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Men of Color Forum to Kick Off Black History Month at Hamilton

By staff  |  Contact staff
Posted January 29, 1996
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Hamilton College will kick off Black History Month with its fourth annual Men of Color Forum on Saturday, Feb. 3 in the Bristol Campus Center. The forum, "Building Tomorrow's Leaders," is $5 per person and open to the general public.

The conference will include a keynote address by Assistant Albany County Attorney, Douglas Astralaga, panel discussions titled, "The Color Issue: Not Enough of This or Too Much of That" and "Self Determination," and a workshop, "What Does it Mean to be a Man of Color?"

Astralaga, a former assistant program director for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at Hamilton, received his B.A. from SUNY New Paltz in 1989 and his J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. in 1993. During his career, he has served as session assistant for the N.Y.S. Senate, and is a member of various organizations such as the American Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association and the United Way of Central New York.

John Robertson, a psychologist in private practice in Utica, will lead the panel discussion, "The Color Issue: Not Enough of This or Too Much of That." Robertson received his B.A. from Michigan State University, his M.Ed. from Columbia University-Teachers College and his Ph.D. from New York University in 1984. Robertson is a former director of an alcoholism treatment center and is a member of various professional and community organizations including the National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council, the Utica Chapter of the NAACP and the American Psychological Association.

Greg Thomas, who will speak at the workshop, "What Does it Mean to be a Man of Color?" graduated from Hamilton in 1985. Following graduation, he worked with the Buy Freedom campaign, an economic and community development program spearheaded by broadcast journalist Tony Brown. His success in the campaign led to Thomas being designated as the campaign's national administrator. In the late 1980s, he wrote, produced, directed, narrated and edited several video documentaries,including an award-winning work titled "Traditional and Wholistic Healthcare in the African-American Community." Currently, Thomas is an academic coordinator with the COMET program, a community development organization which works in coordination with the school administration and faculty of JHS 117 in Brooklyn and parents, to ensure that their children graduate with the academic and life skills necessary to succeed.

Finally, the Honorable Jawaad Abdur-Rasheed will lead the second panel discussion, "Self-Determination," at the conference. Judge Rasheed presides over the Rome Family Court and has served on the boards of several profit and not-for-profit corporations including Save Our Children, the Urban League, the Black Scholars Program and the ABC Program.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the Bristol Campus Center. For more information, call Tom Royal at 859-4397.

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