Texas Tech Black Faculty and Staff Association Celebrates Black History Month

The Texas Tech University/ Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) will honor Lubbock realtors and business entrepreneurs R.J. and Octavia Givens during its Black History Month Opening Banquet.

The banquet is at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Forum of the School of Law Building at 1805 Hartford Ave.

Tickets are available for the event that will feature keynote speaker Brandale Randolph, executive director of Project Poverty and curator for TedX Lubbock.

R.J. Givens has owned and operated Givens Agency for more than 40 years. He became the first black man to join the Lubbock Board of Realtors and sit on the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Editorial Board.

He retired from the Lubbock Post Office after 32 years, served as an equal-opportunity counselor for postal workers in the Lubbock region and was president of the American Postal Workers Union, 952. He is a deacon of New Hope Baptist Church, member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and a 33 Degree Mason of the Rio Grande Consistory Number 24.

Octavia Givens was the first black cashier for Starks Brothers Grocery in Austin and Southwestern Public Service in Lubbock. She also was the first black female realtor in the Lubbock Association of Realtors. In 1974, she opened Givens Employment Agency and later assisted in the formation of the Lubbock Black Chamber of Entrepreneurs. She is a member of the Deaconess Board for New Hope Baptist Church and of the Texas Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors.

Banquet proceeds benefit the BFSA Scholarship Fund and the National Block Club University, an organization dedicated to combating violence in crime-riddled neighborhoods around the country.

Tickets cost $12, $6 for students. RSVP by Jan. 31 by calling (806) 742-1997 ext. 268 or by email at aretha.marbley@ttu.edu.