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Invitation to a Virtual Celebration of Black and Native American Heritage

January 31, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC-5

Please join us as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Black Student Union and the Cultural Center Collaborative for “A Dream of Kuponya/Kikeokàn: Black and Native American Healing,” a virtual celebration of Black and Native American heritage, on Sunday, January 31 from 6-8 pm. The event’s theme centers on the healing practices of both Black and Lenni-Lenape people. Kuponya and Kikeokàn (Swahili and Lenape terms, respectively) both translate to the English word healing. 

We recognize that Black and Native American people have experienced immense structural violence, countless acts of injustices, and trauma in recent history. We come together to explore social justice issues within both communities, offer ways to support and advocate, and discuss the intersections of healing practices. Our featured keynote speakers include Rutgers University historian and President Jonathan Holloway, renowned scholar and activist Dr. Cornel West, and leader within the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, Rev. J.R. Norwood. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Enobong (Anna) Branch, Senior Vice President for Equity and professor of sociology at Rutgers.  

Visit go.rutgers.edu/cccheal for registration and to receive all of the latest program updates! 

We look forward to you joining us as we come together to further our aspirations for a just world at Rutgers and beyond. Please feel free to bring a guest and to share this information with others in your organization. 



Keynote Speakers Short Bios: 


Rutgers University President, Jonathan Holloway


Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, took office as the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on July 1, 2020. He also serves as a University Professor and Distinguished Professor. 


President Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, February 2021), Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002), and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both published by the University of North Carolina Press.  He also is working on a new book, A History of Absence: Race and the Making of the Modern World.


Learn more about President Holloway.


Dr. Cornel West

Professor • Philosopher • Author • Activist


Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.


Learn more about Dr. Cornel West


The Rev. Dr. J.R. Norwood


The Rev. Dr. J.R. Norwood is the Principal Justice of the Tribal Supreme Court of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, for which he has also served as a Councilman for over fifteen years. He is the Co-Chair of the Task Force on Federal Acknowledgement of the National Congress of American Indians and the General Secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes.  Dr. Norwood is the senior minister to the Nanticoke-Lenape Tribal Christian Prayer Circle Ministry and has served for over twenty-seven years as the pastor of the Ujima Village Christian Church of Ewing, NJ, a non-tribal urban congregation.  


Dr. Norwood is an acknowledged tribal historian, cultural presenter, writer, drummer, and craftsmen. His tribal craftwork has been exhibited at several museums and art festivals. Dr. Norwood has represented his tribe at the national and international level. He has lectured at various academic institutions and testified before the United States Congress. He has been featured in several documentaries on American Indian History, including: The Seven Ages of Britain (2010); Philadelphia: The Great Experiment (2014); Promised Land (2016); and, The King’s Highway (2016).