Upcoming Events

  • Mon May 7
    Special Luncheon honoring our first contributors to diversity
  • Fri May 11
    2012 Commencement with speakers Will Allen and Susan Rice
    Commencement Website

Past Events

  • Wed Feb 1 – 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Live at the Apollo - The Patio
  • Sat Feb 4 – All day
    Black Awareness Month Day of Service - Overtown Youth Center
  • Sun Feb 12 – 6:00 - 9:00pm
    AAS & Department of Art and Art History- Art Exhibition: Slavery to Self Determination. Opening Reception, Wesley Gallery
      View the Flyer
  • Thu Feb 16 – 3:00pm - 6:00pm
    Black Awareness Month Forum – Newman Alumni Center
    Dr. Dexter Gordon (Univ Puget Sound) "Black Identity, Perpetually Under Production" AAS, UBS, BOND, ASA, MSA event
      View the Flyer
  • Tue Feb 21 – 7:45pm - 9:15pm
    Cornel West lecture - BankUnited Center
  • Thu Feb 23 – 11:45am
    President Obama to Visit UM - BankUnited Center
  • Wed Feb 29 – 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Gospel Explosion - School of Communications courtyard
  • Mon Mar 19 – 6:30pm
    Women in Politics presented by the Yellow Rose Society - Communication School room 2055
  • Thur Mar 22 – 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Dr. Chanelle Rose lecture – Wesley Gallery
    "Desegregation, Student Activism, and Black Power at U.M."
    This presentation examines how national/transnational forces bolstered the student-led opposition against token integration along with a hegemonic curriculum that privileged Anglo-European history
  • Thu Mar 22 – 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Student/Faculty Forum on Faculty Diversity - Wesley Gallery
  • Thu Mar 22 – 6:00pm - 8:30pm
    WWMA Black Alumni, Staff and Faculty Reception - Newman Alumni Center
  • Fri Mar 23 – 4:30pm - 6:30pm
    Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole lecture - Lowe Art Museum
    "My Love Affair with Art"
  • Thu Mar 29 – 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Ray Bellamy Hall of Fame Induction - Parrot Jungle
  • Wed Apr 11 – 5pm - 6:30pm
    Clay Cane
Click to view flyer

More Information

Celebrating Unity in Diversity: Marking the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at UM

The promise of diversity is innovation and creativity.  Today the University of Miami embraces this intellectual truth with a student population from over 90 different countries, and in 2012 we mark the 50th anniversary of the University’s commitment to this promise.  In 1961, the UM Board of Trustees made national headlines by deciding to remove the color barrier and admit students ‘regardless of race, creed or color.’  The decision was affected by the University’s acceptance (since its founding) of racially diverse students from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  University President Jay F. W. Pearson argued UM should take a leadership role in projecting an image of the United States that matched the racially integrated societies to the south.  De-segregation proceeded differently here because of our unique geography and situation at the intersection of southern U.S., Caribbean, and Latin American histories.

During the first year of official integration seventy five African American students entered the University of Miami, although their experiences were far from easy as a small minority within a student population of 14,000.  During the late 1960’s UM again made the national headlines but this time for student protests over a lack of faculty diversity.  This was a period of intense campus engagement on the issue of race, with the founding of United Black Students in 1967, the first Black Studies course in 1969, and the arrival in 1970 of the first black faculty member, Dr. Whittington B. Johnson, a distinguished professor of history who had been educated in segregated colleges.

Today the University of Miami is a stronger university because of the decision made 50 years ago to embrace diversity and pursue intellectual engagement with global issues that transcend racial, political and cultural boundaries.  Our nation continues to struggle with the impact of past policies and attitudes that limited the opportunities available to various populations that we embrace today.  By celebrating how far we have come since that historic decision we have the opportunity not only to reflect on our progress but also to reinforce our commitment to a stronger, more diverse, and united University of Miami.  Our celebration plans for this spring will honor path-breaking black alumni and faculty, explore how to recruit and retain even more students and faculty of color, and engage with the academic importance of diversity in the 21st century.    

Will Allen - 2012 Commencement

From the Hurricane Family Connection

A man of Bunyanesque stature at 6-feet 7-inches tall, Will Allen strode across the stage inside the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center on May 11 to accept an honorary degree. Towering over the podium and its microphones, he then gave graduates some advice: “Eat good food, and know where your food comes from.”
While his words sounded like good fatherly advice, Allen, a former professional basketball player who competed collegiately for UM, had good reason for his counsel.

“Food is the No. 1 thing in our lives. We take it for granted that we’ll always have it. But truth is, we don’t get very good food in this country anymore,” Allen said, going on to explain that many people don’t know where much of their food comes from.

That is part of the reason why Allen founded and now leads Growing Power, a two-acre community food center near Milwaukee’s largest public housing project that provides high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for residents.

Allen leads a growing movement, and in his new book, The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, the MacArthur “Genius Award” winner advocates for building a better food system that can feed—and heal—broken communities.

During his midday commencement address, Allen, who was UM’s first black basketball player, talked about a worldwide food system wrought with problems, and urged graduates to help fix it.

“It’s not just about putting a plant in the ground,” Allen said. Teachers must educate students about healthy food, and farmers must use better methods of composting.

Allen’s remarks were among the many highlights of UM’s spring commencement ceremonies, which began on May 10 with a senior Mwambo exercise honoring the University’s black graduates.

