of IP law. 

The conference brings together a unique set of speakers whose work is dedicated to unraveling how knowledge production regimes contribute to local and global economic inequality as well as facilitate the ongoing dispossession of marginalized populations. In our current political environment, it is important to initiate new conversations about legal sites of inequality and injustice. The conference seeks to focus on the embedded practices of colonialism and racism that not only inform the creation of this body of law, but that are disguised and hidden in its ongoing operation especially through the social and cultural privileges that it generates for specific populations.

You can register for the conference here.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

FAMU associate provost selected as provost & vice chancellor for academic affairs at NCCU

David H. Jackson Jr., Ph.D.,
 associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research, and Continuing Education, has been appointed provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He will begin work on July 1, 2021.

Dr. Jackson began his academic career at FAMU in 1997 as an assistant professor of history. He quickly rose through the academic ranks and was promoted to associate professor, full professor and was later elected chairman of the Department of History, Political Science, Public Administration, Geography and African American Studies. In 2015 he was appointed associate provost. 

In 2012, he was named one of the “Outstanding Alumni of the Quasquicentennial” and is part of the Gallery of Distinction in the College of Arts and Sciences at the university.  Additionally, in 2014, Dr. Jackson received the Equity Award from the American Historical Association, the largest historical association in the country.

He is regarded as one of FAMU’s most published professors and has published over four dozen scholarly articles, book chapters, short essays, book reviews, and has presented over 100 scholarly papers and speeches at professional conferences throughout the United States.

In 2017 he served as Fulbright-Hays Fellow and studied in Botswana and Namibia.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in history education and a Master of Applied Social Sciences degree in public administration, both from FAMU, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in history at the University of Memphis. 

As NCCU provost, Dr. Jackson will be charged with shaping the future of the academic enterprise and oversee the university’s academic programs, research, personnel, resources and support services. He will provide academic leadership for ensuring the quality of instruction and research through collaborative work with the deans and to accomplish the mission of the university.

He will also lead and support the development of new Doctoral programs to help achieve the University’s strategic goal of rising in Carnegie classifications.  

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a FAMU College of Law grad, has died

 Alcee Hastings, a 1963 graduate of the FAMU College of Law, has died. He was 84.

Hastings crusaded against racial injustice as a civil rights lawyer, became a federal judge, and went on to win 15 congressional elections, becoming Florida’s senior member of Congress.
He died early this morning, a longtime friend said. His death was confirmed in a statement from his family.
In late 2018, Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. For much of the ensuing two years, he continued public appearances between medical treatments, but more recently he hadn’t been in public. In recent days, he had been in hospice care. 
“Alcee was a fighter, and he fought this terrible disease longer than most. He faced it fearlessly, and at times even made fun of it,” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.
The Democratic congressman was a singular figure in South Florida politics; he repeatedly broke barriers and made history.  

Monday, April 05, 2021

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to address FAMU spring graduates

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III will deliver the keynote address at the FAMU in person Spring 2021 Commencement ceremony 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24. 

Saturday evening’s ceremony will feature students from the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Austin, the first African American to head the Defense Department, will also officiate at the commissioning ceremony for FAMU’s largest Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduating class in decades. 

“Florida A&M University is honored to have Secretary Austin address our graduates. His life and career have been an inspiration to us all. He is part of an impressive lineup of speakers who have agreed to celebrate our graduates with us,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.

Secretary Austin, grew up in Thomasville, Georgia, will headline a group of four speakers for the University’s first in person commencement ceremonies since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 1,000 students have applied for spring graduation. 

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Austin retired in 2016 as a four-star Army general after 41 years in uniform. On January 22, 2021, he was sworn in as the 28th secretary of defense. 

His four-decade Army career included command at the corps, division, battalion, and brigade levels. Austin was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In 2010, he became commanding general of U.S. Forces – Iraq, overseeing all combat operations in the country. 

Former state Senator Arthenia Joyner, Florida Board of Governors Vice Chair Brian Lamb and media entrepreneur Keith Clinkscales are on tap to speak to graduates at the other three in-person ceremonies.  “Commencement is an important ritual in the life of our University. We are delighted to host in-person ceremonies again and urge all attendees and participants to adhere to health guidelines to ensure a safe commencement season,” said Robinson.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Off Topic: Happy Easter, He Is Risen!

“Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!” This chant is joyfully acclaimed by Christians all over the world every Easter: It is a song of triumph. It celebrates the victory of Jesus Christ over Satan, sin, evil and even death itself.

For Christians, Easter — the resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ — is the most important feast on the calendar.

But this year, Easter is different.  This Easter isn’t about pictures and poses.  This Easter is about answers to most pressing issues that have been swirling our lives since we felt it come apart twelve months ago.  Answers to emotions that have been rising and have had unfettered sway in our lives.  

Last summer we witnessed brutality, oppression and hatered all will burying loved ones and losing dreams and missing major moments which we dreamed of sharing.   

While can see the light at the end of the tunnel. With vaccinations now on pace to reach more than a million a day, with the anticipation of reaching the goal of herd immunity and with the loosening of COVID-19 protocols.  

This Easter we need answers, we need a gamer changer, because if the game keeps going on the way it has, the stands are going to empty, because we already know the out come.

While Easter has always been a celebration of new life, the resurrected life of Jesus, this year we can feel that we are all ready and excited to celebrate “new life” for ourselves.  Post-COVID is approaching and we sense America is ready to make a serious go at racial/social justice stemming from last summers disturbances.  A new normal is almost here, we can sense a rebirth in the air.
Like most of you I have missed being able to get together so much. I can’t wait to see familiar and smiling faces once again. I stand with the women at the empty tomb in bible and my joy is almost beyond words. All I can say is: “Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!” 

Saturday, April 03, 2021

FAMU lifts student curfew

FAMU has lifted its curfew on students living on campus effective immediately, Thursday, April 1, since the positivity rate has declined to a low level.  The curfew had been in effect since late January.

“To continue our battle against the pandemic, students are urged to take advantage of the free on campus vaccination site at the Lawson Center,” the university wrote in a press release. “Beginning Monday, April 5, Florida residents 18 and over are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”  

FAMU encourages students, and staff, to continue to adhere to our Emergency Procedure Guidelines that consist of the following: 
  • Wear a facial mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Submit to a digital thermometer when entering offices
  • Must notify Student Health and stay in the residence if having symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The restrictions on campus gatherings have been expanded to 30 participants with appropriate mask wearing and social distancing. 

Violation of any of FAMU’s Emergency Procedures is considered an offense in the Student Code of Conduct with penalties that can lead to suspension from the University.