During the month of February, West Virginia University Potomac State College will host “A Celebration of Black History,” a month-long event series featuring a diverse group of artists, citizens and scholars to conduct presentations that highlight the achievements and contributions of African-Americans to the American culture and the world. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Reginald Owens, who served as vice president of human resources at FedEx Corporation, and Donaldson Twyman, managing director for FedEx’s AGFS Central West District, will deliver a keynote address on entrepreneurship, accountability and Black experience in the business world on Thursday, February 7 at 6 p.m. in the Davis Conference Center.
While at FedEx, Owens managed corporate strategy and operations as well as overseeing a budget exceeding $1 billion. He received the ‘FedEx Express Five Star Award’ four times during his career in honor of his exceptional performance, and was recognized in the ‘2010 Men of Excellence’ by the Tri-State Defender newspaper in Memphis, Tenn. Owens currently owns a property management company he created in 2012 with holdings in Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
Twyman is a 36-year employee of FedEx, having served in senior management positions in air and ground operations, as well as serving as the senior manager to PSALMS (POSTAL) Implementation Project, one of the largest transactions in FedEx history. Twyman received two ‘Five Star Awards’ in honor of his exceptional performance, and was also recognized as ‘Best Senior Manager.’ He currently serves on the Central Indiana Board of Directors for United Way, and on the Mid-States Minority Supplier Developmental Council.
David M. Fryson
David M. Fryson, Esq. will present an interactive discussion, “Respect: A Community Conversation” on Wednesday, February 13 at 6 p.m. in the Mary F. Shipper Library. He currently serves as senior advisor for diversity community outreach for the Office of the President at West Virginia University. Fryson has spent a lifetime of involvement with civil rights and diversity throughout West Virginia and the nation. He will provide insights on how we can return to a climate of shared respect for one another.
The HBO documentary “King in the Wilderness” will be screened on Monday, February 25 at 7 p.m. in the Davis Conference Center. This documentary, released last year, explores the rarely discussed last three years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, his perspective on nonviolence and how it drew him into conflict with the Black Power movement.
Eric Lews Williams
The month-long celebration will culminate with a presentation by Eric Lewis Williams, PhD, who serves as curator of religion for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D. C. Dr. Williams will present “Handling Holy Things: African American Sacred Objects and the Matter of Religious Meanings” on Thursday, February 28 at 5 p.m. in the Davis Conference Center.
Dr. Williams’ presentation will explore the relationship between Black religious traditions and material objects by examining the different ways material culture and religious memory have helped shape American history and culture. Religious objects being focused on include clothing, art, sacred texts, musical instruments, food, and objects from the natural world. An examination of Black sacred objects will demonstrate the need to carefully interpret religious objects for layers of meanings.
Parking on-campus is free for all events. For more information about these events, contact Dr. Edward Brown at email@example.com or at 304-788-6837.