NEW PALTZ — Social anthropologist Asha Samad, chairperson of the Women’s Studies Program at City College in New York and executive director of the Somalia Association for Relief and Development (SAFRAD), will speak at the State University of New York at New Paltz on February 12. Her topic will be African Female Initiation Ceremonies.

For more than a decade, the College has sponsored a Speakers Forum in celebration of nationally celebrated Black History Month. This year’s theme is The Black Woman: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

“The Black History Month Speaker’s Forum creates an atmosphere where all groups can come together and learn information that may not be covered in the curriculum,” Margaret Wade-Lewis, chair of the SUNY New Paltz Black History Department said.

“It gives students an opportunity to meet people from many different fields, who are of African ancestory, while exploring a variety of issues surrounding African-American society — its history, language, education, and much more,” she added.

Samad, who also serves on the executive board of the New York Immigrant Women’s Health Task Force, has worked couragously to expose the hideousness and scope of the age-old ritual of genital mutiliation still being inflicted on millions of females every year — most of them African children.

The Speakers Forum is sponsored by the Black History Department and The College at New Paltz Foundation. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in LC 112. There is no admission charge.