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2012 Ortique Lecture Features Author, Activist Michelle Alexander PDF Print E-mail
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Ortique lecture

Every year, Dillard University honors one of its most revered alumni, Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr., with the Ortique Lecture on Law and Society. This year, the Office of the President will host best-selling author and civil rights activist Michelle Alexander. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Professor Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.

The author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), Alexander will discuss the timely topic of mass incarceration and the African-American community. Her book challenges the conventional wisdom that with the election of Barack Obama as president, our nation has “triumphed over race.” Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an astounding percentage of the African-American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status, much like their grandparents before them who lived under an explicit system of racial control. Alexander argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African-American men, primarily through the War on Drugs, has created a new racial under caste – a group of people defined largely by race that is subject to legalized discrimination, scorn, and social exclusion.

The old forms of discrimination – discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public benefits; denial of the right to vote; and exclusion from jury service – are suddenly legal once you’re labeled a felon. She challenges the civil rights community, and all of us, to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

The state of Louisiana now has one of the largest privatized correctional facility programs in the country. Mass incarceration is a topic Dillard University has visited before. Earlier this year, from March 20-22, Dillard hosted Crime and Punishment: African-Americans in a “Post-Racial” (?) United States, a symposium designed to explore problems of crime and incarceration in the U.S. today, their outsized impact on the black community, and the dubious concept of our society as “post-racial.” Criminal justice in New Orleans was also addressed throughout three days of seminars and panel discussions. Professor Alan Colon hosted the event along with professor Carroll Wiltz.

For more information on the upcoming Ortique Lecture on Law and Society, please contact the President's Office at (504) 816-4640.

Dillard Joins 2012 NO AIDS Walk PDF Print E-mail
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This year’s NO/AIDS Walk was held on Sunday September 23, 2012.The event took place in Audubon Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Aids Walk is one of the highlighted community service events scheduled this school year. The Office of Student Engagement & Leadership and Mister and Miss Dillard University collaborated to participate.

This year over 150 Dillard University students walked in support of awareness and a cure for the HIV/AIDs virus. Dillard University is the 2011 NO/Aids Walk recipient of the School Spirit Award.

Dillard Nursing Celebrates 70 Years! PDF Print E-mail
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Nursing crop

Throughout 2012, Dillard University has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its School of Nursing. There have been roundtables and panel discussions to enrich the education of today’s nursing students. Commemorative banners have been hung across campus and on Gentilly Boulevard. And finally, a scholarship gala featuring dinner, dancing and memories will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11, following Founders’ Day, to benefit the program. Nursing alumna Dr. Mackie Norris will serve as the evening’s guest speaker.

A Brief History of Nursing

 In 1942 Albert Dent, a Morehouse graduate and Dillard's third president, sought to create a nursing program for blacks that would develop leaders in a field dominated by white women. It was important to him that students graduated not only as effective nurses, but also as better individuals then they had been when they arrived. He selected Rita E. Miller, a graduate of Columbia University and the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, as the division’s first chair.

At the time, it was the only collegiate nursing school open to African-Americans in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, an area with nearly four million African-Americans, and it was one of only four such programs in the country. The nursing course at Dillard consisted of five years of study leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The first two years followed the pattern of liberal arts education conducted at Dillard for freshman and sophomore students, including music, the sciences, and literature. The final three years were devoted to clinical and professional education. The first class of four students graduated in 1945. Dillard University owned and operated Flint-Goodridge Hospital, and the 100-bed facility proved to be the perfect place to provide clinical training. Students worked at the Hume Child Development Center, too. They also traveled to other hospitals to gain experiences in a variety of nursing specialties, though societal constraints necessitated that they travel quite far in order to do so – all the way to the other side of the Mason-Dixon line, to Montefiore Hospital in New York and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. Later, in the 1950s, students went to the Tuskegee Mental Hospital in Alabama to work with black soldiers and civilians.

In 1952, the Dillard University Division of Nursing became the first accredited nursing program in the state of Louisiana. In the 1960s, the program adopted its current four-year curriculum. Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, Dillard nursing students provided care to African-American patients at Charity Hospital of New Orleans and the New Orleans Department of Health, in addition to Flint-Goodridge. Following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, students gained more opportunities and no longer had to travel out of state to New York for broader clinical experiences.

In May 1973, the program graduated its first white student, Tamzon D. Tuthill. Three years later, Louis V. Gregoire became the first male graduate. Over 1,200 students have successfully matriculated through the program. Today Dillard’s School of Nursing is based in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building, which opened in 2010. Students have the benefit of state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, including nursing simulators – picture really fancy mannequins – that breathe, speak, sweat and exhibit a broad range of human functions conducive to training scenarios. A lot has changed since 1942. But the values upon which the program was founded – training better nurses, and better people – remain the same.

"To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; is to be a nurse."
- Rawsi Williams

Hollywood Comes to Dillard University PDF Print E-mail
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Hollywood signA pair of renowned Hollywood filmmakers will speak at Dillard University in October. Kerwin DeVonish, who has served as Spike Lee’s cinematographer on films such as “Red Hook Summer” and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary “Bad 25,” will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5. Sharon Seymour, who has served as production designer on films such as Ben Affleck’s “Argo” and George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” will speak at 4 p.m. on Oct. 10. Both sessions are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Georges Auditorium in Dillard’s Professional Schools Building.

Each session will include three parts: an interview conducted by Keith Alan Morris, assistant professor of mass communication at Dillard; clips from the artists’ films and accompanying discussion; and an audience Q&A. Both DeVonish and Seymour have recently worked on Spike Lee’s remake of the 2003 Korean film “Oldboy,” which has been shooting in New Orleans and is scheduled for release in 2013.

Hollywood touches even closer to home with the addition of several Dillard students to Director Spike Lee's film team for his latest production, "OLD BOY". 

"This is important," says Dillard film professor, Keith Alan Morris. "Most big filmmakers have closed sets, like Tarantino-- on his last film, many in his own crew weren't allowed on set. But, because Spike trusts Dillard students to know protocol and be of value, they will be allowed on set," he further explains.

Renowned Director Lee Daniels has also been shooting his film "The Butler" on Dillard campus as well.

For more information on the film speaker series, contact Keith Alan Morris at (504) 816-4548.

25th Annual UNCF Walk for Education PDF Print E-mail
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2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the UNCF New Orleans Walk for Education! UNCF invites everyone to celebrate this milestone in order to raise funds to help Louisana students get to and through college. The event takes place on Saturday, October 13, 2012, with the race beginning at the Audubon Park Riverview, 8 a.m.

Each year, the Walk for Education attracts thousands of students, parents, educators and community members who believe that education is a priority for everyone. This year the Dillard University (DU) staff, faculty and students, and the DU Alumni have formed teams. Both groups have been added to the UNCF Team Honor Roll. The competition between Dillard and Xavier Universities to raise the most money is legendary and continues this year as well. Dillard's goal is to raise $16,000.

"This cause is important to the members of our team because it will make education accessible to everyone by eliminating financial barriers for deserving students," says Dillard team organizer, Travis Chase.

Walkers, supporters and participants are asked to register for the DU team by clicking on this link. For more information, contact Travis Chase at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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