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NIU to celebrate Black Heritage Month

January 30, 2014

NIU Center for Black StudiesNIU’s Center for Black Studies has scheduled a full slate of events for Black Heritage Month 2014.

The theme for this year is “Reclaiming Our Roots, Renewing Our Commitment” and will honor Nelson Mandela’s life, work and legacy.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, NIU Department of History professor Ismael Montana will lead a discussion of the 1994 film, “Mandela: From Prison to President,” in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center.

The Black Heritage Month Ancestral Opening Ceremony, honoring the late Nelson Mandela will take place in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium at 7 p.m. that day. The Ancestral Opening is a collaboration of black student organizations and the Center for Black Studies, and will be hosted by the John Henrik Clarke Honor Society, S-Plan and the Huskie Service Scholars.

It will feature spoken word, a skit, one of Mandela’s speeches, clips of Mandela, a tribute to Winnie Mandela, a praise dance and a performance by the NIU choir. There will also be an opportunity for the NIU community to participate in the ceremony by reflecting on Mandela’s contributions. RSVP to Regina Curry at [email protected] if your department would like to participate.

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 Saturday, Feb. 1, to symbolize the blood of our ancestors and to focus attention on heart disease, one of the leading causes of death among African-Americans.

Film cover of “Mandela: From Prison to President”All events are free and open to the public.

  • Saturday Feb. 1. American Heart Month; Wear Red Day.
  • Monday, Feb. 3. Film and Discussion, Dr. Ismael Montana, “Mandela: From Prison to President,” Holmes Student Center-Carl Sandburg Auditorium, 2 to 4 p.m.; and John Henrik Clarke and S-PLAN, Black Heritage Month Ancestral Opening, honoring Nelson Mandela, Carl Sandburg Auditorium, 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4. African Student Association, African Cultural Showcase: Food, Fashion and Music, Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5. LGBT & WRC, Film and Discussion, “Pariah,” Women’s Resource Center Conference Room, 1 to 3 p.m.; and BGSA, Lecture and Discussion, Jawanza Kunjufu, Black College Student Survival Guide, HSC-Capitol South Room, 6:30 to 8 p.m., co-sponsored by the Graduate Colloquium, BSU, BMI and CBS.
  • Thursday, Feb. 6. L.O.V.E., “The Art of Twerking,” Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 7. National AIDS Awareness Day: Sigma Gamma Rho, Program and Free Testing, Stevenson Multipurpose Room, noon to 4 p.m; and Film and Discussion, “Sankofa,” Center for Black Studies, 4 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 10. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S., Speed Dating, Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11. BMI, Blood Drive, Recreation Center Court, 11to 3 p.m. (refreshments will be served); and Zeta Phi Beta, Panel Discussion: “Back to Our Roots,” HSC-Illinois Room, 7:20 to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S., Tribute to Black Women, HSC-Duke Ellington Ballroom, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 13. CBS, Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, M.O.V.E. & BMI, Speaker: Malik Zulu Shabazz, HSC-Duke Ellington Ballroom, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 14. “Spreading the Love: A Day of Reflection and Memory.” Forward, Together Forward.
  • Monday, Feb. 17. E.B.O.N.Y. Women A Day Without Blacks, 6 to 7 p.m., Stevenson Smart Classroom; Delta Sigma Theta, Sickle Cell Awareness Program: “Look Within Your Cells,” HSC-Illinois Room, 7 to 9 p.m.

Film cover of “The Aggressives”

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18. LGBT & WRC, Film and Discussion, “The Aggressives,” Women’s Resource Center, Conference Room, 1 to 3 p.m; and S.I.S.T.E.R.S., Black Panthers Party, Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 7 to 9 pm.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19. BMI and Stephen Samuels, Leadership 101 and director of Self Knowledge, “Mis-education of the Negro 2K14,” Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 6 to 9 pm.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20. PPMO, Afrocentric Fashion Show, HSC-Duke Ellington Ballroom, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 23. Saviours’ Day Conference: “How Strong is Our Foundation; Can We Survive?” Detroit.
  • Friday, Feb. 21. Film and Discussion: “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Center for Black Studies, 4 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 22. National TRiO Day-North: “TRi007: Operation Graduation – If You Choose to Accept!” The event will focus on graduate school preparation, servant leadership, social media (creating your own brand) and college readiness. HSC, noon to 3 p.m.; and BSU, Mr. and Miss Freshmen Pageant, HSC-Duke Ellington Ballroom, 6 to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 23. Concert Choir, University Chorus and Cor Cantiamo, directed by Eric Johnson, Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 24. Delta Sigma Theta, Sickle Cell Blood Drive, Stevenson Smart Classroom, 1 to 6 p.m.; and Romeo Jackson and Samantha Newman, “The Down Low Dirty Shame Continues …,” Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25. CBS, BMI, BSU, Alpha Phi Alpha, Speaker: Ashra Kwesi, “Reclaiming the African GeNIUs, Pt. 2,” HSC-Carl Sandburg Auditorium, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26. John Henrik Clarke Recognition and S-PLAN Image Awards, HSC-Carl Sandburg Auditorium, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27. S.I.S.T.E.R.S. & E.B.O.N.Y. Women, “Professional Girls Rock: A Panel Discussion,” Stevenson Multipurpose Room, 6 to 8 pm.
  • Friday, Feb. 28. Zeta Phi Beta, “Soul Bowl,” Stevenson Multipurpose Room and Fishbowl, 5:20 to 9 p.m.

Black Heritage Month sponsors are Alpha Phi Alpha, Black Graduate Students Association, Black Male Initiative, Black Student Union, B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S., Black Theater Workshop, the John Henrik Clarke Honor Society, Delta Sigma Theta, E.B.O.N.Y. Women, L.O.V.E., M.O.V.E., Poetic Asylum, PPMO, PRISM, Sigma Gamma Rho, S.I.S.T.E.R.S., S-PLAN, TRIO and Zeta Phi Beta.

University sponsors are the Asian American Center, Black Faculty Association, the College of Education, Diversity and Equity, Graduate Colloquium, Health Enhancement, Latino Resources Center, LGBT Resources Center, Student Support Services, Women’s Resource Center and Women’s Studies.

For more information, call (815) 753-1709 or email [email protected].