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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 20, 2005
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Black activist remembered by Africana studies

A former Black Panther and revolutionary activist and journalist told students yesterday that the government's response after Hurricane Katrina proved racism is still alive in America.

"We can spend $400 billion on the war in Iraq but can't find money to build home for those who are now homeless," said Kiilu Nyasha, the keynote speaker at yesterday's commemoration of the life of Steve Biko.

This is the ninth year the Africana studies program has held an event to remember the life of Biko, a South African activist and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania who was murdered by apartheid police in 1977.

"He's a symbol of hope for others around the world," said sociology junior Sharrisse Carter, who recited poetry at the event.

The oppression of blacks that Biko fought against in South Africa was

similar to the oppression of blacks that she fought against during the civil rights movement in America and that minorities still face today, Nyasha said.

"He's a universal figure who fought against colonialism and oppression. He's a positive role model for anyone who finds injustice immoral," said Julian Kunnie, the Africana studies director.

Biko is similar to other leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Céasar Chávez and Ghandi, who all resisted oppression, Kunnie said.

Kunnie said he began the annual commemoration of Biko at the university to share the importance of Biko's life with students.

"It's about enlightenment and what is going on," Kunnie said. "It's the reality about society that they don't get from the mainstream press and society."

The event also featured an African dance performance by Eno Washington, an Africana studies professor, and an excerpt from the documentary "Biko: Breaking the Silence."

- Laura Ory

Biggest law fair in country hosted at UA

Students interested in applying to law schools are encouraged to pick up the gavel and tie on the black robe today by attending the largest student-run law fair in the country, hosted by the pre-law fraternity and the University College.

The Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity hosts the law fair every year to give students an opportunity to get information about law schools and their admissions process from representatives nationwide.

The fair, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom of Student Union Memorial Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will have representatives from more than 100 law schools, said Andrea Brodie, the fraternity law fair chair.

Representatives from the James E. Rogers College of Law, Harvard Law School, Duke University School of Law and the Arizona State University College of Law, among others, will be in attendance, Brodie said.

The fair is open to anyone interested in attending law school and could be beneficial to freshmen and sophomores because they can find out what to focus on in the upcoming years of their college career, said fraternity President Tyler Carrell.

The fair can also be valuable to students who are junior s and seniors because they are getting ready to apply for and choose law schools.

Before the fair begins, a panel discussion will take place in the Santa Cruz Room of the student union from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The panel will be an opportunity for students to ask questions to five different law school representatives and to also voice their concerns about applying, said Verlaine Walker, the coordinator for the pre-law advising program.

Appointments are not necessary to attend the panel.

- Danielle Rideau

Vigil, rally to protest domestic violence

In recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, campus groups and the Tucson community are hosting events to educate and inform students about domestic violence and its victims.

The Network of Feminist Student Activists is working with the Brewster Center, a resource center for victims of domestic violence, and the OASIS Program, to educate the community about the existence of domestic and dating violence.

The possibility of domestic violence happening to students on or near campus is not out of the question, said Tina Tarin, an OASIS violence prevention specialist.

In 2004, OASIS received 20 reports of physical abuse and 29 reports of violence abuse, Tarin said.

To spread awareness about domestic violence, the Network of Feminist Student Activists has been on the UA Mall this week providing information about domestic violence and informing students about tonight's event "Ring Around the Courthouse" and a speaker series at the Brewster Center, said Ana Muñiz of the Network of Feminist Student Activists.

The "Ring Around the Courthouse" event is a domestic violence protest at the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, 110 W. Congress St., sponsored by the groups and involving victims, families and people who know victims of domestic abuse, said Adina Wingate, director of development for the Brewster Center.

"Participants will literally form a ring around the courthouse by holding hands making chain," Wingate said.

The ring is a "show of solidarity as a commitment to show how important work toward eliminating violence of any kind," Wingate said.

Immediately following the protest, a rally will be held at Presidio Park next door to the courthouse, featuring a candlelight vigil for victims of abuse and speakers who have been directly affected by domestic violence, Wingate said.

- Danielle Rideau

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