Gloria Howell is the Director of the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center.
From Mississippi to Indiana
I grew up in a very small town called New Albany, Mississippi. I came to IU in 2013 to work on my PhD in Higher Ed. I finished that, and I'm still here.
Education is Freedom. Especially the Arts.
I'm really passionate about education. For me, education is freedom. I think education can free us. And not just traditional forms of education. My dissertation and research are on the arts. I think the arts are one of the few things everybody can get. Maybe not from a talent perspective, but something everybody can learn from and grow from. I think everybody should have access to the arts, no matter what their resources.
Telling Black Stories
The Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center is one of the oldest black culture centers in the country. In 2019-20, we celebrated our 50th year anniversary. We focused a lot of attention that year on honoring our ancestors, the people who made things possible at IU for black students, faculty and staff.
When I became the director in 2020, I wanted us to continue to have a thematic focus for our programming. And so I thought, let's have a theme of black stories, to tell the stories of those who came before us. This year's Black History Month theme is "The Show Goes On. From gospel to blues to rap, dance to poetry to literature, to photography and visual arts - we can find stories of the journey to freedom, civil rights, and equity.
Her claim to fame
"The Glow" is my claim to fame, at Crumble. It's a white chocolate and macadamia nut latte. I used to go there all the time when I was a student, and ordered that drink. They finally named it after me.