This weekend, Africana Studies at The University of New Mexico hosts its 34th annual Black History Month Kickoff Brunch, which serves to both honor Black achievement at the University and engage the Albuquerque community with a national Black speaker of note. This year, Africana Studies has invited the distinguished Iva E. Carruthers, Ph.D., to address attendees as the brunch’s keynote speaker.

Carruthers is a Professor Emeritus and past Chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University, and is the current General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, (SDPC), an interdenominational organization within the African American faith tradition focused on justice and equity issues. An accomplished author, scholar and leader in the Black community, Carruthers’ lecture, Challenge & Charge of Africana Studies in this Era of Global Afrophobia, is a vital discussion for today’s educational landscape.

“Dr. Carruthers is a noted social advocate and has also become well known for using her ministry as a vehicle for addressing social issues, particularly those involving people of African descent both here and abroad,” said Africana Studies Director, Charles Becknell Jr., Ph.D. “We are excited to have Dr. Carruthers come to speak, because she will encourage us to stay in the struggle to the end. I hope that the community will come to break bread, dialogue and celebrate our early start to Black History Month.”

This event, held on Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Building (SUB) Ballrooms, is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased for $45 at For table sales and sponsorship, please contact Beth Glenn at 505-277-5644 or