Center4ME In The News

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African-American History Month events promote fun, dialogue
Liberty University News Service: February 5, 2016

Liberty University kicked off its African-American History Month celebration Wednesday, Feb. 3, in the DeMoss Hall grand lobby with live jazz music, food, and a historical exhibit. The event, hosted by the Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME), gave students the opportunity to visit tables that featured a timeline of famous African-Americans throughout U.S. history, as well as notable African-Americans in the history of television.

“While we are one in Christ, we are a diverse student body and celebrate cultural differences,” Melany Pearl, Center4ME director said noting that every month focuses on a different culture (next month is Irish American Heritage Month).

The Center4ME promotes the exploration and celebration of different ethnic groups and cultures throughout the U.S. Through various activities, cultural excursions, and discussions led by experts, the Center4ME helps students from all backgrounds learn how events in culture and history influence people today. [Full Article]


Construction progresses on new student center
Liberty University News Service: November 16, 2015

Liberty University’s new four-story, 150,000-square-foot student center is beginning to take shape in the heart of campus. The center, which is scheduled to open by the Fall 2016 semester, will offer new dining options, gaming areas, meeting space, and a bowling alley.

Perry Tate, director of the LaHaye Student Union, said that Campus Recreation will use the student center to provide students opportunities to build relationships.

The second floor of the center will have a gaming area with billiards and various consoles. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment and Student Activities will relocate from Green Hall to the new center to provide centralized access and increased interaction with students[Full Article]

Creating Cultural Competency 
By Shannon Ritter Published: Sept. 29th, 2015

Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) is joining millions across the U.S. in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15.

The Center4ME has a variety of activities available for the entire celebration month, which kicked off Sept. 16 in front of DeMoss Hall. Activities include trips out of town, worship services and Fun Fridays. The Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff is the largest event for the month, according to Kerensa Huffman, the Center4ME’s associate director of cultural competency and assessment. “We do (a kickoff) with every single heritage month, and they’re always right in front of DeMoss,” Huffman said. “It’s like a miniature festival that includes food, sometimes a performer, different activates, games (and) information. Kickoffs are great because you can walk though, grab a snack or a drink, learn a fact, hear about the different events and then keep going because they’re right after Convocation.  [Continue]

Students Discuss Policies
By Kara Smith Published: April 16th, 2013

Dean Keith Anderson met with students in DeMoss Hall 1113 for the Student Body Hall Meeting, Tuesday, April 9.

In the meeting, students’ concerns were addressed and many questions answered. According to Anderson, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Board of Trustees agreed to review the university’s current attendance policy, one of the major concerns voiced.
Anderson began the meeting with prayer. Afterward, Senior Student Conduct Officer Andrea Adams made the announcements and stated the rules of the meeting, which included the rule that no students were allowed to debate with Dean Anderson or any other speaker.
The Student Government Association, as well as Chief of Police Richard D. Hinkley, also attended the event. Other members of the Center4ME and student housing were present to discuss specific topics, according to Anderson. [Continue]

Irish American month kicks off
By Melanie Oelrich Published: March 5th, 2013

The Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) hosted its third-annual Irish American Heritage Kickoff Friday, March 1, where students, faculty and staff donned their favorite green and orange garb in celebration of the country’s culture.

The front steps of DeMoss were covered with roughly 700 students, and Center4ME staff dressed in their best Irish attire as students enjoyed cotton candy, green-frosted shamrock cookies, green-dyed pink lemonade and chocolate coins.
“My roommate mentioned the event to me, and I heard they had themed music, so I came out to see what it was about,” Liberty student Nicole Davis said. “I really enjoy the Irish music.”
According to Associate Director of the Center4ME Joy Jefferson, the center has been open since 1996, but was originally named the “Minority International Office” before switching to the Center for Multicultural Enrichment in 2004.
Jefferson said that the Center4ME has been celebrating Irish American Heritage month for three years. [Continue]

Jazzy Fun Friday rocks
By Kourtney Trivett Published: February 26th, 2013

The sound of jazz music echoed throughout the hallways of Green Hall Feb. 22, welcoming Liberty University students to celebrate African American History Month by participating in the Center for Multicultural Enrichment’s (Center4ME) Jazzy Fun Friday.

Liberty students, faculty, staff and College for a Weekend guests celebrated the African American legacy with live jazz music, games and food.

