The TWU Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach has put together a string of special events to celebrate Black History Month.
Many favorite events will continue to be a part of TWU’s Black History Month like the Soul Food Dinner, Feb. 22 at the Underground, but many new events have been incorporated into this year’s celebration. Through collaborative efforts with different student organizations the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach will host new events and opportunities for students to engage in celebration and learning about African American history and culture.
Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach Becky Rodriguez said: “We wanted to know what some of [our students] interests were and so the NAACP was one of the student groups we collaborated with and got some input, we also meet with [Black Student Association] BSA and got some input on their interests and tried to see what they wanted for the program. We wanted to see what were some of the student interests to celebrate this special month, so we wanted to make sure students were involved in some of the planning.”
The Miles of Freedom event kicked off Black History Month on Feb. 2, followed up by a trip to the African American Museum of Dallas on Feb. 3 where a bus load of TWU students were driven to Dallas to view the exhibits.
First-year Nursing major Luisa Kanter attended the Miles of Freedom event and had the opportunity to hear Richard Miles, a wrongfully convicted African American man explain his story and problems with the U.S. prison and court system. Kanter explained what she thought about TWU for hosting this event.
Kanter said: “I think that’s really important and that brings out our diversity and our acknowledgment of our problems that are still here and occurring today. [Miles] talked about jail conditions and how they are overcrowded and that’s still a problem today and people are still being falsely convicted because of judges and their pride.”
TWU worked with the Campus Activities Board to bring in Arvin Mitchell, a African American comedian Feb. 8 and host a lecture over the Lovings vs. Virginia court case that
supported interracial marriage in the U.S. on Feb. 23. TWU also worked with the Resident Housing Association to host a Cultural Extravaganza in the Guinne and Stark Commons Feb. 15 to highlight and celebrate different aspects of African American culture.
Rodriguez said: “We are trying to encourage all of the campus community to attend because this is really about being aware and being more inviting to the history and cultural heritage of Black/African American celebration. I feel it is more of celebrating where we are today in our heritage and culture and the diversity in it. I think it’s just important to come and celebrate who we are. Within our campus community we are celebrating who we are as a culture.”