Author and television political analyst Donna Brazile, the first African-American to direct a major presidential campaign, will speak at Fresno State at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 in the North Gym, Room 118.

Brazile is the first of two nationally known speakers who will present on campus as part of the local African Peoples’ History Month celebration organized by the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute and other groups.

The second presentation is Rev. Jeremiah Wright at 6 p.m. Monday, March 2. (Full press release to come).

The free, public events wrap up the month-long observance presented by the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute and co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program and Black Students United as part of the national Black History Month observance proclaimed by President Barack Obama and declared by every American president since 1976.

Other events this week at Fresno State include the History in your Hands Project from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 in the Henry Madden Library, Room 2206 and the Africana Culture Night and Rosa Parks Awards at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Satellite Student Union.

Brazile, who is vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, will discuss “Beyond the Dream: From Selma to Ferguson” for the Martin Luther King/Gunnar Myrdal Lecture Series that is co-sponsored by Fresno State’s Martin Luther King Committee and Africana Studies.

Founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy and training firm based in Washington, D.C., Brazile was the first African-American to direct a major presidential campaign when she served as campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000.

She also served as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee in spring 2011 and is currently on the board of the National Democratic Institute, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Brazile’s passion is encouraging young people to vote, working within the system to strengthen it and running for public office.

Since 2000, Brazile has lectured at over 125 colleges and universities across the country. She has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.

“Ms. Brazile brings vast knowledge and expertise on the political process and the issues facing our nation,” said Dr. De Anna Reese, program coordinator of Africana Studies at Fresno State. “She will speak on social responsibility, the importance of the vote and the ways in which college students can better serve their community.”

Parking is free on campus during weekends beginning at 4 p.m. Friday.

For more information about the African Peoples’ History Month celebration, contact the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at 559.278.6946.

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