ECU celebrates International Women’s Day

Members of the ECU community listen to a panel discussion on topics related to sex and safety during International Women's Day, celebrated March 5 at ECU. (Photos by Jay Clark)

Members of the ECU community listen to a panel discussion on topics related to sex and safety during International Women’s Day, celebrated March 5 at ECU. (Photos by Jay Clark)

The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women hosted a series of discussions Wednesday, March 5 to mark International Women’s Day at East Carolina University. More than 100 students, faculty and staff attended.

Presentations lasted throughout the day and covered topics like social media benefits and challenges, sex and safety, international women and respect, moving from victim to challenger, financial health, and physical health and wellness. Featured speakers included representatives from the ECU Police Department, Student Involvement and Leadership, Campus Recreation and Wellness and the Victim’s Advocate Office.

The opening session also included partners from other countries participating via ECU’s Global Classroom, and the lunch discussion featured a panel of students from Canada, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

“Oxfam’s latest statistics show that women perform 66 percent of the work,

produce 50 percent of the food, earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of property,” said Rai D’Honore, event organizer and CCSW member. “There is something terribly wrong with this picture.”

“International Women’s Day exists not only to celebrate women’s achievements but also to shed light on the necessity of bringing social and economic equality to all,” she said. “We hope in future years to expand the awareness of the ECU community on this issue so that it may participate in helping to actualize gender equality here at home and abroad.”

The group hopes, in particular, to draw greater participation by men, students in Greek organizations and athletes to future events.

Other International Women’s Day sponsors included the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, the Office of Equity and Diversity, Student Affairs, Women’s Studies and the Kinesiology Student Association.

Women from universities around the world joined in discussions on International Women's Day discussion via ECU's Global Classroom.

Women from universities around the world joined in discussions on International Women’s Day discussion via ECU’s Global Classroom.





Hip-hop radio legend Jay Smooth to visit ECU

Deejay and social commentator Jay Smooth, founder and host of New York City’s longest running hip-hop radio program, will speak at 6 p.m. March 19 at Hendrix Theatre, East Carolina University. Jay Smooth1

Smooth’s radio program, WBAI’s “The Underground Railroad,” was launched in 1991 when he was a teenager. He is the mastermind behind the politically-oriented video blog “The Ill Doctrine” (, where he offers contemporary observation on topics including race, politics, music and pop culture.

Smooth is a leading voice in the sociopolitical realm who gained national attention with his video “How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist” and his TEDx Talk “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race.”  He aims to entertain, challenge and enlighten audiences with his perspective on music, politics and culture. He encourages audiences to participate in critical thinking about the world, engage in conversations about cultural issues that matter and find common ground.

The lecture is part of the Talking Across Difference series, a collaborative effort among units within ECU’s Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Student Involvement and Leadership. The lecture series objective is to present varying viewpoints on timely and challenging issues with a goal of encouraging mutual respect, close and sympathetic listening, diverse perspectives, suspended judgment and critical reflection.

The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and Volunteer and Service-Learning Center are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

For additional information, contact Melissa Haithcox-Dennis with the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center at 252-328-6495 or via email at


ECU symposium to address biodiversity, climate change

The East Carolina University Center for Biodiversity will host a two-day symposium on the effect of climate change on biodiversity in the southeastern U.S. March 14-15 in Room 307, Science and Technology Building.

Events on Friday, March 14  begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s events will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at noon.

Twelve scientists in the field of biodiversity and climate change will present at the symposium, including Dr. Terry Root of Stanford University, a 2007 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the International Panel on Climate Change. Root will lead a discussion on “Changing Climate: Changing Species,” on March 14.

Other lecture topics will include future climates for the southeastern U.S.; the responses of forests, waterways, insects, avian migration and food webs to climate change; and the short-term and long-term concerns associated with climate change.

“Our planet is currently in the midst of two very dramatic global changes – the loss of its biodiversity and a rapid change in its climate,” said Dr. David R. Chalcraft, director of the Center for Biodiversity and associate professor of biology.

“The goals of the symposium are to advance our collective understanding of how biodiversity is responding to climate change in the southeastern US, and more broadly, to provide a general framework that could guide researchers, managers and policy makers.”

“It is imperative that we understand the consequences of climate change on biodiversity if we wish to better conserve our remaining biological resources,” said Chalcraft.

More than 90 participants from various institutions across the Southeast, including universities, community colleges, state and federal agencies, private companies and politicians will attend the two-day event. All are welcome to attend the free, public lectures. A full schedule and registration information is located online at

The symposium is sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Center for Biodiversity. Support is provided by the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Biology, Academic Affairs, private donors and the Southeast Climate Science Center.

For additional information, contact Chalcraft at 252-328-2797 or Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.


Youth Arts Festival seeks artists for March 29 event

The 10th annual Youth Arts Festival seeks artists who would like to share their creative talents with children during an event held on campus at East Carolina University.

The annual Youth Arts Festival, scheduled this year for March 29, promotes multicultural visual and performing arts to children through hands-on projects, demonstrations and performances primarily geared to elementary and middle school children.

No sales commission or booth fees are charged. The event’s focus is on teaching children and their families about the diverse and creative talents available in the region. Participants may work with children developing hands-on art projects or simply demonstrate their creative talent.

The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is free and open to individuals at all age levels.

Contact Dindy Reich, Youth Arts Festival coordinator, at (252) 328-5749 or for additional information or to sign up for the event.