Joy Jefferson, the associate director for cultural competency and assessment, said that the purpose of the event was to celebrate the African American heritage.
“Since (the) early 1900s, jazz music has been a part of African American culture,” Jefferson said. “As a result, the Center4ME personnel have decided to provide an event that focuses on jazz music.”
“One of our goals for this event is to educate our guest about African American culture,” Jefferson said.
Students enjoyed the event and the purpose that was behind creating it. TeNeka Nibblett, a senior at Liberty, said that she highly appreciated the experience. [Continue]

A celebration of heritage kicks off
By Tyler Eacho Published: February 5th, 2013

The United States, the month of February has been dedicated to celebrating the heritage of the African American people in our country.

The Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME), a department of Liberty University’s Student Affairs, gives students the opportunity to celebrate African American heritage by providing academic lectures, documentaries and entertainment — all of which take place throughout the month.
According to the Center4ME webpage, the office exists to promote an understanding of the Western tradition and the diverse elements of American cultural history while contributing to the knowledge and understanding of other cultures and of international events.
“Center4ME is here to celebrate various cultures and to give students the opportunity to learn about those different cultures,” Associate Director for Cultural Competency Joy Jefferson said. “A lot of students think Center4ME is for African American or Latino students, but it’s for everyone to build relationships.” [Continue]

Liberty honors Martin Luther King
By Caroline Crumpler Published: January 24th, 2012

Liberty University celebrated the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the annual Let Freedom Ring event hosted by the Center for Multi-Cultural Enrichment (Center4ME) on Jan. 16, 2012.

Students, faculty and the Lynchburg community gathered to pray, worship and reflect on the accomplishments and struggles of King and the nation in the quest for civil rights. The day also marked the 50th anniversary of King’s visit to Lynchburg and the integration of the city’s schools.

The service began with prayer led by Center4ME student staffer Justin Smith, who thanked God for giving King his vision and asked that others present may be inspired also. After a powerful presentation of King’s, “I have a dream” speech by Treandous Cuthbertsap, the Bridging the Gap Ministries performed an inspirational dance. [Continue]

Mosaic Mixer kicks off International Week
By Desiree Wheeler Published: March 27th, 2012

Hundreds of students filed into the Williams Stadium Club Pavilion, Friday, March 23, for a culture filled evening. The Mosaic Mixer, hosted by Liberty’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment, showcased energetic step dancing, rapping and an international fashion show for students from all backgrounds and cultures to enjoy.

“This is the first time the Center4Me has hosted this event,” Director for the Center4Me Melany Pearl said. “We won a grant from the National Christian Multicultural Student Leadership Conference and that allowed us to be able to put this event on.”
“The Mosaic Mixer is supposed to represent beauty and diversity, so it represents the body of Christ,” Associate Director of the Center4Me Anthony Lopez said. [Continue]

Hispanic Heritage month kicks off
By Janessa Smith Published: September 27th, 2011

Students enjoyed chips, salsa and music as they gathered outside of the Vines Center Sept. 16 to celebrate Hispanic culture with the Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-off hosted by The Center for Multi-Cultural Enrichment.

Hispanic and Latin American cultures are very diverse in their music, food, language and so much more. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and highlights the achievements and various backgrounds of the people all over the world. The kick-off included Mexican candy and a chance to win a $100 dollar gift card to Walmart. [Continue]


Center4ME hosts Achievement Awards
By Shelanne Jennings Published: April 12th, 2011

Men in ties and buttoned suits accompanied flawlessly styled women as the elevator attendants opened doors to the third floor event. Cameras flashed on a red carpet which sprawled out in front of a large black and white backdrop.

The 16th Annual Achievement Awards were underway at the Williams Stadium Club Pavilion, Saturday, April 9, and everyone was a star. Guests ate full four-course meals as announcers honored those students, alumni and faculty who have embodied the mission of Liberty University as ethnic minority and international students.
The Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME), whose mission statement is to “unify the various cultural and ethnic populations on the campus by overcoming divisions,” honored students, staff and alumni for their dedication to the enrichment and support of ethnic diversity, exemplary biblical integrity, academic excellence and Christian service. [Continue]

Virginia University of Lynchburg Students Receive Warm Welcome
 March 9, 2011 : Allison Cundiff/Liberty University News Service

When Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. learned earlier this year that a fellow Christian school, Virginia University of Lynchburg, was experiencing an influx of students for the spring semester and had nowhere to house them, it reminded him of Liberty’s early history. He then received a message from Craig Storrs, a Liberty student living at the Liberty University Residential Annex (formerly the Lynchburg Inn). Storrs suggested that Liberty offer VUL rooms at the Annex. The Chancellor thought it was a great idea and contacted Liberty’s housing staff to check on the possibility of any open rooms.

