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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 29, 2017

Black History Month activities to include Emanuel Cleaver visit

Updated: Feb. 16, 2017

Northwest Missouri State University will host a series of discussions, social activities and speakers – including U.S. Congressman and former Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Emanuel Cleaver – to commemorate Black History Month.

“The Crisis in Black Education” is this year’s Black History Month theme nationwide.

“It is important to celebrate black history so we know where we came from and where we need to go,” said Arlondo Watson, a junior business management and marketing major from St. Louis, who also works in the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “At Northwest, it is important that we get the whole community together to continue to create a more inclusive environment.”

Cleaver will highlight Northwest’s annual Soul Food Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom as the keynote speaker. Additionally, Northwest multicultural organizations will play hosts and offer prizes. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in the Student Engagement Center, located on the second floor of the Student Union.

All other Black History Month activities at Northwest are free and open to the public.

The University will kick off the series by offering a “Students of Color Survival Guide” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in The Station. The informational session, led by Northwest staff members, will guide students through numerous topics designed to make the most of their college experience.

“Black History & Chill” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Millikan Hall, will include a discussion about film and documentary clips related to the theme of the crisis in black education.

Northwest’s Student Activities Council will host Janaya Khan, a social justice educator and a co-founder and international ambassador for Black Lives Matter Toronto, as part of its lecture series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the Charles Johnson Theater.

“Drop the Mic Night” is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Tower View Dining Room at the J.W. Jones Student Union. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host a variety of guests during the open mic night, and individuals are invited to write a piece related to the month’s theme.

Black History Month activities at Northwest will culminate Saturday, Feb. 25, with a recognition of Northwest alumni of color during halftime of the Bearcat men’s basketball team against Lincoln University. Tipoff for the game is 3:30 p.m. at Bearcat Arena.

Celebrated each February, Black History Month celebrates individuals and events in the history of the African American culture. Black History Month was founded as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. The goal of Black History Week was to educate blacks about their cultural background and instill in them a sense of pride in their race. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States.

For more information about Black History Month activities at Northwest, contact Edward Gibson, coordinator of diversity and inclusion, at 660.562.1379 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468