A convocation celebrating Women’s History Month was held on Wednesday, March 16 in the T.H. Harris Auditorium with the theme of Sister to Sister: Saving the Black Family, the keynote address was given by Dr. Julia Hare.
Presiding over the program was Dr. Ernest L. Pickens, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The convocation began with an invocation by Reverend Connie Breaux and opening remarks by President Horace A. Judson. Musical selections were performed by Nortashu Davis and McCoy Ransom, while GSU students Leslie Randle, Ashlee B. Williams, and Anngelica Barrows extended greetings, introduced the speaker, and expressed special recognitions, respectively.
According to Wanda S. Ford, Women’s History Month Committee chair and Director of Favrot Student Union Board/ Campus-Wide Activities, Since 1987, the month of March has been designated as Women’s History Month by a resolution that was approved by both the U. S. House and Senate. The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management wanted to celebrate by inviting a dynamic speaker to the campus who could inspire and encourage women, as well as men, to be leaders and role models to save our families and communities. Dr. Julia Hare is a social/political commentator, psychologist, relationships expert, and author from San Francisco. Regarded as one of the most compelling motivational speakers on major podiums today, Dr. Hare has participated in numerous panel discussions and forums on major issues. She is the national executive director of The Black Think Tank.
Having appeared on several national television shows and in popular magazines and newspapers, Dr. Hare has earned many accolades and honors.
"Today we were provided with a very dynamic speaker. I hope that all students were in attendance because Dr. Hare discussed so many important issues facing our communities, information that is beneficial to everyone," said FSUB President Ashlee B. Williams.
Dr. Hare touched on a myriad of topics ranging from how we need to comfort the afflicted to setting and staying with our goals. She even stated that too many successful blacks develop amnesia, referring to the many blacks who never give back to their communities or learning institutions.
Dr. Robert M. Dixon, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs said he found Dr. Hare’s message to be very inspirational and informative. She was engaging and she certainly engaged the audience very well. She held the audience’s attention with the use of humor, though her message was very serious.
Transitioning into the core of her message, Dr. Hare gave a sincere promise not to keep the audience as long as Whitney Houston has kept Bobby Brown.
"I thought Dr. Hare was just dynamite," said Dr. Horace A. Judson. "She had a message for our young people in terms of what their goals and aspiration s are and what they ought to be." One of her focuses was teaching entrepreneurship. As young, successful blacks we need to take advantage of the many business opportunities available to us.
Dr. Hare gave several analogies and examples to help everyone better understand the points that she was trying to get across. At one point she said that as a black woman we can be either a thermometer, measuring the temperature, or a thermostat, setting the temperature.
Portia Taylor, Miss Cover Girl 2005-2006, said, "As a black woman, I pride myself on trying to become a thermostat, stetting the temperature and standard in everything I do. And I know that with the support that I receive here at Grambling and also from my family, I can achieve that goal."
GSU student Chad Harris said that this was the best convocation he’d ever been to as a student at Grambling. The heart of her message was directed to issues facing black families such as the evolving approaches to disciplining our children and the "media seduction of our children." According to Dr. Hare, our families are endangered; a topic discussed more in depth in her book The Endangered Black Family.