The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

UWEC celebrates Black History Month

Events occurring throughout the month
Photo by Mady Leick
MSS is providing entertaining and educational events throughout the month.

This week marks the start of Black History Month. Multicultural Student Services is hosting four key events on the UW-Eau Claire campus to throughout the month. 

“Being a predominantly white institution, having opportunities to really be so fully engaged with Black history and Black experiences isn’t always a readily available opportunity for our students,” Rosa Gómez, MSS student services coordinator, said.

The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration took place on Feb. 6. (Photo used with permission from MSS)

The first event of Black History Month was a showing of the documentary “Our Dream” on Tuesday, Feb. 6 to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The documentary focuses on five individuals who helped organize the March on Washington.

MLK Jr. Day is celebrated annually on the third Monday in January, but the university chose to host the event during Black History Month as a majority of students are off campus during winterim.

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Still I Rise: A Black History Journey Through the Arts” attendees will get a mix of Black entertainment and education from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 in the Dakota Ballroom of Davies Student Center.

Stacey Jackson, professor of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual studies, will emcee the event with Dekelen Griffin.

“It’s important during Black History Month to have events that are educational but also experiential and engaging for individuals,” Jackson said.

The event boasts a conversation with Mothers Against All Violence in Selma community coordinator Callie Greer, musical performances and catering by C&T Soul Food.

Still I Rise will take place on Feb. 15. (Photo used with permission from MSS)

MSS and the University Activities Commission will be showing “Chevalier,” a biographic film about French-Caribbean musician Chevalier de Saint-Georges, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the Woodland Theater of Davies. There will be free popcorn and an opportunity to enjoy a story focused on a triumph of Black history. 

Chevalier will premiere on Feb. 20. (Photo used with permission from MSS)

Black Essence: Did you know?” will have exhibits from local vendors, highlighting Black-owned businesses in the area. It will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29 in the Ojibwe Ballroom of Davies. 

Black Essence will take place on Feb. 29. (Photo used with permission from MSS)

In addition to the events hosted by the university, The Community Table is hosting a gala to celebrate Black History. This event is from 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at The Lismore. Local cover band Uncommon Denominator will perform at the gala. 

Proceeds from the gala will support the Chippewa Valley Scholarship, which is available to students in the Chippewa Valley community. 

The Black History Gala will take place on March 2. (Photo used with permission from MSS)

All Black History Month events hosted through the university were created by a committee of faculty and students, which allowed for Black student voices to be heard. 

“We want the Black students on campus to be able to [show] their voice, their needs, their desires, what they want to see, what they want to experience,” Jackson said. “During this month, we also want that to be reflected in the events that we have taking place.” 

David Evbayekha is a third-year neuroscience student who had the opportunity to serve on the Black History Month committee. 

“It just means we want everyone to learn about the different types of things that Black people can do and the sense of building our community,” Evbayekha said. “Because when we build our community, we feel like we can be more connected.” 

Leick can be reached at l[email protected].

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