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UNI event aims to empower African-American community

February 20, 2014

Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, associate professor, curriculum and instruction, 319-273-2007,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the third annual Conference on African-American Children and Families from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, in the Schindler Education Center (SEC). A pre-conference will take place from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, in the SEC.

"This conference is very important to bridge the gaps of understanding among people of all ethnicities, races, cultures and socioeconomic statuses," said Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, associate professor of early childhood education. "This is the only national conference of this nature in the United States, thus putting UNI among leaders in education and in promoting diversity."

The conference will consist of several breakout sessions on the subjects of education and diversity. The keynote speaker is Janice Hale, author of "Black Children: Their Roots, Culture and Learning Styles" and Pulitzer Prize nominee. Donna Y. Ford, author and professor of education and human development at Vanderbilt University, will present the keynote lecture at the pre-conference.

The events are open to the public; registration is free for UNI students and faculty. For more information or to register, visit or contact Kirkland-Holmes at 319-273-2007 or