Multiple events have been scheduled at Hope College in conjunction with national Black History Month.
The public is invited to all of the events. Admission is free.
The Rev. Dr. Clifton Rhodes Jr. will present the keynote address, "Revitalizing the Spirit of Unity - Beholding the Beauty of God" on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 3:30 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.
Rhodes is senior pastor of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, where he preached his first sermon in 1972. He is founder of Grand Rapids REACH Inc., an outreach ministry of the church.
His community and professional activities include serving as a teaching instructor in the Minister's Division of the Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education, on the Board of Trustees at Cornerstone University, as dean of The Inter Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Grand Rapids, and as president of Baptist Fellowship of Grand Rapids. He has received several awards, including the GIANTS, H.C. Toliver Award; the Albert C. Keith Humanitarian Award from the African American Male Conference; the Man of the Decade Award from Messiah Missionary Baptist Church; and the "Students Together Against Racism Cultural Diversity Award" from East Kentwood High School.
Rhodes holds a bachelor's degree in religious education from Cornerstone University, and an in-service master's in religious education and a doctor of ministry degree from Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Theological Seminary.
A variety of events will take place in the days preceding and following the keynote presentation.
Karima Jeffrey, visiting assistant professor of English, will present "Seminal Thinkers Living Before Their Times" on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center conference room through the college's Multicultural Enrichment Series. Jeffrey will present the political views of Caribbean writers such as George Lamming and Frantz Fanon, providing history and background on the authors and their post-colonial concerns.
"Step Afrika!" will perform on Monday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. "Step Afrika!" is a collaborative project between young artists from the United States and the South Africa-based Soweto Dance Theater, and was established to promote appreciation for the cultural art form of "stepping" and its linkages to art forms around the world. The group has performed on many stages in Europe and South Africa and North America, including at Hope in February of 2002.
The Rev. Paul Boersma and his mother Connie Boersma will present "One Family's Story," also through the Multicultural Enrichment Series, on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. They will share their family's experiences over four decades with issues regarding race while living in the heart of Grand Rapids's Southeast side during a time of significant change. Paul Boersma is the Leonard and Marjorie Maas Endowed Senior Chaplain at Hope. He and Connie are both Hope alumni, members of the Classes of 1982 and 1949 respectively.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St. in downtown Holland. The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street. Nykerk Hall of Music is located along the former 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.