Dr. Stefan Bradley – Coming Home With Something to Say

Director of African American Studies at Saint Louis University (SLU), longtime activism scholar and Yakima native, Dr. Stefan Bradley is coming home with something to say.

His upcoming talk, “Freedom and Beyond: Activism, Access and Achievement in the Age of Ferguson” about black student achievement and activism on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the CWU Wellington Event Center, has people in the area excited, Hype staff included.

“It’s my opportunity to share with people in the audience what the uprising in Ferguson looked liked at the ground level as a professor in the area,” Bradley said, referencing the fact that he had taken students from his classes out to the protests in Ferguson that followed the death of Michael Brown in March of 2014.

Stefan Bradley

Dr. Stefan Bradley

Bradley, also an associate professor of history at SLU, feels it is his responsibility as an educator and scholar to share his experience and passion for activism, particularly student activism, with those younger than him.

“It would be sinful of me to let the older generation sacrifice themselves and for me to not pay the favor forward to the younger generation. It would be wrong for me to not say something when I could,” Bradley earnestly explained, saying that he’s excited to come home with experiences to share.

“It’s about what we can do to motivate and inspire on a 21st century college campus,” Dr. Keith Champagne, associate dean of student development and success, said. “He knows that what’s happening outside of the campus can inform what happens on the campus. He’s someone they [students] can emulate and imitate.”

Champagne explained he’s excited students like Nina Caldwell, ASCWU vice president for legislative affairs and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. president, are taking an active roll in bringing speakers like Bradley to campus as part of the university wide Social Justice and Human Rights Series.

“I’ve always lived off this whole model that without knowledge, you’re ignorant,” Caldwell said. “If you don’t engage in these conversations, you’re living off a stereotype.”

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Nina Caldwell

Being a student is a lifelong endeavor, it takes constant listening, engaging and discussing to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Reading Dr. Bradley’s book, “Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s” is a good start to learning about student activism, but coming to his talk will work equally well. Hype staff will be there because we, like you, are excited to learn.

“The one thing I hope students get from it is empathy,” Caldwell said about her wishes for the event’s effect on her fellow students. “The more people we have on the topic, on the subject as a whole, the easier it is to have a resolution.”

This year’s Giving Tree was a fruitful harvest

When the Giving Tree was erected on Nov. 8, there were 362 tags dangling from the green, leafy limbs. Inscribed on each small piece of paper were the holiday wishes of boys and girls at elementary schools across Kittitas County.

A full month later, presents of all shapes and sizes now line the walls of the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement — the office that has sponsored the event for 18 years running. With today being the last day of the season to return gifts, the overflowing piles of gifts get bigger and bigger as people pour in with presents in hand.

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CLCE student programmers Binh Vo and Jasmine Gonzalez both worked on the Giving Tree this year. 

Some could say it’s a Christmas miracle. Others could say it’s not a miracle; it’s the goodwill and benevolence of the community giving to children at a time when they need it most. Not everyone gets to experience the holidays the same way, and it’s through the Giving Tree that the CLCE has ensured every kid — regardless of their family’s economic situation — receives a gift.

When I walked by the CLCE office, I was blown away by the literal piles of presents waiting to be distributed to children in the county. I could see the presents in the main entryway and in the bookcases to the left and right of the doorway, but what I couldn’t see were the larger piles of presents in the back of the office.

362 tags were taken within weeks of the Giving Tree going up, and while the CLCE doesn’t know how many presents have been returned yet, it’s safe to assume this year has been one of the best yet. People in the community are really giving Santa a run for his money.

So if you’re still waiting to return a gift for the Giving Tree event, remember to drop them off at the CLCE office by 5 p.m. today.

Oh, and happy holidays from CWU Hype!

Hallelujah – Nicole Lewis is coming to town

It’s been a long quarter of great music but can you believe it’s not even over yet? One of Washington’s biggest names in country music is headed to Central Washington University Wednesday, Nov. 18 when Nicole Lewis takes the stage.

To say she’s a country music powerhouse would be selling her short. Since graduating from Gonzaga in 2008, this owner of a heavenly voice has been writing and performing her own music in addition to performing some incredible covers.

To experience shome chills and perhaps shed a tear or two, check out her live performance of “Hallelujah” with Luke Yates.

After winning the “Gimme the MIKE!” TV competition and driving away in her new Toyota Camry, Lewis has been sharing stages with Ben Folds, Vicci Martinez and other notable musical acts. She’s also appeared on other TV music competitions such as “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

When she takes the stage at the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Pit tomorrow at 8 p.m. for her free concert, she’ll be playing music off her 2013 album, “My Kind of Paradise.”

