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Coming Together to Celebrate Black History Month

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95 years ago, educator and historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week,  choosing the second week in February as it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in the history of African Americans. Founded through his organization, the  Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History), Negro History Week, which would eventually evolve into Black History Month,  celebrated the contributions that African Americans have made to American history while acknowledging their struggles for freedom and equality, all in an effort to better understand the nuanced history or our nation.*

49 years later, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month when he called upon the citizens of the United States to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

In 2021 that mission remains as important as ever as communities and campuses come together to learn from history and to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. When we asked our students how they’d like that honor to be represented this year in Bay Path’s annual Black History Month events, their answer was clear:  after the collective trauma that 2020 held, it was time to come together as a University to recognize and celebrate Black culture.

And celebrate we will! Please join us! We invite everyone who’d like to explore their knowledge of both Black history and current Black culture. 

*For more information on the history of Black History Month, please visit the Library of Congress


 

VIRTUAL EVENT - EMBRACE YOUR BEAUTY

Wednesday, February 10 | 7 -8:30 pm

Kim Roxie, Founder of Lamik Beauty located in Houston, TX, will offer an interactive program that involves learning how Roxie became a success in the industry. Participants will be inspired to embrace their beauty; Roxie will offer makeup techniques and take questions from the audience. 

This free event is open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Online Society of Diversity and Cultural Awareness, Student Life, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


VIRTUAL EVENT - ME, MYSELF, AND I: TELLING MY STORY

Wednesday, February 17 | 7 - 8:00 pm

Onawumi Jean Moss, professional storyteller, keynote speaker, and author presents “Me, Myself, and I: Telling My Story” - a journey into a deeper understanding of our powers embodied in strong personal narratives. This experience teaches participants the power of owning their story and building confidence. 

This free event is open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Online Society of Diversity and Cultural Awareness, Student Life, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


VIRTUAL EVENT - BLACK IN BOSTON: ENTREPRENEURS PANEL

Wednesday, February 24 | 7 - 8:30 pm

Sheena Collier, Founder of Black in Boston, will be joined by local entrepreneurs’ leaders to highlight their businesses, share their stories, and strengthen social responsibility and networks.

This free event is open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Online Society of Diversity and Cultural Awareness, Student Life, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


ART EXHIBIT: 20TH TO 21ST: AFRICAN-AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEERS,  BY BAY PATH STUDENT CORA SWAN ‘24

This series, containing the images of African American Civil Rights leaders, highlights individuals of significance in the historical timeline of African civil rights and agency. The portraits tinted blue and with the image of a setting sun behind them are those whose most famous moments occurred in the 20th century. Those tinted purple with lines of action are modern civil rights activists who are continuing the legacy to this day.

Cora Swan ‘24  is a digital artist majoring in Digital Media Arts and Film at Bay Path University.  Cora has worked at the women-owned animation company Open Pixel Studios and has won a Bay Path University Communications Award for Graphic Design, alongside a Creativity in Storytelling Award by Institutional Marketing in early 2019. Cora was a volunteer artist for the Voices of Resilience exhibit for the Springfield Museums, and in February 2020, made the artwork for Bay Path University’s Black History Month Celebration.

Although the Blake Student Commons, where this piece is featured, is closed to the general public due to COVID safety precautions, a virtual viewing is available here. Bay Path students, faculty, and staff who are cleared to be on campus may visit Blake for a viewing.

This exhibit is part of the DEI Art Subcommittee’s charge to feature diverse art at Bay Path University.


ART EXHIBIT: JAMES BALDWIN, BY LOCAL ARTIST ELLIS ECHEVARRIA

Through the generous funding of the Noel Leary Arts Fund, Bay Path has acquired artwork by local artist Ellis Echevarria titled, James Baldwin. The giclee print is a portrait of the esteemed novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. 

According to Ellis, “what attracted me to Baldwin was his exploration of racial and social issues in his many works.”  

Ellis is an award-winning art director and established artist with a professional career spanning over three decades and two continents.  Stylistically, his recent work is born from a pursuit of digital medium and fine art pieces that reflect his upbringing and background.

Although the Hatch Learning Commons, where this piece is featured, is closed to the general public due to COVID safety precautions, a virtual viewing will be shared soon. Bay Path students, faculty, and staff who are cleared to be on campus may visit Hatch for a viewing.

This acquisition is part of the DEI Art Subcommittee’s charge to feature diverse art at Bay Path University.


VIRTUAL EVENT: STUDENT POETRY JAM

Bay Path students will end Black History Month with a virtual poetry jam, an event that will provide all of our student populations - traditional, graduate, and TAWC - a creative space to highlight their stories through poetry. Sponsored by the Black Student Union Club, this event will offer students an opportunity to develop connections with clubs and organizations from area colleges.  This event is open only to Bay Path students; information will be sent via email with participation details. 


COMMUNITY EVENT: VOICES OF RESILIENCE AT THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS

The Voices of Resilience exhibit at the Springfield Museums has been extended through March 14th. This event celebrates the intersecting lives of women in Massachusetts and beyond who have changed the course of history. Through highlights of diverse ‘hidden figures’ and narratives, this exhibition explores the collaborative and interconnected stories of social, educational, and cultural change as defined by women, women of color and others on the move to a more inclusive and just world. Janine Fondon, Chair of the Undergraduate Communications Department, Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Communication, is the guest curator of the event with featured art by Cora Swan ‘24. For more information about this exhibit and museum hours, click here.


DEI TRAINING: THE HARD WORK CONTINUES

As part of our commitment to DEI, Bay Path faculty and staff members will participate in a three-part diversity, equity, and inclusion training led by Dr. Tia Brown McNair, author and vice president in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Training will begin in February.  Bay Path students will participate in a series of  trainings focusing on the themes of Leading Through Difficult Times, Designing Inclusive Programs, and Wellness.


Throughout the month of February, we’ll be sharing stories, content and more information about our events on the University’s social media channels. In addition, look for great related content in the upcoming issue of Network News, our Bay Path University Student Newsroom publication.