Anna – Catherine Kuenge ~ Assistant Editor

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Retrieved from an email sent by the Office of Equity and Inclusion 

Throughout February, the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) at the University of Lynchburg will be hosting events for Black History Month.

Graduate assistant for the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Kirsten Goodman, said the planning of the events was a collective effort with Man2Man and the Black Student Association.

“We [the Office of Equity and Inclusion] wanted it to be very organization-driven and we wanted organizations to take the reins and come up with things they wanted to do. They met together and brainstormed ideas that they thought would be cool to bring to campus,” said Goodman.

On Feb. 15, Man2Man will be hosting a Black History Month trivia night on the 3rd floor of Drysdale from 5-6:00 p.m.

“If you can answer at least two trivia questions, I believe, the members of Man2Man will pie themselves in the face,” said Goodman.

The next event will take place on Feb. 20, and is called Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on College Campuses. It will be held in the Hall Campus Center Ballroom at 7:00 p.m.

On Feb. 23, 2019, there will be a Black History Month Showcase in Hall Campus Center Ballroom at 7:00 p.m.  

“It is going be like an interactive play. The main idea is there is going to be a student featured asking the professor why he doesn’t learn about his history — black history. All the minority groups that come out of this office will be featured in this showcase. In creative ways, we will depict and explain prominent figures in the history of African Americans. It will be a really cool production,” said Goodman.

“When we found ourselves without a speaker within a reasonable time of preparation, I decided to be proactive move forward with a showcase that was completely student-driven, so I took my time and wrote a play during my winter break that would incorporate all of our affinity groups out of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. The theme of this years showcase is ‘What History are YOU Making?’ and the idea is to continue educate our peers on the importance of the history that African Americans on our campus and in our communities are making each and every day, whether we realize it or not,” said Student Government Association Director of Public Relations, Davion Washington, who is spearheading the showcase along with the President of the Black Student Association, Darrian Geddis.

Additionally, Goodman said the Student Diversity Council will be doing a movie marathon week from Feb. 25-28, that will show Hidden Figures, Loving, and Selma.

Goodman said it is important to celebrate Black History Month for several reasons. He said, “The first reason is that we have a pretty expansive black and minority community at UL. We want to make sure that students feel truly included. For Black History Month, we wanted to make them feel like they are celebrated. It is important for people to be educated on things they are not as familiar with. On an institutional level, the education component is very important. I think we can all learn from it.”

Washington also said, “We want to continue to educate our peers so that we can have a better understanding as to why affinity groups in OEI exist and how privilege plays a continuous role at a predominantly white institution such as Lynchburg. Everything that we have worked for during Black History Month and year-round is meant to serve as a learning opportunity for all of our students. Each day, our African American students here are completing a pivotal part of black history and their efforts should be recognized as well. Before we can celebrate the campus diversity that we pride ourselves in, we must first properly define what that is and then educate students accurately and effectively.”