February is the month to celebrate black history, culture and contributions. UW-Eau Claire will hold multiple events throughout this month for all students, staff and community members to partake in this celebration.
UW-Eau Claire has held events for Black History Month on campus for several years now and this year is no different.
Michael Thomas, the student services coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, said he hopes to see the UW-Eau Claire community come together to learn about Black History Month.
“My hopes would be for the entire campus community to be educated more about black culture, black history, black past and present contributions and really understand the impact of those contributions on our very campus,” Thomas said.
A themed movie and a “hair and skin-care” drive are some of the listed events for students on campus to take part in this month.
One event Thomas is especially excited for is the Third Annual Celebration of Black History Month, titled “Harambee.”
This event will have a dinner and feature many different celebrations of black culture, Thomas said.
“It is really a dynamic program that is going to feature different musical performances and a recognition of special students and staff,” Thomas said. “It would be nice if the entire campus community could come out to celebrate a black history month celebration program with us.”
“Harambee” will take place at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Ojibwe ballroom in Davies.
Miko Scott, the president of Black Student Alliance, said he wants these events to connect all black students on campus and inform all of those who choose to attend.
“I want the students who attend these events to walk away with either a new friend, questions about how they can be more involved in the black community on campus and a feeling of pride and wholesomeness,” Scott said.
Thomas said it is important to think about the contributions made by African Americans that may be forgotten.
“I really want students to take away that there are things they may not necessarily know have been contributions made by black people,” Thomas said. “I think that is important when we think about our education system or when we think about our health system.”
Scott said, alongside the events hosted this month, black students can also find support through the variety of groups on campus.
Organizations on the UW-Eau Claire campus include the Black Student Alliance, African Student Association and Black Male Empowerment, according to Scott.
“We still have each other and there are opportunities and communities that may not be very visible on campus, but are always welcoming to our students of color,” Scott said. “Black Women Connect is a new organization that I and the president of ASA are starting this semester.”
Scott said there is much to remember about African American history, which includes pride.
“There is a lot that comes with African American history and remembrance of our ancestors, in terms of feelings and emotion,” Scott said. “I want every black student to feel prideful in their blackness, because it is something to be proud of.”
The full calendar of events is available here.
Olson can be reached at [email protected].