Brain Food Turns 5!

5 years ago today, I asked my friend Dr. Michael Eric Dyson to launch a lecture series at Dillard that I was going to call Brain Food! I do have some personal traditions, and since Dyson was the first speaker for my lecture series at Philander Smith College, Bless the Mic, I wanted him to come kick off the new endeavor as well.

So over the past 5 years we’ve had a great line-up, hands down the best lecture series in Louisiana, the South, and potentially the nation. So many great guests. Lots of fun. FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! I just strongly believe that a university has to share with its community. We might not have lots of money, but we definitely have more than many community groups so we can share with them.

But when you do enough of that, others come in. So not only am I able to find speakers who believe in what we do and accept rates most can’t negotiate, this year we’ve had new partners bring programs to us AT NO COST! So the day we hosted KeKe Palmer, Remy Ma, Mia X and Lesli Brown, there was no cost to us. We had community friends make the connections for us, or folks like Cumulus Broadcasting bring the event to us.

Add it all together and we’ve had an insane year.

Issa Rae
Malcolm Nance
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Tell Them We Are Rising
Angela Rye
Gabrielle Union
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
KeKe Palmer
Mia X, Remy Ma, Downtown Lesli Brown
Valeisha Butterfield Jones
Jemele Hill
Sheba Turk

Yes. All of this. In one academic year. Not only did we get some television coverage…

… we started to create our own stories to summarize the events. This great idea was brought by our new director of marketing and communications, Dr. Sheryl Haydel, and her team has done a great job covering the events to share with the public. So you can get a sense of what Brain Food is like by watching these clips.

And remember. This doesn’t include events others held on campus that were open to our students (Donna Brazile, Kimberle Crenshaw, or Tayari Jones for example), or the speakers that came for my PHI444 class (Dee-1, Big Freedia, Paul Porter, Dr. VaNatta Ford or Dr. Daniel White Hodge).

It doesn’t include our AWESOME baccalaureate speaker, Bishop Joseph Walker of Mt. Zion Baptist in Nashville TN.

And yeah. Chance the Rapper is coming for commencement.

So, we’re ready for a break! But we come back in August and deal with an important issue… #METOO with the woman responsible for this movement.

See you in August!

The Prez