ELKINS – Davis & Elkins College will kick off celebrations for Black History Month with a convocation featuring regional speakers the Rev. Father Paul Abernathy and Javier McCoy. Free and open to the public, the event will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, February 6 in Madden Student Center, Timms Lounge.
The Black History Month Convocation is presented by D&E Campus Activities and Multicultural Programs.
An Orthodox Christian priest, Abernathy has shared his insight through multiple speaking platforms including TEDx Pittsburgh, Pitt Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the YMCA Stand Against Racism.
Professionally, Abernathy is the first director of the newly established Neighborhood Resilience Project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The position grew out of his service as inaugural director of FOCUS Pittsburgh, a non-profit located in the Hill District committed to supporting the greater Pittsburgh region with its three-pillar healing strategy known as Trauma Informed Community Development. He also is pastor of St. Moses Orthodox Christian Mission and a member of the adjunct faculty at Duquesne University.
Abernathy has served as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. He graduated from St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and earned a master’s in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Wheeling Jesuit University.
McCoy currently serves as a residence hall coordinator at West Virginia University where he oversees an honors residence hall on the Evansdale Campus. Prior to joining WVU, he was an area coordinator in the Office of Residence Life at Wheeling Jesuit University. Seeing a need to support underrepresented students on campus, McCoy led extensive programing for campus diversity and inclusion efforts. In this role, Javier served as advisor to the Black Student Union, the International Student Organization and LGBTQAI+ Organization. During his time, he created and implemented the inaugural Black History Convocation, the inaugural Multicultural Graduation Celebration and the now popular Tough Talks and Tacos series.
McCoy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration from Salem University. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Alpha Zeta Lambda Chapter in Morgantown.