Hits off the album such as “Hurricane” feature Lewis’ soft and sultry voice that can instantly ramp up as crashing guitars and steady drums fill the echo chamber with classic country music vibes.

It’s her acoustic sets, though, where Lewis’ impressive vocal range truly shines. Her ability to sing all kinds of different styles and pitches sets her apart from many other country music acts, and it doesn’t hurt that she could substitute in for Carrie Underwood or the Dixie Chicks without missing a beat.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see one of country music’s most impressive acts when Nicole Lewis rolls into town to play at the SURC Pit  Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.

The Zombie Bash: it will be a graveyard smash

Sometimes, Halloween can be so much fun that it leaves people feeling like zombies. Whether it’s too much candy, too much apple cider or a combination of the two, students are in luck because they’re invited to come out Saturday, Oct. 31 for a night so fun, it’s sure to be frightening. The SURC will be transformed into a zombie’s heaven starting at 9 p.m. and will be packed with events for any Halloween enthusiast. This event is for CWU students and their guests only, and all are free.

Zombie Bash

Zombie Bash Schedule of Events:

Zombie Zone

The Recreation Center will be closing, turning off all the lights and be overrun by the undead! In teams of four, players will enter the Zombie Zone and complete missions with the use of Nerf guns.

  • Recreation Center
  • 9 p.m. – midnight
  • Registration begins at 8:30 p.m. in front of the Information Center

Rob Zombie Zone

Inflatable obstacle course.

  • 9 p.m. – midnight 

Movie: Cooties

It’s cooties, but all grown up. A group of teachers fend off a swarm of elementary school students transformed into savages by a “cooties” virus. Starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson.

  • 10 p.m.
  • SURC Pit

Caricatures

Get a one-of-a-kind zombie caricature drawn for you and your friends.

  • Near SURC Pit
  • 9 p.m. – midnight

For more information contact Cherie Wilson, student union associate director, at 509-963-1350 or wilsonc@cwu.edu.

CWU B2B Represents at Regional Summit

The Student African American Brotherhood/Brother 2 Brother organization (SAAB/B2B) provides young men from all backgrounds a means of social and academic support; they’re passionate, compassionate, and they’re concerned about your collegiate success. Here at Central, the brotherhood is strong.

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Dr. Bledsoe and SAAB spokesperson Dondrė Whitfield. Photo credit: Mr. Tyree Vance, Advance Image

“When you walk through that door, we’re going to embrace you and validate you,” said SAAB founder and CEO Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe. “I don’t care what side of town you’re from or what your story is. I don’t care if you’re black, white, Latino or Asian. SAAB will embrace you.”

Welcome to Los Angeles

This past weekend (Friday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 18) the CWU B2B chapter attended SAAB’s Western Regional Cluster Summit and 25th anniversary gala in Los Angeles. Being one of SAAB’s newest chapters, this was the first time the CWU members had a chance to meet and mingle with their brothers from other chapters.

Dr. Keith Champagne and Dr. Raymond Hall put tireless effort into bringing the SAAB/B2B organization to our campus, and last spring their vision was fully realized. Working in collaboration with SAAB’s national headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Champagne and Dr. Hall successfully established the first B2B collegiate chapter in the Northwest region, effectively connecting the CWU campus with a nation wide network of student and professional SAAB colleagues and mentors.

“Dr. Champagne and I both want to provide these young men something that gives them hope for the future,” said Hall. “This is what SAAB does; it gives students hope.”

“I think its history-making,” added Champagne. “We’re doing something they’re not doing at Washington State, University of Washington, Western or Eastern. We’re hoping to make history here.”

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Dr. Bledsoe, Dr. Hall, and Dr. Champagne at the reception.

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CWU SAAB Brothers swagged in their black suits.

“Saving Lives … Salvaging Dreams”

SAAB/B2B strives to be the premier organization of professional and academic support and mentorship in the country. They drive their members to strive for greatness. Their model is one of success, and they do not settle for mediocrity. To be a member of SAAB is to embrace these standards and to make a commitment to education and to achieve graduation.

Underprivileged young men are at a greater statistical risk of failure, and those who lack a strong network of support are even more at-risk. In 2005, only 11 percent of all enrolled college students were African American males, and an even more alarming statistic is the number of diplomas issued to African American males in that same year – a mere 7 percent. And this is not an issue of complacency or competency; it is an issue of support and opportunity.

These numbers have been on a steady increase over the last ten years, in part due to the work done by organizations like SAAB. By providing a model of love, inclusion, and relentless pursuit of its members’ success, SAAB serves as a foundation on which the academic structures of these young men can be built. Much like a house, the structure cannot stand without the foundation.

