Toledo Public Schools superintendent to speak at UT Black History Month kickoff

January 30, 2018 | Events, News, UToday, Alumni, Judith Herb College of Education
By Vicki L. Kroll

“A Different World: Honoring Our Past, A Journey to Our Future” is the theme of The University of Toledo’s 2018 celebration of Black History Month.

“The 1990s played a large role in our generation,” said Guyton Mathews IV, a graduate student pursuing a master of liberal studies degree, who is chair of the Black History Month Committee. “When the Black History Month Planning Committee met, many theme options were discussed, but we all kept coming back to the hit ’90s television show, ‘A Different World.’

“We decided to add the tagline ‘Honoring Our Past, A Journey to Our Future’ to show that we do respect and acknowledge what has been done in the past and the groundwork that has been laid for our advancement,” Mathews, a graduate assistant for African-American Initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, said. “While there are some issues that we still face that can be related to the past, our adversity is different.”

Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, will give the keynote address at the Black History Month Kickoff Luncheon Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11:30 a.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Alexis Means of 13 ABC will emcee the event, which will include singing and dancing performances. A lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 30, at

“Black History Month is a time to remember and celebrate the achievements of black men and women who have shaped our history whether locally, nationally and internationally,” Durant said. “My ultimate goal is that I can inspire someone toward greatness by sharing the challenges I’ve faced and the goals I’ve accomplished.”

A Toledo native, Durant is a graduate of Waite High School and UT. He received bachelor of arts, master of arts and doctoral degrees in education from the University in 1998, 2002 and 2007, respectively. Since 2000, he has worked at Toledo Public Schools as a teacher, administrator and assistant superintendent; he became the district’s 30th superintendent in 2013.


“I’m honored to be the keynote speaker at The University of Toledo’s Black History Month kickoff luncheon,” Durant said. “As a proud UT graduate, I look forward to anytime I can support or give back to my alma mater.”

A former member of the UT Alumni Association Board of Trustees, Durant received the Judith Herb College of Education Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2015.

Listed by date, other events will include:

Wednesday, Feb. 7

• Black History Month Trivia, 8 to 10 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2591. Join the Office of Multicultural Student Success, the Black Student Union and the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program for questions about black history, as well as the Black Card Revoked game.

Monday, Feb. 12

• “Black GirlZ Rock,” 6 to 9 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will honor women on campus who have made an impact on UT students. Appetizers will be served.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

• “Black Love Is Raw,” 7 to 8 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2584. Presented by the Association for the Advancement of African-American Women and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., this event will offer a safe place to have a discussion about love. There will be activities to facilitate the dialogue.

Thursday, Feb. 15

• Black History Month Art Exhibit, 3 to 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge. The Office of Multicultural Student Success is inviting artists to share their works relating to black history and culture in a museum-style setting.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

• Name That Tune: Black History Month Edition, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union Room 2591. Teams will compete in a multiple round competition to guess songs from the 1960s to the present. Winners will receive a prize from the Office of Multicultural Student Success.

Friday, Feb. 23

• Black Student Union Fashion Show, 7:30 to 10 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 VIP available at Ask Rocky. General admission at the door will be $15.

Monday, Feb. 26

• Black History Month College Preview Day, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thompson Student Union. High school students can visit campus and learn about college life from members of several multicultural student organizations. For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

For more information, contact the the Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.

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