UM 50 years after desegregation

Jan. 29, 2012 — Miami Herald — By LEONARD ABESS

As a region internationally recognized for our multicultural diversity, it is important for South Floridians to acknowledge our evolution from an insular society blemished by discrimination and exclusion to a flourishing community committed to integration and inclusion. It is only by exposing and examining our collective history that we can fully mitigate the legacy of past injustices and help build a promising future for everyone.

Over the next several months, the University of Miami is presenting “Unity in Diversity,” a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of desegregation at UM. This celebration honors our core institutional values — openness, equality, and an impartial devotion to knowledge and learning. As chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, the parent of a current student, and a lifelong Miamian, the recognition of this milestone is also profoundly personal.

My grandfather, Arthur A. Ungar, was a member of the university’s board of trustees who voted on Jan. 31, 1961 to admit qualified students without regard to race or color. With the first group of 75 African-American students starting classes the following summer, both the University of Miami and the greater community were opening the door to opportunity and prosperity, thereby strengthening our social and economic foundation for future generations.

Read the rest of the article

Spotlight: Benny O'Berry

Credit: Patrick Farrell

Benny O'Berry - First black man to graduate from UM

In Memoriam

Led the Way to a New Era

Benny O’Berry, B.Ed. ’62, vowed to his mother, who died when he was 16, that he’d get an education. After serving four years overseas during World War II (he was sole survivor of a ship attacked at Guadalcanal), opening a driving school in Miami, and helping to establish Liberty City’s Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, he made good on that promise. O’Berry enrolled in the School of Education, becoming the University of Miami’s first black student and graduate. Though O’Berry treasured his framed diploma, it would be 44 years before he returned to campus. The occasion: his 90th birthday celebration and a resolution of appreciation presented by the UM Alumni Association and United Black Students. Three years later, on December 5, 2009, more than 400 mourners filled Mt. Sinai church to pay homage to the full life of O’Berry—sharp-dressed entrepreneur, exemplary pastor, beloved husband of 67 years to Veronica, devoted parent and grandfather, U.S. veteran, and UM history-maker.

Spotlight: Will Allen

Will Allen, ’71, the University of Miami’s first black basketball player, took part in Bill Clinton’s global conference for college students at UM this past April—just before being named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

The 6-foot-7-inch Allen, a 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Legend, attended UM from 1967-71 on an athletic scholarship, majored in physical education, and became team captain, leading in scoring and rebounding for 1971. He also met future wife Cynthia Bussler, A.B. ’69, at UM...

Read the full article from Miami Magazine

Urban Farmer Will Allen to Receive the NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education

Washington, DC (Jan. 23, 2012) –When Will Allen left his Rockville, MD family farm to play basketball at the University of Miami, he thought he'd left farming for good. But after playing professional basketball around the world, followed by a career as an accomplished corporate salesperson, Allen found himself back in the business of growing. Today, in addition to healthy food, he's growing young minds and building a movement.

Widely considered one of the leading authorities in the expanding field of urban agriculture, Allen teaches inner-city youth about farming, business management and marketing, by taking them through the entire process, from planting seeds to selling produce at farmers' markets. To date, he has developed partnerships with more than 10 Milwaukee Public School (MPS) schools to put into action school-based food projects that include curriculum-based programs complying with Wisconsin State Standards. Allen's organization, Growing Power, has also supplied 40,000 Milwaukee Public School children in 75 elementary schools with the food it grows. Many of these youth have participated in a hands-on tour of the Growing Power Community Food Center or were introduced to the organization through an educational video accompanying their locally grown snack.

For this work, the NEA Foundation will present Allen with The Security Benefits Corporation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education during the Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC on Feb. 10, 2012. Past recipients of this prestigious award include former President Bill Clinton, Title IX advocate Billie Jean King, and Sesame Street Workshop.

"Will Allen is making an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of students," said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. "We have supported his workshops for teachers and students that include training in urban sustainable agriculture practices, because we believe that in addition to encouraging students to adopt healthy habits for themselves and our planet, he is also providing them with 21st century skills they'll need to thrive in a rapidly changing world."

At Growing Power, a farm and community food center that he founded in Milwaukee, WI, and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Allen promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, he trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces.

"I am honored to receive this NEA Foundation Award on behalf of my dedicated staff, community partners, Milwaukee Schools, and the City of Milwaukee," said Mr. Allen. He continued, "Without our valuable community partners, such as the Milwaukee Public School System and the NEA Foundation, much of our work would not be possible….and I especially give thanks to Milwaukee children, their families, and teachers for their commitment to working with us to improve our community's health, our educational system, and to provide opportunities for our young people to lead the way in developing a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable society."

In 2010 Mr. Allen joined First Lady Michelle Obama as she launched the White House's "Let's Move" campaign to address issues affecting American youth and the risk of obesity. Allen was also recognized as one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010.

At the NEA Foundation gala, which attracts more than 800 leaders from the education, business and philanthropy sectors, Allen will be honored along with 35 of the nation's top educators, recipients of the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence, and Jeannie Oakes, director of Ford Foundation's Educational Opportunity and Scholarship Programs, who will accept the NEA Foundation's Award for Philanthropy in Public Education on behalf of the organization.

About Growing Power

Growing Power was started in Milwaukee, WI, in 1993 by Will Allen, a 2008 winner of a MacArthur "Genius Award" who has long worked to produce and deliver healthy food to low-income communities. It is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives. We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit www.neafoundation.org for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

The NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education

The NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is a national celebration of the men and women who work in America's public schools. At this annual event, the Foundation recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from California Casualty, Horace Mann Educators Corporation, NEA Member Benefits, the Pearson Foundation, and Security Benefit Corporation.