[ Lansing, MI ]

Ethiopians in Michigan for Peace, Unity, and Democracy (EMPUD)

is preparing to celebrate the centennial of the victory of Ethiopia over colonialist Italy at the Battle of Adowa.

Fellow Ethiopians;

As much as we are distressed to note that this unique historical event that occupies special place in the history of the struggles of all peoples of Africa and African descent for freedom is to be celebrated during an all time low point in the history of Ethiopia, we are enthralled by being fortuitous to be among the generations that are afforded this rare opportunity to observe and celebrate its centenary. Even though we might have failed to measure up to the standard of our forefathers in our commitment and resolve in defending the proud and free country they handed down to us, we feel it is incumbent up on each of us to remember and commemorate the sacrifices they have paid to protect the freedom, dignity, and pride of the nation and its people. In our attempt to accomplish this modest task, we members of EMPUD are organizing two days long events for March 1 & 2, 1996.

The event includes:

several invited papers on the battle of Adowa (suggested topics include Significance of the Battle of Adowa to Ethiopia, Africa, and people of African Descent; Menilik's Strategy of the War and Participation of the Ethiopian People; The National Army and its Composition; Technical, Social, and Economic Constraints of the War; Assessment of the Different Interpretations of the War; Lessons from the Battle of Adowa for Present Day Ethiopia...)

(b) two panel discussion sessions
(i) Africa's peaceful resistance to colonialism in the last 100 years
(ii) Africa's armed resistance to colonialism in the last 100 years

(c) cultural events including war memorabilia shows

(d) Reception and Grand Ethiopian Nights including drinks, dinner, and dance.

Our program organization is much of academic style because of the setting we are operating in. However, we are trying to reach out to the larger Lansing community through different civic organizations (especially African and African-American organizations) and institutions that are potential sponsors of and partners in the celebration. We hope that Ethiopians in different parts of the world will do all their best to make this national day an international event by organizing some sort of activities reflecting the spirit of the Victory of the Battle of Adowa. EMPUD appreciates all suggestions that could help in improving the program and making the event successful. Likewise, we encourage all of those individuals who want to present papers, be panelist, and/or have anything that has something to do with the event to contact us off-line or by mail. (EMPUD P. O. Box 6334 E. Lansing, MI 48826)


"The Greatest Victory of An African Nation Over A European Power Since the Time of Hannibal"

March 1 & 2, 1996, International Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

Organized by Ethiopians in Michigan

Sponsored by ECLAV, MSU, Ethiopian Communities and Organizations in Michigan.

Friday (March 1, 1996) 1:00 - 1:30 pm


The Organizing Committee

The Honorable David Hollister, Mayor of Lansing

Friday (March 1, 1996) 1:30 - 3:00 pm SESSION 1

Session Chair: Daniel Kindie

"The Battle of Adwa: The Historic Victory of Ethiopians Over European Colonialism"
Paulos Milkias, Concordia University, Canada.

"Racist Discourse About Ethiopia Before and After the Battle of Adwa"
Harold Marcus, Michigan State University.

"The Significance of Adwa: A Personal Perspective"
Hailu Fulass, University of the District of Colombia.

Friday (March 1, 1996) 3:00 - 3:30 pm BREAK

Friday (March 1, 1996) 3:30 - 5:00 pm SESSION 2

Session Chair: Ayalew Kanno

"The Battle of Adwa: Pictorial"
Carl Robson, Case Western Reserve University

"Poster Exhibit"
Ayalew Keno, Michigan Department of Labor and Carl Robson,
Case Western Reserve University

Friday (March 1, 1996) 5:00 - 6:00 pm RECEPTION

Con-Con Room International Center, M.S.U.

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 9:00 - 9:30 am SPECIAL SESSION

Remarks by Guests of Honor A one minute silence will be observed in memory of the martyrs of Adwa at 9:30

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 9:30 - 10:30 am

KEYNOTE SPEECH "The Genesis of the Battle of Adwa and the Lessons We Learn From It"
Getachew Haile, St. John's University

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 10:30 - 11:00 pm Break

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 11:00 - 12:30 pm SESSION 3

Session Chair: Theodore M. Vestal

"Menelik: Consensus Builder and Master Mobilizer"
Shumet Sishagne, Christopher Newport University.

"Empress Taytu, Colonialism, Reinterpretation of the Battle of Adwa and the Impact on the Present Generation"
Astair GM Mengesha, Arizona State University West.

"The Battle of Adwa: Historical and Contemporary Significance"
Mesfin Araya, City University of New York .

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 12:30 - 1:30 pm Break

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 1:30 - 3:00 pm SESSION 4

Session Chair: Daniel Tefera

"Schooling and Collective Historical Memories: The Case of the Battle of Adwa"
Tilahun Sineshaw, Southeastern Louisiana University.

"The Battle of Adwa: Some Comments on the Treaty of Wuchalle"
Solomon Gashaw, University of Minnesota.

"Arms for Adwa: Menelik's Acquisitions of Weapons through Harar"
Timothy Carmichael, Michigan State University.

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 3:00 - 3:30 pm Break

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 3:30 - 5:00 pm SESSION 5

Session Chair: Sisay Assefa

"Reflections on the Battle of Adwa and its Significance for Today"
Theodore M. Vestal, Oklahoma State University.

"Menelik's Multi-ethnic Ethiopia Under Fire: The Danger of Ethnic Federalism"
Alemante Gebreselassie, College of William and Mary, Law School.

"The Victory of Adwa and Subsequent Challenges to Ethiopian Statehood"
Daniel Kindie, Henderson State University.

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 5:00 - 5:30 pm Break

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 5:30 - 7:00 pm PANEL DISCUSSION

"Lessons Learnt From the Victory of Adwa and Its Relevance to Present Day Ethiopia".

Panel Chair: Assefa Mehretu
Panelists: Daniel Kindie, Astair Mengesha, Schaefer and Getachew Begashaw

Saturday (March 2, 1996) 8:00 - 2:00 am DINNER & ENTERTAINMENT

Location: Roni's Place Reception Hall, 5200 W. State rd.. Lansing, MI

Ticket $15.00


Notes and Queries on Women at the Battle of Adwa,
Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, Middlebury College.

The Battle of Adwa as a "Historic Event",
Donald N. Levine, The University of Chicago.

The Logistic Base and Military Strategy of the Ethiopian Army: The Campaign and Battle of Adwa, Sept. , 1895 - Feb., 1896,
Tsegaye Tegenu, Uppsala University.



Ayalew Kanno, Assefa Mehretu, Imiru Assefa, Berhanu Alemayehu, Teshome Tadesse, Getachew Begashaw, Abraham Engeda.

General Committee Members:

Wogayehu Tadesse, Meskerem Tadesse, Macda Fiseha, Merid Amde, Ambachew Nigussie, Worknesh Kebede, Bayeh Desta, Seifu Lessanework, Worknesh T. E., Dejene Aredo, Brtucan Prince.

Proceedings Editors:

Teshome Tadesse, Abraham Engeda, Getachew Begashaw.


ECLAV, EMPUD, EMM, EAF, ASMSU, COGS, MSU African Study Center, MSU Provost Office, MSU-CASID, Blue Nile Restaurant, Abyssinian Restaurant, Meski's Store, Worknesh Spices.


For any information, input or suggestion please contact:

Assefa Mehretu: Pho: (517) 353 9739;
E.Mail: mehereru@pilot.msu.edu
Getachew Begashew: Pho: (517) 336 8546;
E.Mail: begashaw@pilot.msu.edu
Abraham Engeda: Pho: (517) 432 1834;
E.Mail: engeda@pilot.msu.edu

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