Saint Leo University's School of Arts and Sciences will present A Celebration of Black History on Thursday, February 15, at the university's Newport News Education Office, One BayPort Way, Suite 160, Room 203, Newport News, VA  23606. The presentation also will be livestreamed to University Campus in Boardrooms B and C of the Student Community Center in St. Leo, FL, and to the Marietta Education Center in Room 6, in Marietta, GA.

The public is invited to this free event that will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served at the Newport News event.

The special guest speaker is Travis Harris, whose topic is "All We Wanna Do is be Free." Harris, associate editor and copy editor for the Journal of Hip Hop Studies, is a doctoral candidate in the College of William and Mary's American studies program.

His research interest topics include race, African-American studies, black popular culture, and African-American religion. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a Master of Divinity Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

Harris has written two master's theses and is working on his dissertation, which examines the phenomenon of black displacement in 20th century Williamsburg. While academics play an important part in his life, his family and his desire for racial equality and freedom are more significant to him, Harris said.

He worked with The Lemon Project, which focuses on the College of William and Mary's role in perpetuating slavery and racial discrimination. He also served as vice president of Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together (IMPACT), a faith-based organization in Charlottesville, VA, that fights for justice for the disenfranchised in Charlottesville.

Harris will speak at 6 p.m. In Newport News, Saint Leo will host a student poster session at 5 p.m., featuring students' work about significant black sociologists and psychologists. At 5:30 p.m., there will be an induction ceremony for new members of Alpha Kappa Delta international sociology honor society.

For more information, contact Dr. Eileen O'Brien at or call (757) 267-8781.

In addition, the Marketing Club of Virginia (MCV), a Saint Leo student organization, is presenting an audio/visual presentation celebrating the accomplishments of a select group of African-American women who have blazed the trail in the business world.

The exhibit will run throughout February in the lobby of the Newport News and Chesapeake offices. The Chesapeake Education Office is at 1434 Crossways Blvd., Suite 175, Chesapeake, VA  23320.

If you are in the area, drop by and learn about such luminaries as Maggie Walker, the first African-American woman to start a bank; Sheila Johnson, the co-founder of BET; and, Cathy Hughes, founder and CEO of RadioOne and TVOne.