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University to Celebrate Black History Month

Written by: Communicator StaffFebruary 06, 2018

Written by: Ben Bailey

IPFW and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will be celebrating Black History Month during the month of February.

Among the many different events that are being offered during the month are concerts, film screenings and trips to Indianapolis.

Julie Creek, the director of ODMA  said there is importance and educational potential behind Black History Month.

“Black History Month is a longstanding national observance, which most universities and educational institutions observe while trying to broaden the knowledge base of all students,” Creek said. “It is also to celebrate all of the amazing contributions in all fields like arts and science and music and dance that African-Americans bring to the table.”

Through four different on-campus screenings, the controversial multi-part documentary film “Hidden Colors” will be shown.

Creek said the film plays out as if it were a history book that was written from a black perspective, rather than the perspective of a Caucasian or European viewpoint.

“The same set of facts can sometimes look very different from a different perspective and a different vantage point,” Creek said.

The film explores black history that extends back to the earliest days of contact between black people and European explorers.

The campus will also be taking part in Black HIV Day on Feb. 7,  which is a day designed to promote HIV awareness in the black community.

“The goal is to encourage African-Americans to know their HIV status and not be afraid to know their HIV status,” Creek said.

A concert led by Fort Wayne singer Tasha Denae, entitled “A Dynamite Experience: A Musical Tribute to Black History,” will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Walb Classic Ballroom.

Additionally, a bus trip to the Madame Walker Theater in Indianapolis will be offered on Feb. 17.

Madam Walker, who was America’s first self-made female millionaire, planned the theater but died before its subsequent completion.

A program on Greek life will be offered on Feb. 20 regarding the inclusion of black Greek student organization.

Creek said the program is in response to a large push from members of the IPFW community to bring black Greek organizations to campus.

The campus will also be promoting mental health in the black community through various activities and events on Feb. 26.

Creek said, through things like institutional racism, black students deal with issues and challenges that Caucasian students do not face on campus.

The day will be focused on informing students of the mental health resources that are available to them at IPFW.

Creek also hinted at a large-scale program that will take place on Feb. 28, but has not been finalized yet.

IPFW will also be offering a diversity and inclusion training program that will be available to all students.

The program is being run through a partnership between the university and the Crossroads Anti-Racism organization, which is based in Chicago.

“This is something that we have never done before, but it’s something that needs to happen,” Creek said about the training program.

Students who are interested in the diversity and inclusion training program can contact Julie Creek in the ODMA office.

To find out more about the university’s participation in Black History Month, contact ODMA.