Southwest State University ISO member, Larry Pinkney, was quoted in a Jan 28, 1985 Independent (Southwest Minnesota’s Messenger, Marshall, Minnesota) article entitled “SSU’s International Student Organization seeks unity, understanding” by Independent Staff Writer, LuAnn Schmaus.

Excerpts from the article highlighting Larry Pinkney (image below):

MARSHALL – Communication is the first step in building unity, according to members of the International Student Organization of Southwest State University.

Saying they have no magical formula to create this unity among students, staff, faculty, administration and townspeople, members of the ISO’s sensitivity committee are trying to promote the message that ISO is for everyone, not just students from other countries or minorities.

“As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Violence is the voice of the unheard,'” said Larry Pinkney of the ISO, before explaining that there are all kinds of violence such as deprivation, injustice and non-communication. The [latter] is what ISO’s sensitivity committee wants to overcome, he added.


“We have encountered some devastating problems thus far,” said Pinkney of California, citing catcalls in hallways and anonymous telephone calls. “But the way ISO has approached this thus far is taking a negative situation and turning it into a positive situation.”

To begin making the negative positive, ISO members set three goals: revitalize, organize and build.

“We decided to get more students…to expand our thrust in the general student body,” Pinkney said. To accomplish this, ISO members met with resident advisers and others on campus, put up posters and had KMHL broadcast information inviting people to a meeting Wednesday night.

The attendance of about 50 students, including SSU President Robert Carothers, the dean of students and many white American students, was overwhelming, said ISA adviser Janet Thomas.

The meeting represents “a crossroads and a momentum,” Pinkney said, adding that the average meeting used to be about five students.

Also, student groups sent representatives and may help link ISO to other organizations. Other SSU groups, such as the university affirmative action committee, are examining problems minorities encounter at the university and in the community, according to Johnson, a committee member.

ISO’s meeting was important, however, because it represents a search for finding where the break in communication for minorities and international students at SSU occurred and if that break can be repaired, Pinkney said.


Photo caption:

Communication is the building block for better understanding, according to members of the International Students Organization’s Sensitivity Group of Southwest State University. Members include Gregory B. Cox, Anne Holms, Nory Ghazali, advisor Janet Thomas, Sonia Ramirez and Larry Pinkney. (Photo by LuAnn Schmaus)


Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)


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