On Tuesday, Liberty hosted a welcome party for 28 VUL students who will be living alongside Liberty students this semester at the Annex. The party provided a venue for students from both schools to... [Continue]

Traditional Racial Labels No Longer Define New Generation of College Students
March 14, 2011 : Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs/

Last year, a panel of students at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio, gathered to discuss the challenges facing the African-American male. But another topic unexpectedly emerged: who, exactly, was African-American?

That was a loaded question for many of the panelists and the audience because Columbus is home to one of the country’s largest Somali communities. For those students, “African-Americans” are American-born Blacks — an identity they didn’t embrace.

“There was rich dialogue around the difference between African, African-American and an African who is an American,” recalls Renee Hampton, Columbus State’s special assistant to the provost for diversity. “Those are things we have to be aware of in dealing with the students. We are trying to educate ourselves.”

Columbus State, like many other colleges, is finding that traditional categories of race and ethnicity don’t begin to cover the diversity...[full article from]

Black History Month event raises awareness of African subcultures
February 23, 2011 : Allison Cundiff/Liberty University News Service

More than 90 Liberty University students, faculty and staff, including several international students, came together Tuesday night for a panel discussion titled “What’s the Difference?: African Edition.” The discussion, one of the final events planned for Black History Month at Liberty, provided students a unique opportunity to learn about Africa, the second largest continent in the world with more than 50 countries – each with its own language, culture and ethnic groups.

Liberty’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) partnered with the Association of Students of African Descent club at Liberty to host the event. A panel of international students represented the African countries of Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia, sharing facts about the culture, geography and history of her home country. [full article]

Center4ME offers in-depth look at black history

By Jessica Stearns Published: February 1st, 2011

In celebration of Black History Month, the Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) has arranged 14 events to honor the African-Americans who not only dreamed for their freedom, but fought for justice and made a significant impact on the nation.

“It’s important because it’s American History,” director of Center4ME Melany Pearl said.
In a kick-off celebration, the Center4ME will be hosting music and games Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the DeMoss Hall courtyard, as well as offering free hot chocolate and popcorn.
The month-long festivities will include events such as Black Student Initiative meetings, a series of fun deliberative dialogue where students will be able to express themselves by spoken word, poetry, choreography and a “Journey to the Throne Room,” a time of worship featuring local gospel talent. [Continue]

Liberty to host several Black History Month events
February 1, 2011 : Allison Cundiff/Liberty University News Servie

Students, staff, and faculty were invited to share in music, games and refreshments as Liberty University began its celebration of Black History Month Tuesday at a kick-off event in the DeMoss Hall courtyard, organized by Liberty’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME).

Staff members also handed out calendars listing the many different activities planned throughout February, including group discussions, dialogues with featured speakers, Black Student Initiative meetings, an “open mic” session, cinema nights, a Harlem Renaissance-themed event and a special worship service.

Team ministers in prison
By Meagan Roper Published: November 10th, 2010

A team of women led nine young delinquents to Christ, including the 13-year-old charged with the murder of 81-year-old George Baker III. Jodie Walton with the Center for Multicultural Enrichment said a Bridging the Gap urban ministry team visited the Lynchburg Regional Juvenile Detention Center on Monday, Oct. 25 with members of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) witnessing team to evangelize to young inmates.

While the 13-year-old accused of beating Baker to death on Sept. 5 is held at the juvenile detention center, the two 16-year-olds also charged with the murder have been transferred to an adult prison. Kenneth Davis and Vernon Jackson – who have each appeared in juvenile court for 10 previous charges – have been indicted and will be charged as adults in the Baker case. If convicted, the boys could face a life sentence, the News and Advance reported.
“(The 13-year-old) is very remorseful and is very afraid of going to court and what’s going to happen,” Pamela King, who was at the center with the step team Oct. 25, said. “He listened to us, and he was very attentive and I think he is very regretful that he was in that situation.” [Continue]

Lecture is highlight of Black History Month events at Liberty
February 4, 2010 : University Advancement staff

In honor of those who fought for the freedom of African Americans in our country, Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) is holding a series of events throughout the month of February.

