NIU plans Black Heritage Month events

NIU Center for Black StudiesThe NIU Center for Black Studies has scheduled a full slate of events for Black Heritage Month, which this year will observe the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

La Vonne I. Neal, dean of NIU’s College of Education, will explore these central events in African-American history during the opening ceremony in her presentation, “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

The Black Heritage Month Ancestral Opening will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center

In addition to Neal’s presentation, the opening ceremony will include keynote speaker Erika McCall, NIU alumna and author of the book “Go for Yours;” words of wisdom from Elder Blackmon, and a performance by the Northern Black Choir.

The themes of culture, unity and responsibility inspire all Black Heritage Month activities, including a month-long recognition of American Heart Month and the American Heart Association. The color red will be worn Feb. 1 to symbolize the blood of ancestors and to focus attention on heart disease, one of the leading causes of death among African-Americans.

  • Friday, Feb. 1, Black Heritage Month Ancestral Opening Ceremonies, 5 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium, Holmes Student Center (HSC). Featured speakers: Dr. La Vonne I. Neal, dean of the NIU College of Education; Erika McCall, author of “Go for Yours;” and Elder Blackmon.
  • Friday, Feb. 1, Miss Black and Gold Pageant, 7:30 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, (HSC).
  • Saturday, Feb. 2, Heritage Festival, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. Community vendors and ethnic foods; open to the public.
  • Sunday, Feb. 3, For Colored Girls, The History of Black Hair, 7 p.m. in the Stevenson Multipurpose Room.
  • Monday, Feb. 4, Black in Latin America, 3 p.m. in the Center for Black Studies. Caribbean refreshments will be served. Conversations on Culture: A dialogue on being black and LGBT, 6 p.m. in the Illinois Room, HSC.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5, Honor Society Day Open House: John Henrik Clarke Society and National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Center for Black Studies. Refreshments will be served.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6, Black Face of the Black Race: A Panel Discussion. Discover hidden truths related to African Americans and find out how much the media affects us, 7 p.m. in the Stevenson Multipurpose Room.
  • Thursday, Feb. 7, Health Awareness: AIDS, lupus, sickle cell and diabetes, 2 p.m. in the Capital Room (HSC). Frat Attack Stroll Competition, 7 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium, HSC.
  • Friday, Feb. 8, The Script Dance Competition, 7 p.m., Carl Sandburg Auditorium, HSC.
  • Saturday, Feb. 9, Frat Attack Step Show, 7 p.m. in the Chick Evans Field House.
  • Sunday, Feb. 10, Black Writers Conference, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room (HSC). Contact Latisha Brandon at latishabrandon1@gmail.com for more information.
  • Monday, Feb. 11, Speed Dating, 7 p.m. in the Stevenson Multipurpose Room.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12, Man Up, 7 p.m. in the Stevenson Multipurpose Room. Back II Our Roots: Panel Discussion, 7:20 p.m. in the Stevenson Smart Classroom.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 13, Tribute to Black Women, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Altgeld Auditorium.
  • Thursday, Feb. 14, “Spreading the Love”: A Day of Reflection and Memory. Forward Together, Forward.
  • Friday, Feb. 15, Movie Night: Black Love, 8 p.m. in Cavan Auditorium, Gabel Hall.
  • Saturday, Feb. 16, Concert: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 8 p.m. at Elgin Community College. Contact Jessica Lyons at jlyons1@niu.edu or (815) 753-8560 for information and tickets.
  • Sunday, Feb. 17, From Doo-Wop to Hip Hop: A Trip to Black Ensemble Theater. Buses provided. Departure from Holmes Student Center at 1 p.m. For more information, contact Student Support Services at (815) 753-1142.
  • Monday, Feb. 18, Think Tank: Is Unity Lacking in Our Community? 6 p.m. in Cavan Auditorium, Gabel Hall. Guest speaker: David Stovall.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 19, CommUniversity and DeKalb School District 428 present Our Children, Our Responsibility Awards, in the Regency Room (HSC). Keynote speaker: LaMetra Curry, recruitment coordinator, NIU College of Education.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20, A Day Without Blacks, 7 p.m. in the Capitol Room (HSC).
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, Talented 10th: Lifting as You Climb Mentor/Mentee Pickup, 6:30 p.m. in Neptune Central. Afro-Centric Fashion Show, 7 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom (HSC).
  • Friday, Feb. 22, Black Renaissance, 7 p.m. in Duke Ellington Ball Room (HSC).
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, National TRIO Day. BSU Pageant, 7 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom (HSC).
  • Sunday, Feb. 24, Saviors’ Day, UIC Pavilion, Chicago, doors open at noon. Speaker: Minister Louis Farrakhan. Call the Center for Black Studies at (815) 753-1709 for tickets and to arrange transportation.
  • Monday, Feb. 25, Conversations on Unity: A Dialogue on Being Black and LGBT in the Present and Future, 6 p.m. in the Illinois Room (HSC).
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26, S-PLAN Image Awards with guest speaker Yahcolyah Muhammed and Chicago’s Muntu Dance Theatre, 5:30 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium (HSC).
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, Motivational speaker: Alan Bryson, 5 p.m. in the Stevenson Multipurpose Room. Soul Bowl, 7:20 in the Stevenson Sunset Room.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28, Say My Name: Film and Discussion, 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol Room (HSC). Poetic Asylum and Black Theatre Workshop hosts keynote speaker Debra Bramlett, in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium (HSC).
  • Thursday, Feb. 28, East of Harlem, 7 p.m. in Diversions Lounge (HSC).

Book cover of "Go For Yours"Black Heritage Month sponsors include Alpha Phi Alpha, Black Graduate Students Association, Black Male Initiative, Black Student Union, B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S., Black Theater Workshop, Chi Alpha Epsilon, John Henrik Clarke, College Parents Group.

Other sponsors include DeKalb School District 428, Delta Sigma Theta, E.B.O.N.Y. Women, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, M.O.V.E., NAACP, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Beta Sigma, Poetic Asylum, PPMO, PRISM, Sigma Gamma Rho, S.I.S.T.E.R.S., S-PLAN, Talented 10th, TRIO and Zeta Phi Beta.

University sponsors are the Asian American Center, Black Faculty Association, the College of Education; Diversity and Equity; the Division of Finance and Facilities, Health Enhancement, Latino Resource Center, LGBT Resource Center, the Presidential Commission on Minority Status, Student Support Services, the Women’s Resource Center and Women’s Studies.

For more information, call (815) 753-1709 or email centerforblackstudies@niu.edu.

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