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    Book Signing - N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature PDF Print E-mail
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    Nancy Dixon is an English professor at Dillard University in New Orleans and has been studying, teaching, and writing about Louisiana literature for over twenty years. Her first book, Fortune and Misery: Sallie Rhett Roman of New Orleans (LSU Press, 1999), won the LEH Humanities Book of the Year, 2000. More recently, she is editor of the 2013 Lavender Ink book, N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature

    PictureNancy Dixon

    N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature is, quite simply, the most comprehensive collection of the literature of New Orleans ever. Designed as an introduction for scholars and a pleasure for everyone, this volume will set the standard for years to come.

    Dixon has gathered some of the most prominent writers long associated with New Orleans, like Lafcadio Hearn, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Eudora Welty, but perhaps more fascinating are the ones we can discover for the first time, like the writers of Les Cenelles, French Creoles of color who published the first anthology of African American literature in 1845, or Los Isleños, descendents of the 17th-century Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands, still a close-knit community today. From the first play ever performed in New Orleans in 1809, through Tom Dent’s compelling 1967 drama of violence in the streets, Ritual Murder, this collection traces the city’s history through its authors.

    Louisianians, and particularly New Orleanians, do tend to go on and on about the literary heritage of this deepest South of Deep South pieces of turf. And it is with justification, of course. In the past, however, books about said literary heritage have been piecemeal and have tended to concentrate on one author or one era of our history. It's with great pleasure that I recommend to readers therefore, the new and excellent book by Nancy Dixon, N. O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature. Nancy has presented pieces of this book in the past at the Faulkner Society's annual Words & Music festival and in her presentations she's always made her subject matter not only informative but accessible, entertaining. She's done the same thing with the book, starting with the oldest known play written and produced in New Orleans, Paul LeBlanc de Villeneufve’s TheFestival of the Young Corn, or The Heroism of Poucha-Houmma dated 1809. She relates themes of that play to the pervasive violence in New Orleans today, giving the play contemporary relevance. She leads us on through the 19th and 20th centuries and winds up with Fatima Shaik's story of desegregation in the 20th Century. It's 500-plus pages of great stuff and when you see it all together like this, it's impressive and will no doubt enforce our tendency to go on and on about our literary heritage.

    --Rosemary James, Co-Founder, Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and Words & Music, author of My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters, and Lovers

    With: Paul LeBlanc De Villeneufve, Charles Gayarré, Thomas Wharton Collens, The Poets of Les Cenelles, Chahta–Ima, Charles Alfred Mercier, Walt Whitman, Xariffa, John Dimitry, Pearl Rivers, Sallie Rhett Roman, George Washington Cable, Ruth McEnery Stuart, Lafcadio Hearn, Kate Chopin, Grace King, M.E.M. Davis, Alcée Fortier, Leona Queyrouze, O. Henry, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Sherwood Anderson, Frances Parkinson Keyes, Lyle Saxon, Elma Godchaux, William Faulkner, Hamilton Basso, Los Isleños Décimas, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Shirley Ann Grau, Tom Dent, Everette Maddox, Richard Ford , Andrei Codrescu, Valerie Martin, John Biguenet, Moira Crone, Fatima Shaik.

    Value: A Free Event 
    Donations to the Women's Center are always appreciated

    Click here to register online or contact the Women's Center
    at (985) 892-8111 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    to register or for more info

    Held in the Great Room
    Please enter at side rear door

    KIPP Now Has 65 College Partners with Dillard University being One of Them PDF Print E-mail
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    One out of every 5 KIPP alumni in college is now enrolled at an official college partner, up from 1 in 8 just one year ago. Our growing number of college partners means there are more schools committed to building programs to support first-generation students all the way through graduation day. And, consider how this changes our students’ college experience: we now have groups of KIPPsters going off to colleges together – arriving on campus and forming support systems for each other. So that means that the 82 KIPPsters at San Jose State University, the 34 at the University of Texas at Austin, the 28 KIPPsters at Dillard University in New Orleans, the 25 KIPPsters at University of Arkansas, the 21 at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the 16 at Spelman College, and the 29 KIPPsters at the University of Pennsylvania can support each other on the climb to and through.

    Inaugural Health Disparities Lecture Series Named for, Dillard University Alumn, John Ruffin, Health Disparities Champion PDF Print E-mail
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    New Orleans, LA (January 5, 2015) Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education (CMHDRE) will present the Inaugural John Ruffin Lecture Series during its Eighth Health Disparities Conference, March 12-14, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The lecture series is named for John Ruffin, founding director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.  Dr Ruffin is being recognized as a champion who addressed the rebalancing of the unequal burden of illness particularly as it affects minority, rural, and poor populations through programs aimed at increasing participation by minority scientists, physicians, and other health professionals to create a diverse group of researchers in the health disparities field.