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The CWU crew at the anniversary celebration and gala.

Setting the Standard for 25 years and Counting

In 1990, Dr. Bledsoe established the organization’s first chapter at Georgia Southwestern State University. In 1996, SAAB extended its reach across state lines when it opened its second chapter on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. This was the start of the expansion of a program that would reach nation wide and find itself as the leading institution for academic support and philanthropy for underprivileged African American males. Now in its 25th year, SAAB has 320 chapters in 34 states and continues to expand.

SAAB’s mission is to provide positive intervention to promising young men who may otherwise lack support and opportunity. “We invest in those things we care about,” said Bledsoe. “We don’t want to replace your family, we want to be an extension of your family. We want you to graduate college, and what we provide is guidance. To quote the late Dr. King, ‘Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles but we have misguided men.’”

For more information about the CWU B2B chapter and to learn how to join the brotherhood, click here. 

‘Along for the ride’ – Q&A with Whiskey N’ Rye lead singer Philip Lindholm

Americana, blues, roots-rock; whatever you want to call it, Whiskey N’ Rye is it. This five-piece from Seattle knows how to put on a show. They recently released their sophomore album, “Sick Soul Summertime” to rave reviews and sizable fan-fare.

They’re headed to CWU this Friday, so we caught up with lead singer and songwriter Philip Lindholm to ask him about their influences as a band, what their journey to fame has looked like and why of all place, they chose CWU to perform.

Whiskey N Rye

When did the band start and what got you into making music?

The band started around 2013. I’ve been making music for a long time. I started when I was a student at Central from 2001 to 2003. I was always playing but I didn’t actually start songwriting untilI had a weird neighbor in the dorms that was always playing and writing music.

So you went to Central? What did you study?

I graduated with a double major, actually. One in philosophy and religious studies, and then an independent studies. You were able to craft your own degree and dialogue with an advisor. My advisor knew Hebrew and Aramaic. That was something that I wanted to study.

I was in Douglas honors college, I was kicked out. Got kicked out because I was doing homework for one class for another class.

What did you do right out of college?

It’s funny, after I graduated I went over seas for college. I went to oxford and spent a lot of time there over in Europe. It was there that I started to really develop as a songwriter and a producer. I’d been writing for a while and producing forever. I really started to form songs together that were much bigger than me. I was hearing music that was grand. I was writing music that required more music, more sounds and more pallets. I was working at the BBC at the time and I ended up quitting I moved back to Seattle to start a recording studio. It was really hard to write music over there and I was working full time. I took the money I saved up and threw it into a rehearsal studio.

Wait, you worked at BBC? Doing what?

At BBC, I was a documentary filmmaker. I was working film production for making documentaries.

As you’re probably aware, you took the stereotype for rock ‘n’ roll singer and threw it out the window.

Generally it sounds pretty odd to people. When you read the band bios, I really don’t bring it up.

How long have the five of you known each other?

We’re going on three years now, which sounds like a long time, but it’s been going so fast, we literally started our very first gig at the mix in Seattle. There were 30 people there, and the stage show, the sounds, was all very nascent. It wasn’t formed yet. We grew form that 30 person show to playing a big auditorium of a thousand person stadium in Reno. We’re playing for the Sounders here in a few weeks. It’s kind of exploding, we’re just along for the ride at this point.

The Sounders? That sounds like a huge show

We actually play the march to the match is what it’s called. There’s a big parade that goes through Seattle in Pioneer Square that goes to the field. We’re in discussions of actually playing inside the stadium for different events.

Is this you first serious band; what did you do before?

It’s the only band I’ve had. We’ve changed a couple faces here and there. This is the only band I’ve ever been in. a lot of guys have been in lots of different projects. This is my baby, this is the only one I got. I give it everything I got.

What’s it like being a southern-style rock group in Seattle?

Surprisingly enough, we’re amongst kind of a smaller group of bands that are doing similar sounds. As foreign as it might be to this region, there’s actually a lot of it going on. We’re not a movement like the EDM movement. We have no Decibel Festival, or that type of support. We have a lot of people yearning for actual instruments in their music. People who still love rock and roll, people who identify with where rock and roll has come from, but where rock and roll can go in a way that still resonates with those blues roots, Americana roots.

So explain roots-rock to me. What exactly does that mean?

