The University of Toledo will celebrate the heritage and history of African Americans with a series of virtual events and activities for students, faculty and staff throughout Black History Month.
“This year the Office of Multicultural Student Success, The Black History Month Committee and other campus partners have compiled a great list of programs to celebrate Black History Month,” said Kyndra Gaines, African American initiatives coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Success.
“A goal of the committee was to ensure that the programs created were events that students would enjoy and events they could relate to and learn from as well. Our campus partners hosting events this month have made some great programs that tie in the Toledo community and The University of Toledo. We have reached out to minority vendors to cater like Jera’s Heavenly Sweets for many of the hosted events that will be having food.”
The celebration begins with the Black History Month Kick-Off Event from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge and Ingman Room.
Hosted by the Office of Multicultural Student Success and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, the event begins at Trimble Lounge with opportunities to meet and join Black student organizations, followed by card games and activities — tunk, spades and dominoes as well as a DJ and raffles — in the Ingman Room. A local Black-owned restaurant will provide treats. For more information and to RSVP, visit the event’s Invonet page.
Additional Black History Month events include:
Thursday, Feb. 3
• Talented Aspiring Women Leaders Meet and Greet: Vision Board, 6 p.m., via Webex. Learn how to connect with a mentor and other powerful women on campus through Talented Aspiring Women Leaders and create your own vision board.
Tuesday, Feb. 8
• Lunch Vibes: Colin Kaepernick in Black & White, 11 a.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Colin Kaepernick narrates this drama series recounting his formative years navigating race, class and culture while aspiring for greatness. After the screening, there will be a conversation about the various discussion points from the series.
Thursday, Feb. 10
• “Sons of Toledo” Community Screening, 6:45 p.m., Center for Performing Arts. This short film chronicles a day of obstacles that a barber faces before he goes to the funeral home that night to give his brother a final haircut. After the film, there will be a mediated discussion, led by Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Valerie Walston, with a panel of community and political leaders including Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, with members of the audience invited to share thoughts on the film and the issue of gun violence.
Tuesday, Feb. 15
• How to Talk to Your Kids About Race, 5:30 p.m., Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women. Alexii Collins, racial justice director at the YWCA of Northwest Ohio, will discuss talking to children about race. The conversation will be tailored for parents, but all are welcome to attend. All families in attendance will receive a Black Lives Matter coloring packet for their children.
Saturday, Feb. 19
• OE 5th Floor Living Legacies, 11:30 a.m., Toledo Museum of Art. This exhibition highlights the recent additions to the Toledo Museum of Art’s Collection from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the artistic production and cultural traditions of Black artists from the rural South.
Monday, Feb. 21
• Diversity Connections: African American Professionals Panel, 6 p.m., via Webex. Hear about the experiences of African American professionals in the surrounding area and learn more about African American professional associations and organizations.
Tuesday, Feb. 22
• Lunch Vibez: Black International Students Discussion, noon, Thompson Student Union Room 2500 Lounge. Come and hear more about the experiences of international Black students. This event is open to all.
Wednesday, Feb. 23
• Celebrating bell hooks featuring Kevin Powell, 1 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. A discussion celebrating the life and legacy of bell hooks.
Monday, Feb. 28
• Black Student, Faculty and Staff Mixer, 6 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2500. Join other Black students, faculty and staff members in fellowship and community building. Attend this mixer to build relationships with your peers and network with faculty and staff members. Food will be provided.
Also, Black Student Union Week is Monday, Jan. 31, through Friday, Feb. 4, with an event scheduled for each day. There will be general student body meetings and other Black Student Union activities as well throughout Black History Month.
“Black Student Union is extremely excited for Black History Month,” said Nyreisha Tevis, a junior studying social work who serves as Black Student Union president. “We are looking forward to attending the events planned by the Black History Month Committee and carrying out events for Black Student Union.
“Black History Month means a lot to me,” Tevis added, “just for the simple fact that I can learn about the generations before me and how they paved the way for why I am here today.”
For more information, including a full list of events, visit the Office of Multicultural Student Success website.
Planning committees for the 2022 and 2023 Black History Months also are open to all UToledo students, faculty and staff. Those interested in serving on a committee should email firstname.lastname@example.org.