Join in February celebration of Black History Month

| Denise Olson

At UW-Eau Claire this coming week, February brings not only the return of students to campus for the spring semester, but also the celebration of Black History Month. A wide variety of campus events meant to entertain, honor and educate will reflect the richness of black culture and history, and recognize the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans. 

Several units across campus have partnered in sponsoring the slate of events, including the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Student Affairs, and the new program director for EDI, Dr. Demetrius Smith, is looking forward to bringing this programming to campus.

“Black History month is an amazing time to recognize black people from the past and present who contributed so much to the world. I am very excited to join the Blugold community and experience the many events that honor and recognize Black History month. Michael Thomas,  student services coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs has done an exceptional job in the planning and implementation of the MLK Celebration and I am eager to be a part of it this year. It’s important for us to celebrate this month so that we can educate and inspire the campus community. During this month, there will be several educational, inspirational and entertaining activities to celebrate here at UW-Eau Claire,” Smith said. 

In addition to the events listed below, the musical influence of black artists will be highlighted daily on Converge Radio (99.9 FM) and on ConvergeRadio.org with a “song of the day” feature, with selections chosen and introduced by Dr. Selika Ducksworth Lawton, professor of history, at 7:40 a.m. and 6:10 p.m. daily. 

“We’re excited to get to work with Selika on this for a second year. Not only does she pick fantastic songs, the background she gives for each song is amazing,” said station manager Scott Morfitt.   

All events are free of charge and open to the public. If anyone requires accommodations due to a disability, please contact staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at multicultural@uwec.edu for assistance. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Feb. 6, 5 p.m.
Schofi­eld Auditorium

As the kickoff­ to Black History Month, this program will engage the audience in a communal celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an evening that will include musical performances, recognition of the 2019 MLK Jr. Social Justice Award recipient and a keynote delivered by civil rights activist Joanne Bland. This event is sponsored by the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Student Aff­airs, the Office of Multicultural Aff­airs and the Black Student Alliance.

Eau The Places You’ll Go
Feb. 18, 3:30 p.m.
Centennial Hall 1804

For all students considering a study abroad program next fall, this program will provide information about the current opportunities available to Blugolds in various African countries. Attendees will hear from students who have recently returned from these programs and will be available to answer questions. The session is sponsored by the Center for International Education. 

Film Screening: “Black Girl in Suburbia”
Feb. 20, 6 p.m.
Woodland Theater, Davies Center 328

This documentary film examines the experiences of black girls growing up in predominantly white communities. For many black girls raised in the suburbs, the experiences of going to school, playing on the playground and living day-to-day life can be uniquely alienating. “Black Girl in Suburbia” looks at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Director Melissa Lowery is a mother of two young girls in the Portland, Oregon, area, and currently serves as the director for diversity and inclusion at Jesuit High School in Portland.

Blugold Dialogue: #BlackMentalHealthMatters
Cultural Considerations for the Healing and Restoration of People of African Descent
Feb. 21, 4 p.m.
Centennial Hall 1204

Dr. Stacey Jackson is an assistant professor of psychology and a clinician at Counseling Services. With her specialization in black psychology, Dr. Jackson will lead attendees in a discussion of the complexities of African American mental health, service utilization and the incorporation of traditional African culture as a means of healing. 

African Dance Class
Feb. 25, 6 p.m.
OMA Resource Center, Centennial Hall 1108

Enjoy an evening of African rhythm, fun and dance. Sponsored by the African Student Association, you can expect to learn new moves and meet new people. 

Harambee
Feb. 28, 5 p.m.
Ojibwe Grand Ballroom, Davies Center

Join us for a culminating program to celebrate Black History Month that includes musical performances, the recognition of special students, faculty and staff­, and dinner.