Black History Month 2024
February is Black History Month, and this year’s theme for this month-long celebration of African American and African diasporic contributions to our nation’s history and richness is “African Americans and the Arts.” In recognition, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is highlighting the "art of resistance" and the artists who used their crafts to uplift the race, speak truth to power and inspire a nation, as they look “to explore art as a platform for understanding history, struggle, social justice, and triumph.”
Black art, from the visual, musical, and performing arts to literature, fashion, and folklore, is seeded with African, Caribbean, and Black American cultural wealth - the power of Black love, the elemental strivings for freedom and justice, and the boundlessness of Black joy.
Please join us as we at Cal Poly celebrate Black History Month with a series of events-
This year the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI), is sponsoring a Cultural Art Series entitled, Resonance. The series includes an exhibit by Alisa Sikelianos-Carter at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (running through March 17th). The exhibit centers on the “idea of resilience, infinitude, and creating a magical place where Black people exist fully in liberation… Sikelianos-Carter’s work responds directly to the violence against people of color, accessing new levels of survival, protection, and abundance.”
Friday, February 2, from 2 to 4 pm in the MAC, the Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC) is hosting a Black History Month Kick-Off and Resource Fair, with booths from campus clubs, departments, and other organizations.
Wednesday, February 7, from 2 to 4 pm in Chumash Auditorium, BAEC is hosting the annual State of Blackness event that brings the experiences of the Cal Poly community from the Black diaspora to light through a panel and round table discussions.
Thursday, February 15, the College of Liberal Arts and OUDI are hosting the eighth annual Cal Poly Social Justice Teach-In, a day-long set of workshops, films, and presentations featuring a keynote address by Raquel Willis, “an award-winning activist, journalist, and media strategist dedicated to collective liberation, especially for Black trans folks.” The capstone of the Teach-In is a “Resonance” event with Cal Poly Arts, “Shaolin Jazz: Can I Kick It”.
Wednesday, February 28th, Dawn Janke and the Office of Writing and Learning, in collaboration with OUDI, CTLT, and BAEC are bringing Dr. April Baker-Bell, an award-winning Associate Professor of Language, Culture, and Justice in Education at the University of Michigan. Dr. Baker-Bell will give a keynote presentation and workshop related to her award- winning book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy.
Look for more events throughout the month hosted by colleges, departments, student clubs and more!
Dr. Denise Isom,
Interim Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion / Chief Diversity Officer