The Davis & Elkins College Presidential Initiative on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will present a public virtual event from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Month. Ivan Watkins, ethno-historian, artist and filmmaker, will be the featured speaker.

The free event will take place via Zoom. To RSVP and obtain the Zoom link, email Director of Career Services Chris Jones at

In his lecture titled “Black Indian Cultural Expressions – Reflections Between the U.S. and Brazil,” Watkins will illustrate parallel cultural expressions that demonstrate cultural preservation and common practices across continental divides. Specifically, he will discuss the Black Indians of Carnival in New Orleans and the Black Indians of St. John Festival in Maranhao, Brazil. Capoeira and other forms of expression rooted in resistance and cultural survival will be highlighted.

Watkins has focused his research on the identity maintenance of “Black Indians” in the Southeastern United States, Louisiana, the Caribbean and Northeast Brazil. His work in the 1990s helped spark an emerging discourse in academia, museums and cultural institutions.