The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Black History Month in February with a variety of events designed to educate and raise awareness. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Celebrating Civil Rights in America”.
Friday, January 31
Speaker: Professor Ronald Bailey
Professor Ronald Bailey, chair of the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will speak on Friday, January 31 at 2 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. As part of this ECCE Speaker Series event, he’ll discuss the award-winning movie “12 Years a Slave” and the slavery trade in United States and world history. This event is open to the public.
Saturday, February 1
Second Annual Ebony Ball
The second annual Ebony Ball will take place on Saturday, February 1 at 7 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center Atrium (PAC 3rd floor). A $10 donation is suggested. Dress to impress. This is an opportunity for the entire campus to come together in a formal setting to celebrate the student leaders here at UIS. This event is co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, Black Male Collegiate Society, Organization of Latin American Students, Asian Student Association, and UIS Greek Life Organizations.
Wednesday, February 5
The comedy group S.E.L.L.O.U.T will perform on Wednesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. This stellar crew of four veteran comics breaks down the walls of social stereotypes one joke at a time. Vince Morris, BT, Billy D. Washington and Louis Johnson rock the stage with a night of shockingly diverse comedy that ranges from hard-hitting and raw to smooth and poetic. This event is co-sponsored by the Student Activities Committee and the Diversity Center.
Thursday, February 6
CoMeTrY (Diversity, Comedy, Spoken Word)
CoMeTrY will take place on Thursday, February 6 at 9 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. The event is a specifically designed form of entertainment that teaches and inspires individuals to laugh at life and be the best version of themselves. This program pushes the boundaries, confronts students with humorous maturity, and reinforces the importance of laughter in our daily lives. This event is sponsored by the Diversity Center.
Thursday, February 6 – Sunday February, 9
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. District of Illinois Conference
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will hold its District of Illinois Conference at UIS Thursday, February 6 through Sunday, February 9. The public is invited to a “Miss Black and Gold Pageant” on Friday, February 7 at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library. The public is also invited to a “Step Show” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 8 at 8 p.m. in the Student Life Building Gymnasium, located on the east side of campus. Admission to each event is $5 for students (with a valid ID) and $10 for the general public.
Sunday, February 9
Speaker: Chigozie “Gozie” Umeadi
Former UIS men’s basketball player and alumnus Chigozie “Gozie” Umeadi will speak about his journey after college on Sunday, February 9 at 3:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. He’ll discuss how UIS prepared him for adulthood and a career as a basketball operations coordinator for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Working under NBA President of Basketball Operations, Rod Thorn and Senior Vice President Kiki VanDeweghe, Umeadi aids the day to day facilitating of disciplinary actions carried out by the league office as well as overseeing the league’s Standard Observer program. This event is open to the public.
Friday, February 14
Heart of a Collegiate Man
Heart of a Collegiate Man will take place on Friday, February 14 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Diversity Center, SLB 22. Dating and relationship topics will be discussed among participants. This event is sponsored by the Black Male Collegiate Society.
Tuesday, February 18
African-American Women as Visual Artists: Images and Discussion
On Tuesday, February 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, room 457, Lorena Johnson, director of the certified public manager training program in the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies, UIS, will present her work and lead a discussion on the artistic contributions of African American women, often overlooked or omitted from historical accounts and contemporary exhibitions and galleries. The history of African-American women in quilting traditions, a uniquely American craft which was born of necessity and elevated to art, will also be examined.
Wednesday, February 19
National Fitness Day, TRAC
Full day of events are available to all UIS students and employees celebrating National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day on February 19. This day was established to focus on the positive benefits of recreational sports, fitness activities, and wellness programs to Americans of all ages. This event is sponsored by UIS Recreational Sports.
Open Mic Night
Open Mic Night will take place on Thursday, February 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Stars Lounge. It will be hosted by Re@l Talk. This event is open to all students, staff and faculty. You can come and express yourself through spoken word, poetry, song and rap. Light snacks are provided. This event is sponsored by Student Life.
Thursday, February 20
Racial Micro-Aggressions – What Are They? What Can We Do?
Johnson, director of the certified public manager training program in
the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at UIS will
present an opportunity for diversity skill building, faculty
development, and student and staff leadership development on Thursday,
February 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, room
457. Research confirms that all minorities – including racial, sexual,
ethnic, differently abled, and other marginalized or stereotyped persons
- may have negative experiences based on their identities. They often
accumulate to negatively affect how students, faculty, staff, and
residents of “difference” feel about themselves and their environments.
This presentation will focus on racial micro-inequities and include
practical tools for recognizing and overcoming.
Friday, February 21
Poetry Night is Friday, February 21 at 9 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center Atrium (PAC 3rd floor). The event features an open mic with a live show where audience members may perform on stage. The event is focused on performance arts like poetry and the spoken word, music, and comedy. This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Saturday, February 22
Celebration of Music Dance Festival
A Celebration of Music Dance Festival will be held on Saturday, February 22 at 3 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Great Room at UIS. The festival will feature dance performances by student organizations and members of the Springfield community. This fun and exciting event will feature special guest DLOW “the Bop King of Chicago” and special alumnus host Everitt O'Neal. This event is open to the public.
Sunday, February 23
The Barber and the President: Abraham Lincoln’s (Black) Barber and Business Client
On Sunday, February 23 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield an event will explore Springfield’s successful Black entrepreneur during the time of Lincoln. Community leaders will re-enact the barbershop of William Fleurville, Springfield’s successful barber and business client of President Lincoln’s law practice. Then and now, the barbershop is the scene of story-telling, political debate, and community building for many African-American men and women. This event is free and open to the public.
Soul Food Luncheon
A Soul Food luncheon will take place on Sunday, February 23 at 4 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Great Room. This is a closing to the Black History Month events where the UIS community will share in conversation and company. This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Celebration of Gospel
A Celebration of Gospel will take place on Sunday, February 23 at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS. This concert will be centered on black history with special guest appearance, including a performance by the UIS Voices in Praise Choir. This event is open to the public.
Wednesday, February 26
Speaker: Aisha Durham
Aisha Durham, assistant professor of communication at the University of South Florida, will speak about “Hip Hop Feminism” on Wednesday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS. She specializes in bringing awareness to the portrayal of women in popular culture – most specifically women of color in hip hop culture. This event is open to the public.
Thursday, February 27
Blacks in Popular Culture: Stereotypes and Archetypes
A panel of Springfield community members and UIS faculty will discuss negative, symbolic, and exaggerated depictions of Blacks in popular culture and media, which can impede cross-cultural relations and impact self-image and self-esteem. This event will take place on Thursday, February 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, room 457. The discussion will be moderated by Deanie Brown, UIS associate chancellor for access & equal opportunity.
Bingo and More!
Bingo and More! takes place on Thursday, February 27 at 9 p.m. in the Housing Commons. The objective of the program is to educate students on prominent African-American figures in history through Bingo. A discussion on the effects of racism on college campuses throughout history and today will also take place. There will be food and prizes. This event is co-sponsored by Residence Life and the Black Male Collegiate Society.
Friday, February 28
Soup and Conversation
Soup and Conversation will take place on Friday, February 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Diversity Center, SLB 22. A discussion will be led by the Black Student Union, Kinky and Curly Natural Hair Empowerment Club, Voices in Praise Student Organization, and UIS Greek Life Organizations.
Skating with BSU
Students are invited to skate with Black Student Union members from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 28. The cost to students is $15 per person and transportation will be provided. Contact Samaryia Magee at email@example.com for more details.
For more information on Black History Month events at UIS, contact Dr. Clarice Ford, executive director of the UIS Diversity Center, at 217/206-6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.