Thursday October 15, 2009

Write Your Destiny

Actor by trade. Mentor by desire. Hill Harper, who appears in CSI:NY, offers a free, inspirational talk at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, at the RecPlex. It's part of the Diversity Lecture Series.

Activist, author and actor Hill Harper comes to the University of Dayton Friday, Oct. 16, for a 7:30 p.m. talk in the RecPlex as part of the 2009-2010 Diversity Lecture Series.  It's free and open to the public.

Harper, who appears in the hit CBS drama series CSI: NY as the reclusive coroner Sheldon Hawkes, has written three books, including the newly published The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving Relationships. He has written two New York Times' bestsellers, Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny.  Both are advice books to teens.

Free parking is available in all single-letter lots: C, G, P, B, D and A.

When Harper visits college campuses, he encourages students to be architects of their lives, to write their destinies. Drawing on lessons from his own life, he talks about peer pressure, the pitfalls of materialism and the importance of education.

Harper graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned two degrees from Harvard University -- a J.D. from the law school and an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He performed with Boston's Black Folks Theater Company, one of the oldest and most acclaimed black theater troupes in the country.

Prior to CSI: NY, Harper appeared in City of Angels and The Handler, and he made guest starring appearances in television shows such as Soul Food, The Sopranos, ER, NYPD Blue and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

As a film actor, he recently starred in the HBO movie, Lackawanna Blues, and received critical acclaim for his performance in the independent film, The Visit. He also has appeared in In Too Deep, Beloved, He Got Game, Get on the Bus, Zooman and One Red Rose, which he co-wrote for Showtime.

Harper volunteers for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and speaks to youth in public schools about the value of an education.  He established MANifest Your Destiny foundation to empower, encourage and inspire underserved males to succeed and recently launched a social network, For Real Solutions, aimed at encouraging solutions for society's most pressing challenges.

The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series is part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society.  Past speakers have included Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Spike Lee, Kirk Franklin, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Soledad O'Brien, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The University's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and inclusion of people from all segments of society.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the generous support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; YWCA Dayton; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer; Greater Dayton RTA; Cannell Graphics; University of Dayton's Media Production Group; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; WDAO-1210 AM; and 92.1 WROU.

Lynnette Heard, executive director of the president's office, at 937-229-4122.