Black History Month remembers the past, honors the present

The UO offers a wide range of events to celebrate Black History Month.

With Black History Month in full swing, the UO is hosting a range of public events that include everything from networking opportunities to in-depth explorations of black identity in America to art museum exhibits.

While some events took place earlier this month, more than a dozen opportunities occur in the coming weeks for students, faculty and community members to come together and learn about and appreciate black history.

Most events are free and open to the public, but some events will require an RSVP. Visit the Division of Equity and Inclusion website for up-to-date information on all upcoming events and how to participate.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, and again on Saturday, Feb. 27, join the UO’s Black Women of Achievement group to spend a couple hours tutoring K-12 students at Lane Community College’s Downtown Campus (on the second floor). The event, held in conjunction with the Lane County chapter of the NAACP, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon both days.

The following week is jam-packed with Black History Month events: On Wednesday, Feb. 17, a public reception will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Gerlinger Lounge for the Network to Advance Faculty of Color, hosted by the UO Division of Equity and Inclusion.

After the reception, another event will take place on campus in the Ford Alumni Ballroom from 6 to 8 p.m. titled “Black, Then and There: a Tribute to the Harlem Renaissance.” Student tributes to leaders of the renaissance, as well as a tribute to a living community member nominated by students, will take place accompanied by music from the Roger Woods Quartet.

An RSVP is required by Friday, Feb. 12, at noon. A website also is available for more information and to nominate a community member for the renaissance tribute.

On Thursday, Feb. 18, the UO Black Student Union will host a “Black Night of Achievement” from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Global Scholars Hall. For more information on this event, contact the student group at

Start the weekend off with a fun Friday evening at Portland’s Moda Center, participating in African American Heritage Night with the Portland Trailblazers from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 19. This event is sponsored by the Center for Multicultural and Academic Excellence as well as the Office of the Dean of Students.

On the same day, the College of Education’s Student Diversity Affairs Committee will host a social for black students, staff and faculty from 3 to 5 p.m. in the HEDCO lobby. The second hour of the social will feature NAACP officers and youth involved with the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Refreshments are provided.

In conjunction with the Women of Color Lyllye B. Parker Speaker Series hosted by the UO Women’s Center, a film screening will take place Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Room 180 Prince Lucien Campbell Hall. The film will be “Out in the Night,” a documentary about four women living in New Jersey struggling with issues of race, criminal injustice, gender identity and sexuality.

As part of the same speaker series, a follow-up to the film screening will take place in the Erb Memorial Union ballroom on Friday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will feature Renata Hill, Patreese Johnson and Venice Brown, three of the four New Jersey women whose stories are the subject of the documentary.

On Sunday, Feb. 28, the Black Women of Achievement will host a Women’s Empowerment Luncheon in the Lewis Integrative Science Building at 12:30 p.m. The following weekend, on March 6, the Division of Student Life and UO Housing will host the second annual “Black Future Brunch” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Living Learning Center South complex.

Recurring throughout February, the Black Women of Achievement will host weekly discussions on the “Celebration of Blackness beyond the Lens of Oppression” through topics such as rap music, mental health in the black community and black women pioneers. The public discussions will take place at 6 p.m. each Thursday in the EMU Mills International Center.

Additionally, on Wednesdays throughout the month, the UO Black Student Union will be hosting “Black O’Clock,” which is free and open to everyone, from noon to 3 p.m. in the EMU Amphitheater.

Lastly, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is currently displaying an exhibit titled “I Dream a World: Black Women Who Changed America.” The display is a collection of photographs by Brian Lanker and can be viewed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays until April 24.

— By Nathaniel Brown, Public Affairs Communications