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Virtual Spring 2023 TEACH-IN

OHIO Southern presented a TEACH-IN for the campus and community to celebrate the histories and contributions of our diverse communities. The event not only presented an opportunity to reflect and discuss notable events in our local, state and national history, but to celebrate ways we can collectively move forward on our journey toward inclusive excellence.

For more information on the TEACH-IN please contact: Robert Pleasant or Dr. Teresa McKenzie.


Ohio University Southern is presenting a TEACH-IN for the campus and community to celebrate the histories and contributions of our diverse communities. The event not only presents an opportunity to reflect and discuss notable events in our local, state, and national history, but to celebrate ways we can collectively move forward on our journey toward inclusive excellence. Dr. King stated in a speech delivered on Sept. 2, 1957, in Monteagle, Tennessee that “In order to look to the future, it is often necessary to get a clear picture of the past. In order to know where we are going, it is often necessary to see from whence we have come.”  

Consistent with the words of Dr. King, as we continue to pave the way for future generations to embrace inclusion, it is critical that we share our stories, our traditions, and our experiences.

Ohio University Southern and the campus Council on Diversity and Inclusion are proud to host the TEACH-IN on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, from 11:00am to 3:30pm. The free event is open to the public and will be delivered via Zoom. Registration is required. The theme for this year is, “History Matters – Looking to the Future.”

To request an ASL interpreter or other accommodation to attend this event, please contact Teresa McKenzie at no later than Feb. 8, 2022.


Session 1 | 11 a.m. - noon

Teach-In Opening Discussion

Beginning with a Q&A and discussion exploring local, state, and national past, Dr. Feight, Professor of American History and Director of the Center for Public History at Shawnee State University, and Mr. Darrell Smith, Director of the Black History Museum of Ashland, Kentucky, will honor local history by sharing their research. Their conversation will center on the importance of understanding history, who gets to tell it, whose story is told, and why. This event, moderated by Dr. Kristi Barnes, will feature a variety of perspectives on our collective past and the individuals who shape it.

Presenters: Dr. Andrew Feight, Shawnee State University; Mr. Darrell Smith, Nuckolls Community Center & Black History Museum, Ashland, Kentucky

Facilitator: Dr. Kristi Barnes

Session 2 | noon - 1 p.m.

History of Black Women in the Military

This Teach-In will focus on the often-neglected history of Black women in the United States military. Throughout the history of the United States, Black women have been contributors to the quest for freedom. Through their stories, we get a better understanding of the personal sacrifices and the remarkable contributions of Black women in the military. By highlighting the impact Black women have made in the various branches of the armed forces we are celebrating history and providing recognition to the service that Black women have always provided to ideals of enduring freedom.

Presenter: Dr. Teresa McKenzie, Ohio University Southern

Session 3 | 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Black Huntington: An Appalachian Story

By 1930, Huntington had become West Virginia's largest city. Its booming economy and relatively tolerant racial climate attracted African Americans from across Appalachia and the South. Prosperity gave these migrants political clout and spurred the formation of communities that defined black Huntington—factors that empowered blacks to confront institutionalized and industrial racism on the one hand and the white embrace of Jim Crow on the other.

Cicero M. Fain III illuminates the unique cultural identity and dynamic sense of accomplishment and purpose that transformed African American life in Huntington. Using interviews and untapped archival materials, Fain details the rise and consolidation of the black working class as it pursued, then fulfilled, its aspirations. He also reveals how African Americans developed a host of strategies—strong kin and social networks, institutional development, property ownership, and legal challenges—to defend their gains in the face of the white status quo.


Presenter: Dr. Cicero Fain, Marshall University

Session 4 | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

The Silencing of Civility

In relation to our daily lives and our relationships, the word civility suggests everything we should seek to accomplish as good citizens, such as kindness, forgiveness and respect. However, historically, the practice of civility has not been impartial or unbiased in its use, primarily because of its stereotypical application of muting and/or silencing those who were seen as inferior to the dominant culture.  This session will examine the historical applications of civility, as a tool to silence and justify violence upon people of color, from slavery, the Jim Crow era and police brutality, to practicing civility as a means to collectively mobilize and address the social injustices that are prevalent today. 

