‘Economic empowerment’ theme of Black History Month

UCSD planning myriad of events to celebrate

From art exhibits to benefits for undergraduate scholarships and a theatrical re-enactment of the inauguration of President Obama, UCSD will recognize Black History Month with a myriad of events.

This year’s theme is “Recognizing the Future of Black Economic Empowerment.” The celebration will give the campus and the community the opportunity to learn, connect and celebrate a rich cultural history while looking forward to a future that holds tremendous possibility, organizers said.

  • There will be a showing of the film “Bilal’s Stand” at noon on Feb. 4 in the campus Cross-Cultural Center. The film is based on a true story about a Detroit high school senior, who is forced to decide between working at his family’s long-owned taxi stand or taking a chance at social mobility by applying for college.
  • In honor of the first anniversary of Obama’s term in office, actor M’Lafi Thompson will perform her one-person show, “The Inauguration of Barack Obama: One Year Later” on Feb. 23.

“Collaborating with UCSD’s MFA playwright Ronald McCants, Thompson will explore some political portraits in an engaging narrative, partly inspired by her participation in the Washington, D.C., inaugural parties last year,” said Allan Havis, Thurgood Marshall Provost. Havis is a professor of theatre and dance and author of 13 plays. He added that Thurgood Marshall College sponsors several Black History Month events due to the colleges’ unique sense of community, diversity and passion for social justice.

  • The Black History Month Scholarship brunch, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 27 will feature a silent auction to benefit undergraduate scholarships and outstanding student scholars will be recognized. The traditional event includes a soul food meal, keynote address and a performance from local gospel choirs.

The keynote speaker will be Donald Murphy, ’75, CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Murphy was recently recognized as Alumnus of the Year by the UCSD Alumni Association.

  • The 2010 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards program is set for 2 p.m., Feb. 9 in the Price Center West Ballroom to recognize employees, faculty, staff, students, department or organizational units, who have made an outstanding contribution in any or all areas of diversity at UCSD during the past year.
  • Throughout the month, there will be an exhibit on black film in the west wing of the Geisel Library. In addition, works from video artist Lauren Woods’ series “The AFRICA Archives” will be on display at the University Art Gallery in the exhibition “M(other)land.” The show includes videos, still photographs and other mixed-media works depicting the African continent as it is still primarily seen through the veil of social crises, Hollywood movies and television news.

— UCSD Communications

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