Photographs courtesy of TOLERANCE.ORG

As Black History Month has begun, so has the celebration here at UIS, respectfully valuing the importance that this month holds. Drawing inspiration from fellow students as they influence the themes and creative process of Black History Month each year, The Diversity Center has been at the forefront of coordinating this month and solidifying its importance campus-wide.

As a part of this year’s Black History Month, students have coined the statement “We Are Deeply Rooted.” A quite powerful statement in itself. Justin Rose, director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Diversity Center, said that the theme “speaks volumes.” With a diverse student body and organizations like the Black Student Union and Black Male Initiative (also celebrating its tenth anniversary). UIS acknowledges its deep cultural roots on campus. Recognizing campus roots is the core of this year’s theme.

Black History Month kicked off with events such as the Candlelight Vigil, Peace Rally and Healthcare Hidden Figures. There is a plethora of events planned for the month that are suitable for everyone since “All are welcome,” Justin Rose said The month is filled with many captivating events through the very end of the month. Events will be held throughout the campus, including an open mic (February 13), a high school mixer (February 14), and an African-American History Museum (February 19).

The celebratory presence of Black History Month helps not only emphasize unity on campus, but also prompts fellow staff members, such as Justin Rose, to educate future leaders. As Justin Rose went on to note, “grooming leaders and helping them gain knowledge” is one of his favorite parts of Black History Month. Through the countless scheduled Black History events, insightful information is intended to provide historical knowledge to students.

To commemorate the celebration of Black History Month, both the Diversity Center and Women’s Center put together an eleven minute video tribute gathering commentary from a number of students and staff members who recount many notable facets, people and events impacting the importance of celebrating the month. To view the video, visit the Diversity Center’s YouTube page at Diversity Center UIS.

If you would like to learn more about the rest of the events The Diversity Center has in store for Black History Month, visit The Diversity Center’s webpage on the UIS website at www.uis.edu/diversitycenter/.ais