Final Birmingham 101 event for spring shines light on Ensley-UAB connection

By Jordan Lessley

UAB News

UAB News
UAB News

The final Birmingham 101 event of the spring semester will focus on the Ensley community, the development of Ensley High School and its ties to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Birmingham 101 series, presented by the Civic Engagement Committee of UAB’s Leadership and Service Council, is free and open to the public. The event will take place at the Ensley Live Loft on Tuesday, April 18, beginning with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at 6 p.m. This will be the first Birmingham 101 event to be hosted in the community that is being featured.

The aim of the Birmingham 101 series is to broaden students’ experiences and knowledge of social justice issues of Birmingham’s diverse neighborhoods by using local high schools as a focal point. The common experiences panelists share as alumni of Ensley High School will generate discussion around the development of the school and community over time. The advantages and obstacles Ensley faces as a community serve as a microcosm of those facing all of Birmingham’s neighborhoods.

The alumni panelists will include:

  • Antonio Spurling – attorney, Antonio Spurling & Associates LLC
  • Marquita Spurling – local businesswoman and philanthropist
  • Jennifer Wycoff, Ed.D.  – program administrator, UAB Collat School of Business
  • Lonnie Hannon, Ph.D. – associate professor, Tuskegee University
  • Tony Petelos – Jefferson County manager and former mayor of Hoover
  • Monica Agee – attorney, Law Offices of Monica Agee
  • Angela Day, Ed.S. – coordinator of human capital, Birmingham City Schools
  • Charles Willis, PH.D. – principal, G.W. Carver High School

David Dada, coordinator of the Leadership and Service Council at UAB’s Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, is pleased to offer students transportation to this event for the first time.

“We will provide transportation for students interested in going via the Blazer Express stop on the 16th Street side of the Blazer Circle,” Dada said. The bus is set to pick up students from the stop at 4:15 p.m. and leave the venue at 7:45 p.m.

Birmingham 101 focuses on the history of Birmingham high schools and some ties to UAB.

Organized by UAB Student Affairs, Student Involvement and Leadership, the program highlighted two high schools per semester. Events included panel discussions with graduates of the featured school from the 1960s to present day, or when the school closed if it is no longer open.

Birmingham 101 began with West End High School in September; Woodlawn High, November and Parker High (February 2017) and Ensley High (April 2017).

“The history and significance of Birmingham is too often limited to the events of the 1960s, and this program is seeking to provide students with a more accurate depiction of the city’s development,” said Dada.