Topics: Speakers, Student Affairs

January 9, 2012

Political and legal analyst Michelle Bernard will speak Jan. 17 at Ball State University as part of the campus' Unity Week events and in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Bernard, an expert on African-American and women's studies, will speak about her experiences in her presentation. "A Uniquely American Dream," at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall. Bernard will hold a brief question-and-answer session following her speech, which is free and open to the public.

Bernard is the founder of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy, an MSNBC political analyst and a regular commentator for a range of national radio and television shows, including "The Big Talker" on Philadelphia's WPHT and "Hardball with Chris Matthews." She also created her own blog called, authored "Women's Progress: How Women are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent than Ever Before" and contributes to publications such as the National Urban League's "State of Black America."

An attorney by training, Bernard concentrates on domestic and foreign policy matters and has weighed in on everything from economic liberty to the war in Iraq to voting trends of African-Americans and education reform. She received her bachelor of arts in philosophy and political science from Howard University and a juris doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Maryland.

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12 in Sursa Hall. It is part of the Diversity Music Festival and will feature Ball State choirs as well as faculty and student soloists. Admission is free.

Unity Week events, all of which are free and open to the public, begin Jan. 16 with the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Pittenger Student Center, Cardinal Hall.

Other Unity Week events include:

  • MLK Day of Service, Jan. 16 (sponsored by Student Voluntary Services)
  • MLK Unity March at 4 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Ball State Multicultural Center
  • Hunger banquet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Pittenger Student Center Forum Room
  • Game of Unity Feud at 6 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Fine Arts Building, Room 217
  • Unity Ball and Art Gala at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Pittenger Student Center Ballroom (semiformal attire)
  • "A Timeless Journey," the Unity Pageant, crowning Miss and Mr. Unity at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 in Pruis Hall
  • Wrapping up the week is the "Timeless" exhibit Jan. 22 in the Pittenger Student Center. Tours meet in the Tally food court at 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. to take a journey through various eras in time and examine different forms of oppression.
  • Throughout the entire week, students are encouraged to donate old or used books to the Office of Student Life, located in the Student Center, Room 133, for the Unity Week book drive. Prizes will be awarded to student organizations with the largest donations.

Unity Week is sponsored by the Office of Student Life, Asian American Student Association, Black Student Association, Latino Student Union and Spectrum, along with the Multicultural Center and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

By Kait Buck