We call ourself a roots rock band which means we incorporate Americana, folk, that sort of thing. Those are genres that rely heavily upon emotion and real instruments. Not having any other production elements in a song. One of the things we do is, we’ll lay everything down and then we’ll let it sit for a while. If I’m distracted by anything in the song, if there’s anything in the way, then it goes. There’s really sense of needing to be very discerning of what the song actually requires. There’s a lot of toys out there now, a lot of buttons to be pushed and strings to be pulled. When the guitar is soloing, we want you to know it, when the drums are pounding, we want you to feel it.

What sort of reaction have you seen from your album “Sick Soul Summertime”? Have you had an audience sing your lyrics back yet?

We were doing this show in Reno as part of a benefit for a local food bank. We thought we would show up and play our tails off. The there was singing our lyrics back to us. The record had done very well there in about a month previous to us showing up. When we showed up, it was incredible show. We ended up staying for an hour, hour and a half. It was pretty surreal for us. We find, when people hear the music they like it.

What is that moment like, as a songwriter, to hear an audience sing your lyrics back to you?

I think every songwriter, when they write a song, gets to a point in the process where they say, ‘Is this for me, or is it for the world?’ What drives that decision is what’s best for somebody. The clearest and most obvious is when you show up and somebody is singing that back to you. The song no longer belongs to me, it’s there’s now. They’ve made it there own, they’re kind of giving it back.

What spurred the decision to come back to Central?

We’ve only been working with college booker for six months now. I told him that we’d really like to go back to central. I still have friends there, still have professors there, I would love to go back. My drummer is 16-years-old. We really love that college vibe. We feel like, the music is a whole lot of fun and when you play colleges, we find that people are jumping along with us. We love the college market. I personally have an affinity for Central.

It’s a cliché question, but, what sort of bands have influenced you guys?

Each of the guys would answer that a bit differently. From a song writer place, John Lennon has mapped it for me. My keyboard and drummer are big McCartney fans. My keyboardist for example, grew up in Italy, if you ask him about his music influence, he’ll say something completely different.

As I grow older, the Seattle sound makes a lot more impact now then it did then. There was a lot of noise back then, and now, especially with streaming, I can be a lot more selective of what I want to listen to. I find myself returning to those sounds that came from the 1990’s.

You recently got a great producer. What’s it been like working with him?

We do believe in allowing a certain amount of chaos on stage, and in the studio. We did mix with Jack Endino. This is a guy that refuses to work on a click track. Most of the recording studios, 99 percent play everything to a click track. Jack Endino comes along and says, ‘Look all my favorite records in rock history, there’s emotion in the music.’ While we don really sound like a lot of those sounds, we certainly appreciate the earnestness and the artistry, and that’s really what a recording does. It captures a band in a moment.

What’s your favorite venue to play at?

We do love colleges, there’s just an energy there you’re not going to find elsewhere. We also like to go into the dirtiest dive bars in towns. We’ve played some prim and proper venues where people are seated in booths and they’re just kind of watching while they’re eating their salmon. We enjoy that, but it’s a very different set. For colleges – depending on the event – we like to turn it up a bit and have some fun. If we were left to our own devices, and we could play anywhere, we would find a really dirty club and play on.

College Radio Day: Round Two

If you were here last year, you probably heard of the College Radio Day Parade – a loving ode to College Radio Day created by 88.1 The ‘Burg featuring a parade and live music at the El Mira in Downtown Ellensburg. Well now, it’s time for year two. And with experience comes expertise, so this year, The ‘Burg is pulling out all the stops and making the College Radio Day celebration bigger, better and Ayron Jones-er.

If you didn’t know, Ayron Jones and The Way is a heavy rock trio that literally drips with pure talent. The energy, sound and emotion that these three guys can create will have you swearing that there’s at least nine people on stage. Their music sounds like a mixture between the heavy vocals of Seven Mary Three, with the masterful guitar work of Jimmy Hendrix and the technical drumming prowess of Dream Theatre or Avenged Sevenfold with the late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.

I can’t oversell how much talent Ayron Jones and The Way has. It’s not possible. They were here last year, and while only about 30 students showed up to check out their FREE show (okay, it was the Friday before Mother’s Day, but still) they were treated to one of the best live shows Ellensburg has ever seen. Yeah, I know Macklemore was here before he took off, and I’m aware we had Phillips Phillips but honestly, I would put Ayron Jones up there with some of the greats of rock ‘n’ roll.

Look at this video. He’s playing the guitar with a drum stick. WITH A DRUM STICK.

At this year’s College Radio Day celebration, make sure to check out Ayron Jones and The Way. They’ll be the guys on stage rocking your socks off. And remember to support your College Radio State of the Year, 88.1 The ‘Burg. Ayron Jones and The Way starts at 9:15 p.m. on the stage behind Iron Horse Brewery.

For more information, check out the calendar listing here.