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HCC hosts Constitution Day ‘08

Dr. Delacy Stith

Halifax Community College hosted its fourth annual Constitution & Citizenship Day, Sept. 16. The event took place in the 100 Building. Federal law requires that any agency receiving federal funds acknowledge Constitution Day.

HCC History Instructor and Department Chair Shaun Stokes coordinated the event. Dr. Delacy Stith, a professor of Criminal Justice at Elizabeth City State University, gave the keynote speech. In his address, he called the Constitution a “living document” that was ratified in 1789 after two years of deliberation. He noted that the big confusion for the founders was over the issue of control—big states versus smaller ones.

Stith spoke about the three branches of government and the balance of powers. He also spoke about the articles of the Constitution and gave some background history on each of these. Stith addressed the Constitutional amendments and reviewed how each affected the country’s citizens. He offered that two of the most significant changes were those that allowed African Americans and women to vote noting, “Those really changed America far beyond anything else that has occurred in this country.”

He also encouraged everyone to vote saying, “If you don’t vote, you’ve lost your voice.” Stith noted that most of the change in this country has been accomplished through non-violent means and that amazes people in other countries.