Black History Month Planning Already in the Works
Black History Month at Baruch College is a month filled with various events and programs prepared by Student life’s Black History Month committee in order to celebrate the diversity and richness of Black history at Baruch and planning for February 2016 has begun. According to Savanna Ramsey, assistant director of student activities, Black History Month at Baruch is an opportunity to celebrate the rich legacy and heritage of the African diaspora within the Baruch community. Students, faculty and administration have the chance to work together to showcase accomplishments, engage in cultural discussions, provide awareness and celebrate diversity.
The Black History Month committee consists of both faculty members and Baruch students who are interested in preparing and promoting events for Black History Month. The events are usually promoted through social media, rolling board posters, OSL newsletters, USG newsletters, academic departments and fliers around the campus.
According to Ramsey, Black History Month is expected to have a total of eight to 10 events. Within those events are two to three big events, in addition to an opening and closing ceremony.
Last year, Black History Month at Baruch consisted of about 10 events, spread throughout the month. Included in these events were the usual Black History Month opening and closing ceremonies. The opening ceremony, which occurred on Feb. 4, consisted of musical performances and cultural foods that explored African culture and diaspora. Included in the opening ceremony was a keynote by Dr. Georgina Falu, a scholar, educator, translator, high-level executive and leader of AFROLAA (Afro-Latinos of the Americas). AFROLAA is in the movement for all Afro-Latinos to gain consciousness and learn about their heritage and history.
Throughout the month, the Black history month committee provided the college with a variety of events, which included educating students and faculty about African culture and heritage, providing professional insight, and creating strong relationships through networking.
An event called “Exploring the African Diaspora” gave individuals who registered the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Black history by going to Baltimore to explore the historical venues and to tour the first Black wax museum in the nation. The historical venues showcased over 6,000 years of Black history.
Last year’s Black History Month also consisted of fundraiser events and a Health and Wellness bone marrow drive, which allowed those who were interested a chance to sign up and become a bone marrow donor. The event called “Rent Party” consisted of an evening of dance, play, prizes and refreshments. The event was a 1970s-themed fundraiser that raised funds for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
The closing ceremony occurred at the end of the month, on Feb. 28, and consisted of a Jazz and Harlem Renaissance-themed dinner.
Preparation for Black History Month 2016 has already begun. The office of Student Life has been searching for students interested in participating as part of the Black history month committee, in terms of planning events for the upcoming month. They have been promoting recruitment through departmental newsletters and fliers and by reaching out to clubs and organizations at Baruch. According to Ramsey, students participating will be able to build relationships with one another, develop their leadership skills, and hone into their programming and event planning capabilities.
“I want individuals that are looking to build relationships with departments as well as clubs and organizations. Someone that wants to positively affect the Baruch community and showcase the diversity that our community is composed of [sic],” said Ramsey. Students who are a part of the committee are tasked with planning eight to 10 events within February for Black History Month. According to Ramsey, recruitment response has been going well. “I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to make BHM 2016 successful,” said Ramsey.
There is no certain deadline, but students and faculty interested are encouraged to reach out to the office of Student Life in order to attend meetings and be a part of the process.
According to Ramsey, no big events have been planned just yet, but the first committee meeting is scheduled to take place sometime this week.