    CMHDRE Director Dr. Daniel Sarpong and Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean College of Pharmacy will co-chair the conference. “We are very fortunate to have a long-termed, dedicated champion in eliminating health disparities as a part of our community such as Dr. Ruffin,” said Dr. Sarong. “His leadership and devotion greatly contributed to improving the health and welfare of US citizens. 
    “The John Ruffin Lecture Series, which will be inaugurated at our March 2015 conference, is a fitting tribute in recognition of the important contributions Dr Ruffin has made in the area of health for people in the nation and around the world, particularly people of color. We are pleased to be able to acknowledge this champion,” added” Dr. Kennedy.

    “Dr. John Ruffin is certainly deserving of this honor and recognition,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “His vision and leadership has contributed to a global conversation about minority health and health disparities, positively affecting people of color and speaking to personal issues that have longstanding consequences.”

    Dr. Ruffin earned a B.S. in Biology from Dillard University, a M.S. in Biology from Atlanta University, a Ph.D. in Systematic and Developmental Biology from Kansas State University, and completed post-doctoral studies in biology at Harvard University. His track record of dedication to leadership and career advancement for individuals from racial and ethnic minority populations was nurtured through his experience as instructor of biology at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Assistant Professor of Biology at Atlanta University; Associate Professor of Biology at Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama; Cabot Teaching Fellow at Harvard University; and Professor Biology, Chair of the Department of Biology, and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at North Carolina Central University.

    His achievements include nine honorary Doctor of Science degrees. He has been recognized by various professional, non-profit, and advocacy organizations. He has also received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for National Service, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Recognition Award; and the U.S. Presidential Merit Award.

    The John Ruffin Inaugural Lecture Series is established to recognize an individual or organization that promotes or improves the health of individuals, families, communities, or populations by addressing timely issues in health policy, treatment, research, or advocacy, particularly minorities. The XULA2015 Executive Committee will announce the inaugural lecturer within the next two weeks.

    For more information about the Eight Health Disparities Conference, visit or call 404.559.6191.

    How the HBCU Experience Prepared Me for Ivy League School, Life PDF Print E-mail
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    When I graduated from Dillard University on May 10, 2014, I was the first person in my family, like many others that day, to graduate from college. While walking across the stage at the UNO Lakefront Arena, I felt like I was not only taking that stride with pride for my mother, but for all of my ancestors who wished they had the same opportunity to conquer such a feat. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, but I knew I was just getting started on this journey called life.

    As senior year approached, I questioned what it was I wanted to do next. My long term goal for my career is to run for office and become the first black Speaker of the House, but I knew I needed something else to do in the interim. My interest in the intersection of the black community (along with other marginalized communities) with politics, religion, education and social justice is what wakes me up in the morning, and I asked myself how can I continue to be of service to others? I contemplated attending law school or divinity school and even considered the Peace Corps, but it was the day I was accepted to Yale, that I became fully aware of what I wanted to do.

    Yale University is an Ivy League filled with prestige and possibility because of the access it provides. I told my mom I was accepted to Yale and she was more excited than I was. I decided to attend Yale Divinity School because of the environment I would be in; I would be able to learn more about religion among the nation’s top future leaders, and how to use religion to help further advance my community. I was excited, I am excited, and figured the journey from a Black Ivy League to a real Ivy League would be the next step.

    And this is where it begins: I subconsciously labeled Yale as a “real” Ivy League in the same context of a Black Ivy League, and it is this sentiment that has compelled me to pen this letter. I was so determined to enter an Ivy League, I had almost forgotten where I came from. I didn’t question my implicit intentions then, but it is now, that I am explicitly exposing them.

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    Dillard president: TOPS drives inequality more than opportunity, should have income-level cap PDF Print E-mail
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    The Louisiana Board of Regents recently released a report analyzing the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students from 2003 to 2014. The program, initiated in 1998, had four major objectives. They include promoting success and providing financial incentives. But a key point is to “promote access and success” in postsecondary education. Sadly, TOPS is more of an engine of inequality than it is of opportunity. 

    The report analyzes recipients based on a range of demographic factors. The most telling demographic factor impacting TOPS is family income. Most recipients come from families whose household incomes are “significantly higher” than the state median average. The state median average is listed at about $44,000, while the incomes of most recipients range from $70,000 to $100,000.

    This is the most important fact of the report because it proves that TOPS rewards students based on the family they were born into rather than the need for an opportunity to attend college. I can’t fathom why we refuse to acknowledge decades of data proving standardized test scores are best correlated by family income.

    In July, the ACT released its latest report on college readiness and low-income families. When examining college readiness as measured by ACT scores, in each of the four categories (English, reading, math and science), low-income students, defined by ACT as those from families earning less than $36,000 a year, scored 17 to 20 points below the all-student average in each area. Only 26 percent of all takers were deemed college-ready by ACT, a figure that drops to 11 percent for low-income students.

    The report further disaggregated the data by income levels. Sixty-two percent of students from $100,000-plus families and 48 percent of students from $60,000 to $100,000 (the TOPS profile) met three of the four benchmarks for college readiness. The low-income students? Only 20 percent met that level of performance.

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