Canisius College Celebrates Black History Month

Buffalo, NY - Canisius College presents “Reaching Back, Moving Forward,” an education, health and economic empowerment summit on Thursday, February 27 from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.  The event, in celebration of Black History Month, is sponsored by the college’s Academic Talent Search Program and is free and open to the public.  The day also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom March, and the 20th anniversary of Academic Talent Search at Canisius College.

8:30 a.m. - Civil Rights legend Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian leads students in a reenactment of the Freedom March.  Rev. Vivian and students, grades 6 – 12, will march down Franklin Street and into the Convention Center to begin the program.

9:00 a.m. - Rev. Vivian, spiritual leader and strategistand Toure’, iconicjournalist, culture critic and television host, address the audience.  A panel discussion will follow.

Educational breakout sessions will be held throughout the afternoon including Fun with Science presented by DuPont Yerkes Plant, Career Exploration in Engineering presented by General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant and Engineers to the Rescue presented by the Girl Scouts of Western New York.

  Cordy Tindell (C.T.) Vivian is a minister, author and was a close friend and lieutenant of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the American Civil Rights Movement.  In November 2013, President Barack Obama presented Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony held at the White House.  President Obama noted that in America’s quest for civil rights in the 1940s through the 1960s, “time and again, Rev. Vivian was among the first to go in…and, now, at the age of 89, he is still in the action, pushing us closer to our national goals.”                      

Touré is the co-host of The Cycle, which airs on MSNBC, and a columnist for  He is the author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now, which was named one of the Most Notable Books of 2011 by The New York Times and The Washington Post. It was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Non-Fiction. I would Die For U, a book about the legendary artist Prince, was released in 2013.  Toure’ is also working on a book about multi-platinum rapper Nas, as well as What’s a Real Man?, which investigates what it means to be a man in America today, scheduled for a spring 2015 release.

DuPont Yerkes Plant, General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant, Girl Scouts of Western New York and Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes are lead sponsors of the empowerment summit.  Presenting sponsors include General Mills and Zion Dominion Global Ministries.  Supporting sponsors are Key Bank, McKinley High School, Buffalo Psychiatric Center (Dr. Jeffrey Grace), Ronald Hicks and Linda Gray. 

For more information, contact the Academic Talent Search Program at Canisius College at 716-888-3280.

The Academic Talent Search Program (ATS) is one of five federally-funded TRIO programs established under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.  Academic Talent Search of Canisius College serves approximately 600 youth recruited from area schools and community service organizations each year.  The program provides students with educational, social and career support services to increase the possibility of participants becoming enrolled in postsecondary institutions.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.