July 23, 2024

Black History Month Events, Keynote Feb. 8

Black History Month Events include:

Human Rights Film Series: Teach Us All
Thursday, February 2 | 5 PM | Colonnade Room, Cedric Rucker University Center
In 1957, the segregation in schools ended with a group of students known as the Little Rock Nine. Inequalities still exist in American schools but some are working to change the system.

Great Lives Series: Gladys West
Thursday, February 2 | 7:30 PM | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall
When Dr. West arrived at Dahlgren in 1956, she was only one of four African Americans at the lab, and only the second woman. Specializing in the field of satellite geodesy—the science of measuring the shape and size of the earth from space—she created algorithms and programs for analyzing satellite data using early super computers. Her work contributed to numerous projects, including GPS and SEASAT, the first satellite to map oceans from space. As one of her colleagues noted, “Her competence, not her color, defined her.” This panel conversation will explore the life and legacy of Dr. West, from her determined pursuit of education, through her distinguished career at Dahlgren, to her continuing efforts to inspire young STEM students.

Saturday, February 4 | 3 PM | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall
Join gospel choirs and praise dance teams as they engage in spiritual song and dance.

Black Mary Washington: Past, Present, and Future
Monday, Feb. 6 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom A&B, Cedric Rucker University Center

Join the UMW NAACP College Chapter in an intergenerational panel about the Black Mary Washington experience and activism throughout the years.

Jazz Ensemble Black History Tribute:  Iconic Jazz Greats
Tuesday, Feb. 7 | 7:30 p.m. | The Underground, Lee Hall
Celebrate Black History Month with the UMW Jazz Ensemble! Doug Gately, a senior lecturer in the Department of Music, directs this concert featuring music from iconic jazz artists.

Great Lives Series: Fannie Lou Hamer
Tuesday, Feb. 7 | 7:30 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall
Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper with a sixth-grade education, faced down white supremacists and challenged President Lyndon Johnson and other national civil rights leaders to secure voting rights for all Americans during the 1960s. She was an improbable leader whose beginnings gave no hint of the powerful woman she would become. The work of elite, well-educated men dominated leadership roles in the civil rights movement, and their lives and stories remain the focus of much of civil rights history. Hamer reminds us that at a movement’s center sits unlikely leaders, forged through difficult circumstances and who use their unique gifts to face the challenges posed at critical crossroads. She channeled her anger, her courage, her faith, and unwavering commitment to human rights in a battle against entrenched racism and bigotry. Using recently opened FBI records, secret Oval Office tapes, new interviews, and more, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson will share fresh details from her highly acclaimed biography Walk With Me about Hamer’s determination to make her light shine in the face of disabling physical abuse and death threats to bring revolutionary change to America.

Wisdom O. Cole

Wisdom O. Cole

Black History Month Keynote Speaker:  Wisdom O. Cole
Wednesday, February 8 | 7 p.m.  | Chandler Ballroom C, Cedric Rucker University Center
Wisdom O. Cole is the National Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. In this role, he serves more than 700 youth councils, high school chapters, and college chapters actively involved in the fight for civil rights. Wisdom brings extensive experience in civil rights advocacy training institute, electoral action training, grassroots organizing, issues toolkits, and webinars at the local, state, and national level. He has managed national campaign efforts focused on building Black political power through youth leadership development, advocacy, and direct action organizing for the past 3 years with the NAACP, formerly as the National Campaigns & Training Manager.

In his time at the NAACP, he has worked on campaigns around the cancelation of student debt, removing police from schools, as well as increasing voter access for young Black people. He has been featured on NPR, VICE, NBC Washington News, Brooking Institute, and The Economist as an advocate for Black youth voter turnout through issue-based campaign organizing. In 2020 he was named one of Complex Life’s 32 young activists who are changing the world.

Wisdom was previously a field and state conference organizer for the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC), the largest Black collegiate organization in California. In 2014, he collaboratively organized the Afrikan Black Coalition conference that featured keynote speakers such as Marc Lamont Hill, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, and Attallah Shabazz. For this effort, he received the Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity in recognition for outstanding contributions to furthering diversity, inclusion, and excellence at UC Santa Cruz.

Wisdom grew up in California where he earned a B. A. in Chemistry, with a minor in STEM Education, from UC Santa Cruz as well as a M. A. in Teaching from the University of San Francisco. (Credit: NAACP)

Black History Month:  African Dinner
Thursday, Feb. 9 | 5 p.m.  | Dining at the Top of the CRUC, Cedric Rucker University Center
Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $13 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchase is $15.00.

The Woman King
Friday, Feb. 10 | 7 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center
Saturday, Feb. 11 | 10 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center
Sponsored by Campus Programming Board

Friday, Feb. 10 | 10 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Saturday, Feb. 11 | 7 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center
Sponsored by Student Activities and Engagement Office

Bail Out Bake Sale
Monday, Feb. 13 | 1 p.m. | Campus Walk
The UMW NAACP College Chapter will be selling baked goods and donating the proceeds to the Richmond Community Bail Fund to aid the many marginalized individuals behind bars in Central Virginia’s jails.

See the entire list of Black History Month events!