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February Full of Events Celebrating Black History Month

February Full of Events Celebrating Black History Month

Posted: January 29, 2019

Buffalo State is recognizing Black History Month with a slate of unique and educational events, including a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Thursday, February 14.


The keynote speaker is Basil Smikle, a political strategist, educator, and advocate for public service and education equity. Smikle, who serves as distinguished lecturer of politics and public policy at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies, will deliver the talk, “Policy and Protest in Today’s America: Thoughts on Martin Luther King and Fulfillment of His Dream” at 7:00 p.m. in the Burchfield Penney Art Center Auditorium.

The event, sponsored by the college’s Equity and Campus Diversity Office, is free and open to the public.

The Student Leadership and Engagement Office also is hosting a series of free events throughout February called the African Diaspora Project (ADP). ADP “The Awakening,” is being spearheaded by Ashley C. Goodwin, ’09, ’11, assistant director for student leadership and engagement.

“Our office is the hub of involvement, and we seek to implement purposeful programming that reflects the mission of Buffalo State,” Goodwin said. “Furthermore, we seek to expand the knowledge and create awareness to include all cultures who identify with the African Diaspora through a multicultural celebration of education and appreciation.

“We know at times diversity and inclusion are topics that can be difficult to discuss,” she said. “But they are essential in fostering relationships, cultivating positive change, and creating an environment where students feel safe and brave during these trying times in our society.”

ADP events include Bengal Pause celebrations each Tuesday of the month at 12:15 in the Campbell Student Union lobby. They include games and giveaways to students. The goal is to promote the events taking place the following Thursday, such as the Diaspora Dialogue, held Thursday, February 7, at 6:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall. It’s a panel discussion that will focus on issues affecting people from the African Diaspora, including colorism, self-identity, origin, and HIV and AIDS. Participants include Kushal Bhardwaj, assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Medaille College, representatives from the Buffalo State Equity and Campus Diversity Office, the Pride Center of Western New York, and the campus’s LGBTQ Resource Center.

On February 14, there will be a Drums and Diaspora Zumba dance class at 6:00 p.m. in the Social Hall that will include representatives from Black Active Minds and You Are My Sista.

A “Fifty Shades of Beauty” colorism roundtable discussion, led by members of the campus chapter of the NAACP, will take place on Thursday, February 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall.

The culminating event is the Cultural Bazaar on Thursday, February 28, at 6:00 p.m. in the Social Hall. It features Buffalo State students celebrating indigenous culture through dance, poetry, singing, and stepping, Also, a handful of community restaurants will provide catering with food that reflects the Diaspora. 

The campus Grant Allocation Committee and the Faculty Student Association sponsored these initiatives.

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