RIT Celebrates Native American Heritage Month with Radmilla Cody

Navajo recording artist, award winner will speak and perform Nov. 29

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RIT hosts Navajo performer Radmilla Cody as the keynote speaker for Native American Heritage Month, Nov. 29.

Radmilla Cody has lived her life with the hope of inspiring others to follow their dreams while, at the same time, having the strength to overcome domestic violence and educate others about the epidemic of violence.

As the keynote speaker for Rochester Institute of Technology’s celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Cody will address the community and perform from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in RIT’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies, adjacent to James E. Booth Hall. The event is free, but guests are encouraged to register online in advance at https://clipboard.rit.edu/take.cfm?sid=72446E7B or call 585-475-4982.

Cody is a traditional Navajo recording artist, Indie Award winner, Native American Award nominee, Miss Navajo Nation (1997) and international performer. A survivor of domestic violence, Cody uses her personal experiences to advocate against violence, and as a biracial woman, she hopes to communicate positive messages about her dual identity as she believes that children who are biracial or multiracial are still affected by prejudice.

Cody is also the subject of a documentary called Hearing Radmilla, which explores her journey as an activist and performer. The award-winning film premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in 2012 and has received national and international attention from various film festivals and conferences.

In 2010, Cody was selected for NPR’s “50 Great Voices,” a yearlong series featuring singers from all over the world. She was also recently awarded the Black History Makers Award 2012 from Initiative Radio.

“Radmilla Cody’s journey is one of remarkability,” says Nizhoni Chow-Garcia, director of RIT’s Native American Future Stewards Program. “Raised by her traditional Navajo grandmother, crowned the first biracial Miss Navajo Nation, having served time in a federal prison, Radmilla’s words promote self reflection and a sense of connection. To this effect, I look forward to ‘Hearing Radmilla’ and am excited to welcome her to the RIT campus.”

The program is presented in partnership by RIT’s Native American Future Stewards Program, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Campus Life, AALANA (African American, Latin American, Native American) Collegiate Association and the Native American Student Association.