Presenter: Dr. Veella Grooms, Carnegie Mellon University


Portrait of Cicero M. Fain III, Ph.D

Dr. Cicero M. Fain III

Dr. Cicero M. Fain, III, is a native of Huntington, WV. He received his B. A. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a M.Ed. from George Mason University. He is the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship from Marshall University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University. His teaching career includes positions at Marshall, Ohio University-Southern, Niagara University, and the College of Southern Maryland. He has authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals, including “Buffalo Soldier, Deserter, Criminal: The Remarkably Complicated Life of Charles Ringo,” in the Ohio Valley Journal, which is his current book project. His first book, “Black Huntington: An Appalachian Story,” published in 2019 by the University of Illinois Press was a finalist for the Appalachian Studies Association Weatherford Award. In 2021 the West Virginia Library Association awarded it the Literary Merit Award. In fall 2022, Black Huntington was chosen as the inaugural book selection for campus-wide reading by Marshall University’s Higher Learning Commission’s Quality Initiative Committee. He was recently appointed as the inaugural Assistant Provost of Inclusive Excellence & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow at Marshall.

Portrait of Veella R. Grooms, EdD

Dr. Veella R. Grooms

Dr. Veella R. Grooms has an expansive background working with diverse populations and encouraging success within cross-cultural environments.  After providing counseling and referral services in the mental health field for 12 years, she transitioned to higher education.  Over her 25 years higher education career, she has developed and provide training on intrusive counseling to all of the community and technical colleges throughout the state of West Virginia, and established programs, policies, and practices that are fundamental to the advancement of student success and diversity, equity, and inclusion of racially minoritized students transitioning into college.  She has a demonstrated leadership career in higher education, serving as a Director for Diversity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator and Vice President/Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.  Dr. Grooms has also held faculty appointments, developed curriculum and taught new student seminar courses to support success, and has presented at local and national conferences on various topics, including assessment of prior learning, student retention, and successful intrusive counseling strategies and techniques.  In her current position as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Civility Initiatives, Dr. Grooms’ efforts are aimed at increasing opportunities for respectful discourse, enhancing students’ capacity to resolve conflicts and assisting with cultivating a deep sense of self-awareness, intercultural understanding and belonging through dialogue and restorative practices.

In additional to a bachelor’s degree in Counseling & Rehabilitation from Marshall University, Veella also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and a doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.  Veella’s dissertation and research interests focus on disrupting racially biased ideologies and developing institutional initiatives and strategies that promote engagement and inclusion of racially minorities students attending predominantly white institutions. 

Veella is married to Dr. Craig S. Grooms, who is the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Planning at the University of Pittsburgh.  Veella and Craig have two children, Danielle and Donovan, and a six-year-old granddaughter, Kendel.

Portrait of Dr. Andrew Feight

Dr. Andrew Feight

Dr. Andrew Feight is a Professor of American History and the Director of the Center for Public History at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. He also serves as the Coordinator of the History Major and the Digital Appalachian Studies programs and is the Developer and Editor of Scioto Historical, a public history mobile app and website that explores the history of Portsmouth, Ohio and the surrounding Appalachian region. Professor Feight is a native of Sandy Springs, Georgia; a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina; and received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where he specialized in the history of the abolition movement.

Portrait of Dr. Teresa McKenzie

Dr. Teresa McKenzie

Dr. Teresa McKenzie is an Air Force veteran, who served during the Persian Gulf War where she worked on an inpatient psychiatry unit. She currently serves as the accessibility and veterans’ services coordinator and an adjunct faculty member at Ohio University. Dr. McKenzie has worked in higher education for 20 plus years and has spent most of that time working with students from diverse backgrounds. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western Carolina University, her master’s degree in professional studies and her doctorate in adult education from Capella University and completed a graduate certificate in veterans' health from Ohio University. Dr. McKenzie has co-facilitated conference workshops at the Tri-State Diversity Conference, presented at the Women in the Military Conference at the Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center and was the keynote speaker for veteran's programs at OHIO Southern, Ashland Community and Technical College, and Collins Career Technical Center.

Portrait of Darrell Smith

Darrell Smith

Darrell Smith, a co-founder of the C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum, was born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky. A trustee and financial secretary with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and an avid volunteer at the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center, Darrell has been appointed the first African American to the Board. He is a champion of black history and racial tolerance, and in an effort to stop the erasure of black history in the area, Darrell created the Ashland, Kentucky Black History Facebook page to showcase the efforts and accomplishments of African Americans who have contributed to our collective history and culture.