In honor of Black History Month, the Sylvania Campus hosted a series of events and activities to raise awareness of the contributions of Black Americans throughout history. Celebrating Black History Month is an important part of the campus’ ongoing commitment to diversity. It also serves as a vital part of Sylvania’s support of the academic, professional, and personal development of the diverse communities we serve.
Overall, more than 150 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended at Sylvania’s Black History Month events. Below is a quick recap of how the week of events went at Sylvania as well as two exciting upcoming events.
Joseph White Visit
On Thursday, Feb. 13, Joseph White, Professor Emeritus at University California-Irvine, led the “Black/African-American Staff and Faculty Panel, Discussion, and Luncheon.” White was the first African-American graduate from Michigan State University’s Clinical Psychology Program and is a founding member of the Association of Black Psychologists. White was also instrumental in establishing the Educational Opportunity Program – a model for improving access and success for historically marginalized college students.
During this brown bag luncheon White shared his experiences and journey to leadership as an African-American person in the field of higher education. He engaged panelists, Daniel Findley (Division Dean of Math and Industrial Sciences) and General Johnson (personal health instructor) as they shared their academic journey and professional experiences. The panel was followed by a discussion that focused on the value of higher education as well as the importance of African-American leadership within institutions of higher education.
Following the luncheon, the Sylvania Multicultural Center hosted a screening of “Unequal Education.” This documentary compared the everyday experiences of two middle school students and how disproportionate funding affects quality of education and furthers inequality. The viewing was followed by a facilitated discussion that was led by Multicultural Center Student Leader Victor Onyeagusi.
Also on Feb. 13, the Sylvania Campus hosted a concert in the newly renovated Upper CC Mall. “The Rhythms and Dancing of West Africa,” featured performances from Ghana’s own Chata Addy and company. Students and employees alike enjoyed singing, drumming and dancing. Participants were also able to take part in an interactive concert filled with traditional and contemporary West African music.
If you missed these opportunities to learn and get involved with Black History Month – there are additional opportunities to participate in other Black History Month events at the campus:
Now through Feb. 28, the Sylvania ASPCC is showcasing an exhibit titled, “African American Gallery of Influential Figures.” This two-week display features African-American figures throughout history who aren’t commonly recognized. Please visit the Lower CC Mall to learn about notable people who have impacted our world in a variety fields.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25, in CC Building’s Oak and Elm rooms, adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha will lead a workshop titled “Blueprints for Utopia: Science Fiction and Social Change.” Brown and Imarisha are co-editors of the upcoming anthology, “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements.” This workshop will explore examples of progressive science fiction, historic and contemporary, and emphasize the ways identity shapes our conceptions and dreams of the future.
These events were brought to the campus courtesy of the Sylvania Black History Month planning Committee that includes Amanda So, Carmen Thompson, Clifford Meeks, DaMarcus Redeau, Stephen Arthur and Vu Nguyen. Black History Month is co-sponsored by the Sylvania Campus President’s Office, Multicultural Center and ASPCC.