NMSU celebrates Black History Month with special events
NMSU will commemorate Black History Month with special events hosted by the Black Student Association and Black Programs in conjunction with NMSU Libraries and Doña Ana Community College.
This year’s theme is “Black to Black: Building Leadership, Advocacy, Community and Knowledge”.
“The idea behind Black History Month this year was about collaboration and community building. All of our events are, to some extent, a form of collaboration,” said Ignacio Alvarado, president of the Black Student Association and a graduate in animal science. “It was very important to us to help build a stronger, more inclusive, diverse and welcoming community for everyone.
The launch event, “Power Through Pedagogy,” will feature a panel of black scholars discussing the importance of education and their experiences as leaders for the next generation. It will take place at 5:30 p.m. on February 1 on Zoom (ID: 94630892214).
Panelists will include Monique Matute-Chavarria, Eric House, H. Prentice Baptiste, Erica Kristina Reid and Patrick Turner – all from NMSU – as well as Bobbie Green, president of the Doña Ana County NAACP and assistant professor at the City University of New York . , and Sean Kardar, professor of biology at DACC.
“This is an opportunity to recognize the important contributions of our esteemed Black faculty and staff here on our own campus,” said Kimberly York, Acting Director of the Black Program. “We cannot underestimate the recognition they deserve.”
Every Wednesday in February, the DACC East Mesa Campus Library will screen a documentary focusing on Black lives in the Academic Resources Building on the second floor. Featured films will include:
- 10:00 a.m. February 2: “An unforgivable darkness”
- 1pm Feb:9: “Interview with John Lewis”
- 10 a.m. February 16: “Black Feminist”
- 1 p.m. February 23: “Tulsa: Fire and the Forgotten”
Masks are mandatory for all attendees and must be worn at all times, per New Mexico’s current public health order.
The “Worthy of Wisdom Elder Podcast” will debut at noon on February 3. The podcast, produced entirely by Alvarado and other members of the Black Student Association, will recognize and highlight current leaders in the black community of Las Cruces.
York said the new podcast series is a spinoff from the “Black Excellence in Higher Education” podcast released last year.
“In our community, and in most cultures, our elders are the inherited holders of knowledge and information,” York said. “Black people here in Las Cruces have a very unique heritage and have made very important contributions.”
The Black Health Matters show will return on February 17. The virtual event, now a tradition during Black History Month at NMSU, will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Zoom (ID: 93816131413).
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Aggie Cupboard, Casa de Peregrinos, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and other organizations will participate in the fair and share health-related information and resources. The event will also include a 30-minute interactive exercise.
York said the health fair aimed to address the importance of health and wellness in the black community.
“There are ongoing disparities in health outcomes in the Black community, and this is always a great opportunity to bring our community health partners together to share available resources,” she said.
Drummer Fred Simpson will headline an African drum and dance performance on February 24, featuring dancers from the NMSU Dance Program in the Kinesiology Department. The hybrid event will start at 6 p.m.
A limited number of guests will be allowed to watch the show in person at Rentfrow Hall on the NMSU Las Cruces campus. Those wishing to participate in person or remotely should contact [email protected]
The month-long celebration will culminate on February 25 with a 1970s-themed disco-skating party at the Spot Family Entertainment Center, 170 W. Picacho Ave. The event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will celebrate black culture with food, fashion and music.
“It will be fun for us to dress up in our 70s outfits, dance to Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and other top 70s artists, and have a great time,” Alvarado said.
York encourages all members of the NMSU community and the public to participate in events as a way to build community.
“It’s an opportunity to build a community that isn’t based on racial or ethnic barriers,” she said.
Alvarado added that the events will be a “great educational experience.”
“We will have a variety of events that could benefit everyone,” he said.
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