By Elliot Heis
To help celebrate Black History Month, ESPN will be running TV
spots highlighting the efforts of select African Americans who are
making a difference at colleges around the nation, including Cal
Renford Reese, a political science professor here at Cal Poly
will be featured in spots on all ESPN channels throughout the
“I was humbled that they would feature me in something as
significant as Black History Month,” Reese said. “I also felt it
would be great for Cal Poly.”
Reese is being featured in particular for his “Colorful Flags”
program, which teaches its participants five common phrases of
The program is designed to break down barriers caused by
language in communities and has been adopted by people both in and
out of the classroom.
“Colorful Flags” has even been picked up by law enforcement
departments, who use the program to learn simple phrases in the
five most common languages in the communities they operate.
It is also used in classes at Cal Poly, such as Reese’s
Policies, Politics and Pop Culture class.
Reese, who always promotes school pride on campus, was quick to
point out that this feature brings attention to more than just one
“This is bigger than Renford Reese, it’s about Cal Poly.” Said
Reese was the last of the professors to be filmed, as he has
been in Hong Kong teaching in a university there, and was not
expected back on campus until the Spring. However when given the
opportunity, Reese jumped at it.
The feature is slated to include footage of Reese before he left
Hong Kong lecturing to a class in Chinese.
“During my 14 years at Cal Poly one of my main motivations has
been to put the university in the public eye and give it the
attention it deserves,” Reese said.
It will be a busy month for Reese, who has a novel coming out
March 1. “Hong Kong Nights” was inspired by Reese’s trip to the
city, and tells the story about a young black male who moves from
the inner city to Hong Kong to live with his uncle.
Reese will return to Cal Poly classes in the Spring.
Reach Elliot Heis at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Nguyen/Poly Post
Cal Poly prof. featured on ESPN
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