Dr. Ethel H. Hall African-American Heritage Month Celebration and Colloquium

Date: Friday, February 15, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Location: Hotel Capstone Ballroon Hotel Capstone
Cost: Free

Categories: School of Social Work

The School of Social Work invites you to the 30th Annual Dr. Ethel H. Hall African-American Heritage Month Celebration and Colloquium. The celebration, featuring keynote speaker Ben Sciacca, will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Feb . 15, 2019, at the Hotel Capstone – Ballroom.  A panel discussion will follow Sciacca’s keynote address. CEUs are available for social workers.

Lunch will be provided. Muiscal entertainment will be provided by Dr. Alexis Davis-Hazell, assistant professor of voice and lyric dictation in UA's School of Music.

Learn more about the event and the event's speaker and panelists below.

About the Keynote Speaker:

Ben Sciacca is director of leadership development at Desire Street Ministries and author of the book: Meals from Mars: A Parable of Prejudice and Providence. Sciacca is passionate about social justice, racial reconciliation, education, and equipping young people to be peacemakers in the world around them. Originating in 1990 in the Desire neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, Desire Street Ministries walks and partners with community leaders across multiple states, coaching and caring for them as they navigate the waters of ministry in their neighborhoods. Prior to his current role, Sciacca served at Restoration Academy (RA) in Fairfield, Alabama for 18 years. During his time at RA, he served as an instructor, the principal, the school chaplain, and as the executive director at the small urban Christian school. Sciacca received his bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Covenant College. He, his wife Sara, and their four children have lived in the Tuscaloosa community for 17 years.

About the Panelists:

Rev. Tyshawn Gardner, pastor of the Plum Grove Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, has a heart for social justice and racial reconciliation and he works tirelessly to see unity and love in the community. He is founder and CEO of the Citizen Impacting Community Association and the West Side Scholars Academy. He currently serves as vice-president for Student Affairs at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and is president of the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Rev. Gardner also serves on and with numerous educational, social, religious, and civic boards throughout Tuscaloosa, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream Committee, The Tuscaloosa Prayer Network, 100 Black Men of West Alabama, Unity Tuscaloosa, and Macedonia Ministries. His social and community activism warrants him the opportunity to be visible and vocal in the community and allows him to be actively engaged in intricate events and the affect they have on our community. Rev. Gardner, who served in the U.S. Navy during both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stillman College and Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham. In 2014, he was named Most Distinguished Student by the divinity school’s dean and faculty. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is married to Shonetay Gardner and they have 4 children, Coretta (Corey), Tristan, Titus, and Tyson and 3 beautiful grandchildren. 

Audrey J. Ellis, LICSW, is coordinator of social services for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. Ellis was most recently project director for a three-year elementary school counseling grant that provided over a million dollars in services for academically and behaviorally challenged schoolchildren. Prior to Tuscaloosa City School, Ellis worked at the Tuscaloosa Department of Human Resources. She received her bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, where she majored in social science with a minor in secondary education and her MSW from The University of Alabama. In 1980, she became licensed as a social worker and currently holds a Mississippi and Alabama license.

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Contact Info: Lindsey Johnson, lindsey.johnson@ua.edu, (205) 348-5384, Website

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