For Yelando Johnson, associate professor of social work and interim director of the Master of Social Work program, Black history is something she thinks about every day.
During the month of February, however, Black History Month serves as an even bigger opportunity to celebrate individuals both past and present. As such, the School of Education and Social Work department decorated its hallway, located on the first floor of McNeill Hall.
“Black History Month is a month-long observance that is a reminder of the incredible strength and resilience of Black people, and it is a time to show gratitude and appreciation for their contributions to our world,” Johnson said. “It is a time to reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the Black community and to acknowledge the incredible impact they had on shaping our society.”
The significance of Black History Month is the opportunity to get others engaged in celebrating the achievements of African Americans. By sharing stories and spotlighting historical individuals in the display, Johnson hopes to build more awareness and recognition where credit is due.
“In celebrating Black History Month, we wanted to highlight the achievements of African Americans and to bring awareness to the impact and contributions when people walk down our halls,” said Johnson.
When asked how long the posters and items would be on display, Johnson said, “I would like it to be on display forever!” In actuality, some items will be removed at the end of the month and others will stay up until the end of the academic year.
The university held its kickoff for Black History Month with the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award event on Feb. 2. Other activities included Soul Food Day in the Mabee Dining Center Feb. 7 and a “Black Panther” movie night with Pan-African Student Organization (PASO).
The Black Business Expo, sponsored by the student-led organizations Diversity Round Table and PASO, is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 3 in the old bookstore space in Dugan. All are welcome to attend.