Marist Community Celebrates Black History Month

Michelle Eggink, Assistant Director of Content Marketing and Communications
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February 3, 2023 —Black History Month is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the achievements of Black Americans and to spotlight a legacy of perseverance, leadership, and character through adversity. Marist strives to make progress towards the College’s commitment of becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution that recognizes the importance of historical and cultural events throughout the month.

“Black History Month celebrates the resilience and determination of black people throughout history, reminds us of the challenges and struggles they face in the United States and globally, and calls us to celebrate their achievements and successes today,” said Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Dr. Edward Antonio. “We should do this often, not just once a year, during February. Black people continue to experience exclusion and racial discrimination today. We should recognize and affirm their resistance to this reality regularly.”

Fred Saffold III (left), CEO & Founder of ‘The True Black History Museum’ speaking with Dr. Christina Wright Fields, Assistant Professor of Education at Marist College. Photo by Zachary Gawron/Marist College

Marist’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) is helping promote a growing number of Black History Month events hosted by different offices on campus. This year’s lineup includes events on food, music, dance, history, fashion, and panel discussions.

Marist kicked off Black History Month by hosting The True Black History Museum in the Murray Student Center on Feb. 1 and the Kofi-Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble in the Cabaret on Feb. 2.

The True Black History Museum, showcased over a thousand rare and authentic artifacts that date back to the late 1700s and walk visitors through the African American experience. The CEO and Founder of the traveling museum, Fred Saffold III, was on campus for the event, educating visitors about the many great contributions that African Americans have made.

The Kofi-Sankofa Drums and Dance Ensemble performing at the Marist College Cabaret. Photo by Matthew Moraski/Marist College

The Kofi-Sankofa Drums and Dance Ensemble highlighted African drums and dance with a Kofi and Sankofa’s African Drum Performance. The event paid homage to dance styles in indigenous villages and encouraged participants to get involved.

Many more Black History Month events will be taking place throughout the month of February. Here is the upcoming schedule:

Songs of Slavery and Emancipation
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Student Center 3101

First Year Seminar Coffee Hour for Faculty & Staff: DEI in the First-Year Classroom
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Venue: Mair Room (3rd Floor Library)

A Hip-Hop and High Fashion: Evening with Emil Wilbekin
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 6–7 p.m.
Venue: Murray Student Center 3101

Valley Café Menu curated by members of the Marist Community to celebrate Black History Month
Date: Friday, February 17
Venue: Dining Hall

Sojourner Truth Life Walk
Date: Saturday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Off-Campus

Ebola and COVID-19: Reflections on Epidemics, race, and public health in the Early 21st Century
Dr. Ismail Rashid, Vassar College
Date: Wednesday, February 22, 6:30
–8:30 p.m.
Venue: Hancock 2023

Slavery, the State of New York, and Public History: How the Word is Passed in Context
Date: Wednesday, February 22, 12:30 p.m.
Venue: River Room in the Student Center

Black History Dinner
Chef’s Table – Celebrating Chefs Leah Chase & Edna Lewis
Date: Wednesday, February 22, Dining Hall Dinner Hours
Venue: Student Center Dining Hall

Black History Month Alumni Panel: Life After Marist
Date: Monday, February 27, Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Hancock 2023

To stay updated and learn more about upcoming Black History Month events visit our events page.

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