One highlight was a lecture by John Stokes, a national figure in the legendary Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court trial. The lecture was held on Feb. 13 and was based on his well-known book, “Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me.” [full article]

LU observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 18, 2010 : Mitzi Bible

As Liberty University students head back to classes today at the start of Spring 2010 semester, many are also commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Several members of the university community were invited to the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast held this morning at Virginia University of Lynchburg. The breakfast was sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Human Rights, Inc. The theme was “Stand Up and Be Counted,” recognizing the importance of participating in the 2010 U.S. Census. [full article]

Director of Center4ME speaks on Moody Radio
February 11, 2009 : University Advancement staff

Melany Pearl, director of Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment, was interviewed Feb. 4 with Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for Moody Bible Institute’s Prime Time America radio show. Pearl’s interview centered on Black History Month and topics ranged from the election of President Barack Obama to the state of the African American church. [full article]

LU alumnus hopes to hip hop his way to the top
 Monday, November 10, 2008

Robert Hillman is trading his Liberty University Police Department uniform for a Christian rap career.

Hillman, 26, who earned a degree in government and religion at LU, left for Texas in late October after working seven years for the LUPD — and he had a freshly signed music contract in his hand. [full article]



DLP Student Writes Book
Center4ME Exclusive - Monday, November 3, 2008

In his first book, Reverend Zachary F. Hooey has written a captivating, must read, book which is designed to take the Christian believer to the next level of their ministry and relationship with Jesus Christ. Every day, there is an unseen enemy who kidnaps unsuspecting individuals which goes unreported in the local news.

The spiritual battle Christians are engaged in exists from decades past until the Lord's return. There is no quarter given, no cease-fire, no temporary truce, and no cessation of hostilities. From now on, until the restraining force is removed, there is an all-out war.

This is the first book of its kind written about the Nazarite Vow outside of the Bible. The real life characters in this book are the ordinary men and women who read this book. The Nazarite Vow is intended to help every believer lay up treasures for themselves in heaven called Rewards; for the gospel declares that every believers work shall be made manifest before God as to what sort it is and if their work survives the fire, they shall receive a reward. 

Assistant to City Manager Appointed
Melany Pearl, Director-Center4ME
Thursday, August 21, 2008

The City of Lynchburg announced the appointment of Leslie D. King to the position of Assistant to the City Manager in Lynchburg. Ms. King has most recently served as the Assistant Coordinator for the Community Dialogue on Race and Racism. In this capacity, Ms. King has been the liaison between hundreds of citizens who have participated in the Community Dialogue and the Community Dialogue Working Group.

She has worked collaboratively with the various committees and facilitators who led the nearly 60 study circles that met to discuss issues of race and racism and to promote racial equity in the City.

City Manager Kim Payne said, “Leslie’s passion and commitment to the Community Dialogue on Race and Racism as well as her interest in local government management make her an excellent addition to the City Manager’s office. She will serve as the liaison to the Many Voices One Community Advisory Group as the Community Dialogue on Race and Racism moves from dialogue into action, assist in the development of a more coordinated neighborhood initiative and assist myself and the Deputy City Manager in other citizen related and organizational issues. We are delighted she has joined the City’s team of employees.”

Ms. King is a 2006 graduate of Randolph-Macon Women’s College. She previously served on the City’s Safe Neighborhood Initiative Steering Committee and enjoys mentoring, salsa dancing, the performing arts, and exploring new places and international cuisine. (City of Lynchburg)

 The Center4ME and Liberty University are actively involved in the city’s Dialogue on Race and Racism in many facets: (1) Center4ME Director, Melany Pearl, sits on steering committee, Communications sub-committee and newly formed advisory group in addition to participating in dialogue and action groups, (2) Center4ME Associate Director, Daveta Saunders, facilitated a dialogue group and spearheaded the Youth dialogue for high school students, (3) Center4ME Administrative Assistant, Dammy Onafowokan, creates monthly newsletter, (4) Office Manager, Jodie Walton, created project logo, and (5) Student Activities Associate Director, Brian Shesko, facilitated a dialogue group. Liberty University has also provided meeting space for a dialogue group in addition to professors dedicating class time to inform students about what is happening in the Lynchburg community as related to race and racism.

