OC Black History Month Hosts Campus Events
By Dianne Anderson
Live entertainment with plenty of fun, yet not forgetting the higher academic pursuits of social justice, business acumen and job advancement, are a few of the Black History Month offerings at Orange County campuses.
Elaina Sidney said their Soulful Soiree kicks off events with an invitation for students to get to know Black Faculty and Staff at CSU Fullerton, enjoy music and games, and a chance to win free Titan gear.
Sidneyt, coordinator of the African American Resource Center, said the campus has a robust lineup planned for almost every day of the month.
On Monday, February 5, African American Studies features guest speaker Kevin Powell, author of 16 books plus the 2024 Grammy-nominated poetry album Grocery Shopping With My Mother. The event runs from 1-2:00 p.m., on the north side of Pollak Library, PLN 130.
“Kevin Powell is huge,” she said. “He speaks of politics. He is a really powerful speaker, and is one of the few journalists to interview Tupac before his death.”
Students can catch up on February 8 with alumni panelists across several industries to navigate conflict and maintain racial identity in workplaces that have little or no Black representation.
“It’s how you can be perceived, how saying the same thing as a non-Black peer might be read differently because of social identity. Maybe you’re Black, Black LGBTQ, or Black and women-identifying. They will be advising this next generation of students entering the workforce,” she said.
Black Brilliance in Business on February 20 delves deeper into corporate America. Panelists will discuss bringing social identity into business practices, and touch on finance, marketing, information system sciences.
On February 22, under the theme of connections, BSU hosts its Black Titan Experience. The large-scale event includes a resource fair for student organizations and campus partners to welcome new Black transfer students from the spring semester. There, Black students will also connect with veterans resources, counseling, food, games and other giveaways.
Conversations on colorism go more than skin deep on February 27 to address concerns and dissect how colorism looks and feels.
“It will shed light on how it permeates the Black community and society at large. It’s a critical conversation of how we move forward knowing that colorism exists. How do we make sure everyone is loved on despite their hue or shade,” she said.
The buzz of Black History Month also continues on other campuses around the county.
Also on Wednesday, February 21, students at Irvine Valley College will listen and lunch with panelists representing a wide range of disciplines, including entrepreneurship, academia, and the sciences. Career Connections Panel: Black Excellence at Work event is hosted by the Black Student Success Scholars, and held at IVC Performing Arts Center from noon to 1:30 p.m.
On Thursday, February 29, discussions focus on prison reform and education on “A Journey of Resilience and Inspiration” with Dr. Yancie Carter, foremost in his field and advocacy through his Project Scholars program. That event also runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. at IVC Performing Arts Center.
At Chapman College, Misty Levingsworth said their campus is participating in the Orange County Black History Parade, where campus involvement in the parade has doubled since last year.
Black History Month kicks off with a celebration of Black culture, food music and community. Dance and drumming performances are by African Soul International, and students will also showcase their talents through song, spoken word, and acting.
She is also excited about their Meet the Black Faculty and Staff event.
“This mixer is an opportunity for the campus community to meet the Black faculty and staff members at Chapman. And it is befitting of the Mardi Gras theme, as it is held on Fat Tuesday,” said Misty Levingston, director for Black Excellence and Achievement in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Chapman University.
Events culminate in a Black Excellence and Achievement Film Fest co-sponsored by the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. She said the event will allow current students and alumni to show their films to the campus community.
“Dodge College has the largest concentration of Black students who create awesome student film projects. This gives them a chance to invite their friends and family to celebrate their accomplishments,” she said.
At Santa Ana College, on Wednesday, February 14, live jazz by the Harrison Jazz Ensemble will fill the amphitheater from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Music will be accompanied by complimentary BBQ sponsored by the U2 (UMOJA/UJIMA) Scholars.
Also on the agenda for Tuesday, February 20, the famous Forgotten Images: A Traveling Exhibit of over 20,000 African American rare artifacts will be held at JSC 101-The Spot for a one-day stop from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“The various events we have planned at Santa Ana College for Black History Month celebrate the rich cultural heritage including the soulful sounds of jazz, a historic tapestry exhibit, a poetic tribute and much more,” said Dr. Greg Toya, dean of Student Affairs in an email.”Black History Month is an opportunity for us to unite students and the community to bring awareness and focus to the contributions of African Americans.
For events, times and contacts, see
CSUF BHM events, https://www.fullerton.edu/blackhistorymonth/
To register for IVC events, https://www.ivc.edu/equity/bhm
Santa Ana College, http://sac.edu/StudentServices/StudentLife/Pages/BlackHistoryMonth.aspx