February is Black History Month

Contact: Juliane Corpus

We invite you to learn more about Black History Month and participate in our programs!

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of the accolades, achievements, and successes of Black/African Americans. Each February serves as both a reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America.

Black History Month started in 1925 as "Negro History Week" by Carter G. Woodson to raise awareness of African American’s contribution to civilization and American society. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The celebration was expanded from one week to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial, to signify the importance of Black history, the Civil Rights movement, and the contributions of Black/African Americans have and continue to play in U.S. history.

We also bring education, celebration, and community-building to our campuses through a variety of programs. See below for a selection and join us in celebrating this month. A full listing can be found in the link attached to this announcement below.

Feb. 1: Black Lives Matter & Pan African Flags

Salem Campus | UC | All of February

As we honor and celebrate Black History Month, the Black Lives Matter and Pan African flags will be hung for the duration of the February to encapsulate the African diaspora and the ongoing movement of Black freedom, liberation, and justice.

To learn more, please stop by the UC and pick up an infographic in either the Bistro, Mail Center, SEAL Office, Emilio Solano’s Office, or the Student Affairs Office.

Feb.1: Black History Month Kick-Off

Salem Campus | Bistro | 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Come join the Office of Intercultural Engagement & Inclusion and Black Student Union for this drop-in mixer. To open, Ezra Neely will be singing the Black National Anthem Free drinks and cookies provided by the Bistro!

Feb. 8: HIV Alliance STI Testing

Salem | Montag/GRAC | Speaker (12–1 p.m.), Testing (1–5 p.m.)

As we have one-day-belated observations of National Black HIV Awareness Day, please join BSU and the GRAC as we host the HIV Alliance on campus. HIV Alliance is a local organization with various service locations throughout the state of Oregon. Established in 1994, HIV Alliance offers a wide scope of programming in order to respond to the unique needs of people living with and at-risk for HIV in our communities.

From 12–1 p.m., HIV Alliance will be hosting an educational talk and for the rest of the day, there will be free STI/HIV testing offered to the WU community.


Feb. 20: Black History Month Meal in Goudy

Salem | Goudy | 11:30–1:30 p.m.

For Black History Month, Goudy presents a lunch menu celebrating traditional dishes from the African diaspora. A curated menu has been created with the help of BSU.

Limited meal vouchers are available for students without a meal plan, staff, and faculty. Please email Juliane Corpus (jcorpus2@willamette.edu) if you would like one to try the dishes!

Feb. 22: Sci-Fi Author Jendayi Brooks-Flemister

Portland | 12–1 p.m. | Mediatheque

Salem | 4:30–6 p.m. | Montag Den

We will be hosting sci-fi writer Jendayi Brooks-Flemister (they/them). Originally from the Southeast USA and is currently local to Portland, OR. Their work centers around BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ voices and perspectives. During this event, Jendayi will be reading some of their work, share the themes and how they are personified through their work, and lead attendees through an activity on character building.

This event is free and open to the public & WU community.

Special thanks to:

  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • Laila Pickett & Michael Valtierra, BSU co-presidents
  • The Bistro
  • Bon Appetit

And THANK YOU the Black History Month Planning Committee:

  • David Craig, Professor of Biology
  • Dave Sundby, Assistant Dean of Students of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management
  • Elizabeth Silva Mendez, Computer & Data Science Program Coordinator
  • Jodi Santille, Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Leadership
  • Quinn Nottage, Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Leadership

Related Link(s)

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