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Councilmember Valerie Ervin, Kateema Lee, Michelle “LOVE the Poet” Nelson Highlight Montgomery College Black History Month Event

Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin will speak at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Black History Month event Wednesday, February 22, 2012. The celebration, “Sister Citizen: Black Women in American History and Culture,” will also include performances by well-known performing artist Michelle Nelson and poet Kateema Lee. The event, free and open to the public, begins at 10 a.m. and will take place in the Cultural Arts Center, Theatre 1.  Councilmember Ervin’s discussion will include reference to Melissa V. Harris-Perry’s book “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America” and will be followed by a question and answer session.  First elected in 2006, Ervin, who just finished a one-year term as council president, was the first African American woman to serve on the council. She got her start through grassroots activism as a union organizer. In the October 2011 issue of Washingtonian Magazine, Ervin was named one of “Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”  Ervin also chairs the Education Committee which reviews more than half of the county’s operating budget. She also sits on the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which conducts budget reviews and program oversight for various county departments and offices.  Lee is a Washington D.C. native and graduate of the University of Maryland. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, an associate editor for the Potomac Review, an English instructor and also teaches women’s studies courses for the Montgomery College Women’s Studies Program. In the last year, Lee’s work was published in three literary journals and she served as a guest blogger for the feminist journal “So to Speak.”  Michelle Antoinette Nelson, also known as LOVE the Poet, is a prominent indie artist and author on the national performance and literary art scenes, and in the field of creative writing education. She has appeared on CNN as a speaker at the Jena 6 rally in Washington, D.C., authored the book “Black Marks on White Paper,” is the recipient of the 2011 Baker b-grant award and released multiple spoken word CDs. She is also a guitarist, an active member of the Maryland Speaker’s Bureau, a host at Busboys and Poets and an active member of Poetry for the People Baltimore.  This event is sponsored by Montgomery College Women’s Studies; The Montgomery College Black History Month Committee; The Cultural Arts Center; the TP/SS Office of the Provost; the TP/SS Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Area; TP/SS Office of Student Life and the Paul Peck Institute for American Culture and Civic Engagement; MC Office of Equity and Diversity.  Parking is available in the West Campus Garage, located immediately behind the Cultural Arts Center. For maps and directions please visit For more information, contact Genevieve Carminati at 240-567-7446.

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