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shelley.dawicki@noaa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2008
166 Water Street
Woods Hole MA 02543

Woods Hole Diversity Week Public Events Announced

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Pinckney
Opening day speaker Captain Bill Pinkney. Photo courtesy Bill Pinkney
Jarvis
Closing day speaker Dr. Erich D. Jarvis. Photo courtesy MBL.
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About Woods Hole Diversity Week
2008 Events Schedule
Six science institutions in Woods Hole, Mass. are sponsoring a series of events during the week of June 22 to celebrate the community’s commitment to cultural diversity at work and at play in the village. What began as Diversity Day in 2006 is being expanded this year into Diversity Week.

Events during the week will feature speakers, exhibits, films, panel discussions and presentations focused on acknowledging and raising awareness about diversity in Woods Hole.  The sponsoring institutions include the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries), the Sea Education Association (SEA), the U.S. Geological Survey-Woods Hole (USGS), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC). All are partners in a diversity initiative started in 2004.

The week will kick off on Sunday evening at SEA with a lecture by Captain Bill Pinkney entitled “Amistad’s Atlantic Freedom Tour.” Pinkney is an author and world-class sailor who circumnavigated the globe solo.  He is also the former master and now storyteller for the freedom schooner Amistad, a replica of the ship that was commandeered in 1839 by its cargo of captive Africans destined for sale as slaves in Cuba, and who later regained their freedom through a case tried in U.S. courts. Today’s schooner Amistad travels the world telling the story of the incident as a way of fostering better relations among people of diverse backgrounds. 

On Monday, the MBL will host a public performance by the Cape Cod African Dance & Drum Ensemble, a creative group of dancers and drummers led by Tara Murphy, at noon at the MBL Club on Water Street in Woods Hole.

Tuesday at noon, WHRC ’s Brown Bag Lunch Lecture held at the Center offices on Woods Hole Road will feature scientist Max Holmes.  He will talk about his work to involve indigenous peoples of the Arctic in climate change research.  Refreshments and discussion will follow.

On Tuesday evening at 7 PM, WHOI will sponsor a showing of the 1980 film “The Elephant Man,” at the Clark Laboratory on the Quissett Campus. The film is based on the true story of Dr. Frederick Treves’ work with Joseph Merrick, a victim of a rare genetic deformity who rose from sideshow exhibit to acceptance in the high society of Victorian London.  Refreshments and discussion will follow.

On Wednesday, NOAA Fisheries will sponsor a lecture and discussion from noon to 2 PM at the Woods Hole Community Hall with refreshments. Dr. Priti Brahma will talk about NOAA’s Educational Partners Program, which provides federal financial assistance to minority-serving institutions and students for training in NOAA-related sciences.  Later on Wednesday afternoon, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, the USGS will host a panel discussion titled “Expanding the Importance of Diversity in the USGS and Science Workforce.”  Speakers include: Pam Malam, Suzette Kimball, Willie Rodriquez, and Bill Schwab.  The panel will be held in the Tilley conference room at USGS on the WHOI Quissett Campus. Refreshments will be served.

On Thursday, “Diversity Fest” will be held from 4-6:30 PM outside the Challenger House in Woods Hole.   There will be a keynote address at 4 PM by Dr. Isiah Warner, the vice chancellor at the Office of Strategic Initiatives at Louisiana State University. Warner will discuss strategies for maintaining diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. Following Dr. Warner’s presentation there will be free food, soft drinks, information tables, and a performance by Explicit Noise, a multicultural musical group from Falmouth. 

The week culminates with a Friday evening lecture at 8PM in the MBL Lillie Auditorium.  Dr. Erich D. Jarvis of Duke University, an internationally known neurobiologist, will present a talk entitled “Evolution of Brain Systems for Vocal Learning.”  Jarvis is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work. Discover magazine named his work on avian brain nomenclature as one of the top 100 science discoveries of 2006, and he was named to Popular Science magazine's "Brilliant 10" list of young scientists and researchers to watch.

The six partner institutions sponsoring Diversity Week are committed to creating pathways of opportunity that will attract people from underrepresented groups to live, work and study in Woods Hole.  All are welcome to any of the week’s events to share in this vision of inclusiveness.  A detailed schedule for the week’s events can be found at http://www.woodsholediversity.org/.

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