The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Utica University celebrates Black History Month with several events

Photo courtesy of the Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belongingness.
Photo courtesy of the Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belongingness.

In honor of Black History Month, several offices and organizations at Utica University have hosted events on campus, including the Black Student Union, Student Living & Campus Engagement, Residence Hall Association and the office of Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belongingness.

The events were a combination of fun and educational games that honored famous Black individuals for their accomplishments and impacts. According to Mark Kovacs, the Executive Director of DEI&B, one of this month’s events was a continuation of a previous event.

“On Valentine’s Day night, we had an event called A Love Letter to the Culture: Part II which was a continuation of the love letters we started during the annual Kwanzaa event BSU has in the fall semester,” Kovacs said. 

Other events coming up this month include:

  • A Black history scavenger hunt started on Wednesday, Feb. 21 and runs through Wednesday, Feb. 28
  • DEI&B Black Voices in Healthcare and STEM panel will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 in Hislop Auditorium, located in Thurston Hall
  • BSU will host a Black Song Quiz to end Black History Month at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29 at 6:30 in Pioneer Cafe

Other campus organizations have already celebrated Black History Month with events earlier this month such as the Black History Month bingo event that happened on Feb. 15, which combined bingo with a set of Black history trivia questions and a chance to win prizes. The prizes ranged from declining balance to a new Keurig coffee machine.

The SLCE office has also displayed Black History Month bulletin boards around campus for students to read as they walk through the academic buildings.

According to Kovacs, one of the most important things Black History Month does is give an opportunity for people to remember what’s happened in the past but also help people learn more about Black culture and most importantly, Black history.

“Dr. Baird says this statement quite often, “Lest we forget,” Kovacs said. “So by educating and by recognizing Black history, we’re making sure that we don’t forget some of the past within history.”

Kira Maddox, the DEI&B communications and community relations coordinator, said it’s important for students to participate in Black History Month events because students often learn a small sliver of history in the classroom and some never learn about inspiring individuals and movements that have happened. 

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the Black community,” Maddox said. “But also to challenge yourself to ask: What don’t I know? Who wasn’t I told about? What am I missing? Black history should be seamlessly weaved into all historical teachings, but until then we hope the month can be a catalyst to independent learning.”

According to Maddox, one of the biggest takeaways from the events is promoting the values of unity and belongingness within all the university’s programs—a person doesn’t have to be Black to celebrate Black History Month.

“We can all learn from one another’s stories, cultures, and experiences, and we should always be working to seek out one another’s humanity,” Maddox said. “ I say this often in our DEIB presentations, but college is a time for learning and growing, and that includes learning about the people and the society around you. If you haven’t thought this way before, let Black History Month be your starting point.”

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Charles Buckley
Charles Buckley, Features Editor
Class Year: Junior Major: Communication and Media Minors: Creative Writing and Theatre Previous Position: Staff Writer (2020-2021), Clerk (2021-2022), Features Editor (Fall 2023)

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