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Northwest is commemorating Black History Month in February with a series of activities that include a performance by Step Afrika! as well as a diversity leadership conference and movie nights.

Northwest is commemorating Black History Month in February with a series of activities that include a performance by Step Afrika! as well as a diversity leadership conference and movie nights.

Feb. 2, 2020

Black History Month activities include diversity leadership conference, dance performance

By Derek Campbell, communication assistant

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Northwest Missouri State University will commemorate Black History Month with a series of activities that include a performance by Step Afrika! and a diversity leadership conference.

Celebrated each February, Black History Month recognizes individuals and events in the history of African-American culture. Black History Month’s 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” focuses on the journeys of people of African descent to obtain the right to vote.

“Black History Month is the acknowledgement and the celebration of African-American culture in history,” N’ninah Freelon coordinator of diversity and inclusion said. ”Acknowledging the fact that there is African-American history that may get lost in transition, it’s a month set aside were we are taking the time to celebrate, recognize and acknowledge those significant moments.”

Black History Month was founded as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson with the goal of educating blacks about their cultural background and instilling a sense of pride in their race. Since 1976, Black History Month is celebrated annually in the United States.

For more information about Black History Month activities at Northwest, contact Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Justin Mallett at jmallett@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1517.

A complete list of Black History Month activities at Northwest is provided below. All activities are free and open to the public, except as noted.

 

Step Afrika!

7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5; Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts

Step Afrika! promotes stepping – which involves using the body as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word – as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people. The national and international touring company presents performances, residencies and workshops worldwide.

 

Movie Night

7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 11; Student Union Boardroom

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will screen “Queen and Slim,” a 2019 film centered on an African-American couple's first date that takes a turn when a police officer stops their vehicle. Diversity and Inclusion staff will lead a discussion after the film.

 

Spaghetti and Spades

7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb 19; Student Union Tower View

Join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the University Police department for their second annual Spaghetti and Spades Tournament. The event will include a tournament-style play for competitive players as well as an opportunity to learn how to play spades.

 

Diversity Leadership Conference

Noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22; Student Union

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in collaboration with Northwest's Ploghoft Diversity Lecture Series, will host its inaugural Diversity Leadership Conference. The conference will provide foundational groundwork on topics related to diversity and inclusion through breakout sessions presented by Northwest faculty and staff. The conference is free for Northwest students and $20 for faculty, staff and community members. Individuals should register online at www.nwmissouri.edu/diversity/rsvp/dlc.htm.

 

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22; Ron Houston for the Performing Arts

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and will provide a free keynote address at the conclusion of the Diversity Leadership Conference. He is an author, contributing opinion writer at The New York Times, an MSNBC political analyst and a contributing editor at New Republic. Named by Essence as one of the 40-most inspiring African Americans and by Ebony as one of the 100 most influential black Americans, Dyson has had a profound effect on American culture and thinking.

 

Movie Night

7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 26; Student Union Boardroom

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will screen “The Help,” a 2011 film that depicts an aspiring author during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s decides as she chronicles the perspectives of African-American maids and the white families for whom they work. Diversity and Inclusion staff will lead a discussion after the film.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704