BERA African American Affinity Group Looks Forward

During February, BERA’s African American Affinity Group (AAAG) sponsored several events to celebrate Black History Month. Among these was the Art Display which exhibited striking and imaginative photographs from BNLer Ripp Bowman, AAAG Art Committee Chair, a compelling painting by AAAG member Leroy Smalls, and art and artifacts from Ghana, Tanzania, and Egypt, by the late Michael Newton of Long Island, and silk screen artist Daw’u of Atlanta.

AAAG enlarge

At the Art Display organized by the BERA African American Affinity Group are members: (front row, from left) Barbara Simpson; Gloria Bennett; Janine Truitt — Member-at-large; Yvette Hayes — Corresponding Secretary; Ripp Bowman; Patrice Greenwood — Recording Secretary; Joy Haskins; (back row, from left) Noel Blackburn — President; Patrick Bynum — Vice-President; Omar Gould — Member-at-large; Leroy Smalls; Gretchen Cisco — Treasurer; and Juanita McKinney — Chairperson Outreach and Public Affairs.

Other events organized by the AAAG were: the talk by MIT’s Sekazi K. Mtingwa on influential Afro-Russians Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin and Pushkin’s great-grandfather Abram Petrovich Gannibal; a video presentation of a NOVA program, The Forgotten Genius, on the life of elected National Academy of Sciences member and brilliant chemist Percy Julian; and a video documentary, No Short Climb, by Robert Johnson, Jr., which focuses on the contributions of African Americans to America’s defense technology.

Said Noel Blackburn, “The AAAG is focused on empowering the quality of life for its members and the BNL community by adding value through cultural, social, academic and scientific activities. One such activity is a scholarship program that will benefit High School seniors and College graduates, and we gladly accept contributions to support this new initiative. Through my work in the Office of Educational Programs, I know how valuable the encouragement of a scholarship can be to a student who is starting out on her or his career, and we want to promote that kind of encouragement to as many young people as possible.”

For more information, or to join the AAAG, contact Yvette Hayes,, Ext. 2833; or Janine Truitt,, Ext. 2431.

2012-2917  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom