Edison celebrates Black History Month

Ex-Piqua teacher to give keynote address

PIQUA — The Diversity Committee at Edison State Community College is presenting three special events to celebrate Black History Month, including a keynote address by former Piqua educator Elizabeth “Liz” Stafford. All events will be held on the Piqua campus and are free and open to the community.

The first event is a viewing of the historical documentary, “Ties that Bind: From Swastika to Jim Crow.” The one-hour documentary tells the previously untold story of the many German Jewish professors who, expelled from their homeland by the Nazis, found new lives and careers at historically black colleges and universities in the South. The viewing will be at noon Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Robinson Theater with a brief discussion following.

The second event will feature Shane Carter, executive director of the Lincoln Community Center in Troy, during a special town hall discussion titled “Reflection on Unity” at noon Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the cafeteria.

Carter will discuss the value of acceptance and moving forward in today’s quest for unity. His presentation will include excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the relationship he had with Piqua’s own William McCulloch. Carter will provide ways in which the ideas fostered by King have helped shape his life.

The final event will be held Monday, Feb. 29, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. and will begin with a social hour that includes refreshments, followed by featured performances from African-American and gospel dance groups, musicians, poetry readings, trivia, and a special keynote address.

The keynote address, “Unity for All People” will feature Elizabeth “Liz” Stafford, who began her career as the first African–American female to teach health and physical education, including swimming, in the state of Ohio. In 1977, she joined the teaching staff at Piqua’s Bennett Junior High School, where she taught eighth grade language arts and social studies for 15 years.

Outside of teaching, Stafford’s passion for helping youth led to founding a youth program called N.U.B.I.A. (New Union of Blacks Improving America) and starting a clothing business, which she used to help students with self-esteem issues.

Today, Stafford is a committed member and one of the founders of New Life Baptist Church in Troy.

The Diversity Committee at Edison State Community College is committed to advancing the College’s academic mission and goals in the areas of diversity, equality, inclusion and human rights by leading efforts to define, assess, and cultivate diversity as both an institutional value and an academic priority.

The Black History Month events are offered free of charge thanks to sponsorships from Edison State Community College, Unity National Bank, and U.S. Bank. For more information, contact Marva Archibald at (937) 778-7908 or marchibald@edisonohio.edu.

Ex-Piqua teacher to give keynote address