Two National Awards in Two Years
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trina Mayhan-Webb, Liberty alumni and current Multicultural Advisory Board member was recently honored for her work with the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging and in 2006 she was nationally recognized for her program Cluster Care. After more than 15 years recruiting and managing volunteers in Virginia's Fairfax and Prince William counties, Mayhan-Webb was recognized with a national award developing the Cluster Care program as volunteer coordinator for Fairfax Area Agency on Aging. Mayhan-Webb's program received an Aging Innovations Achievement Award at the 2006 n4a National Conference. Chief among her accomplishments, Mayhan-Webb brought the organization's base of active volunteers from zero to 85, with more than 1,000 hours of service. Cluster Care volunteers help the county's senior and other residents retain their independent lives through assistance with daily needs and social visits. When she started her new job at Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, Trina Mayhan-Webb had no idea it would be so rewarding, or successful. She cites her care for people in need and her commitment to grow as a manager as the secrets of her success. "I applied for the job not knowing that it would lead to such great joy," she said.

On July 22, 2008, the Fairfax County Department of Family Services' Fairfax Area Agency on Aging was awarded two Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The awards were presented at the organization's annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee at an award ceremony. The awards recognize the agency's collaboration in two programs: Venture into Volunteering and the Korean Senior Information Line. Sharon Lynn, assistant director of the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, accepted the award for the Korean Senior Information Line and Trina Mayhan-Webb, regional volunteer manager for the agency's Volunteer Solutions Program, accepted the award for Venture into Volunteering. Venture into Volunteering is a volunteer recruitment project that recruits boomers and older people to volunteer for county and non-profit agencies. The project sponsored volunteer fairs in Alexandria and Springfield in 2007 and in Herndon on May 2008. Over 600 people attended the events and 70 agencies sent representatives to showcase their opportunities

Big Brothers Big Sisters Board News
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Director Melany Pearl was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth and to assist them in becoming confident, competent and caring individuals by providing them with caring and responsible adult mentors.


LU Alumni Involved in Christian Hip-Hop Movement
Thursday, July 3, 2008

Liberty University Alumni Jason Lewis (2008) and Perry Tankard (2008), have recently been featured in The Burg. The article, Defying Genre, discusses the Christian hip hop ministry movement.

"As the beat thumps in the background, Eric Scott shows off some dance moves.Clad in a white T-shirt and red and yellow sneakers that peek out from underneath his dark jeans, Scott slides to the right and crosses his arms in front of each other. Four other dancers watch him intently, practicing the moves..." [full story]

Associate Director Saunders Releases First Book, Shades of Identity
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In May of 2008, Associate Director Daveta J. Saunders released her first publication Shades of Identity:The Effects of African American Children Skin Complexions in Television Commercials on the Self-Perception of African American Children. Saunders is the first graduate of Liberty’s M.A. in Communications program to have her work published.

Shades of Identity examines the effects of the complexion of African American children in television commercials on the self-perception of African American children. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted. A total of 347 commercials were examined from Saturday morning television programming on broadcast stations in the Lynchburg, Virginia area during March 2007. A qualitative analysis was conducted with focus groups of African American children ages 6-10 who were asked questions after viewing 8 to 10 of the pre-recorded commercials from the Saturday morning programming to determine their perceptions of the varying skin complexion of children in the commercials.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Shades of Identity it is available on most online bookstore websites. For more information, email Associate Director Daveta Saunders

New Yearbooks Delivered at Cinco de Mayo Event
Monday, May 5, 2008

Liberty University students took a break from studying for exams to participate in a Cinco de Mayo celebration in front of DeMoss Hall on Monday, May 5, 2008. The event, was sponsored by Liberty’s Selah yearbook staff and Center4ME...[full story]

LU Employee Designs Logo for Citywide Initiative
Monday, January 14, 2008

Liberty University employee, Jodie Walton, lent his talent in designing a billboard logo currently displayed on 29 North for the Lynchburg Community Dialogue on Race & Racism. Walton, office manager of the Center for Multicultural Enrichment...[full story]