Monday, January 28, 2019

UIS announces 2019 Black History Month celebration events

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 “Black is Beautiful, Black is Powerful, Black is Confident and Black is Resilient.”

The following events are free and open to the public.

Friday, February 1 
Candle Light Vigil 
Students and community members are invited to participate in a Candle Light Vigil honoring the life of anyone who they have lost. Participants are encouraged to light a candle and say a few remarks for that special person. The vigil will start at 11:30 a.m. in the UIS Student Union.

Step Afrika! 
A performance by Step Afrika! will take place at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Over the past 23 years Step Afrika! has grown to become one of the top 10 African American Dance Companies in the U.S. and Washington D.C.’s largest African American arts organization.

Wednesday, February 6 
Spoken Word
Artist Britteney Black Rose Kapri will be coming to campus and performing poetry at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Osborne Lounge. She is a teaching artist, writer, performance poet and playwright. She is the author of “Black Queer Hoe” (Haymarket Books, 2018). Her writing has been published in Poetry magazine, Vinyl, Day One, Seven Scribes and Kinfolks Quarterly.

Friday, February 8 
The History of Springfield – From 1908 to Now 
The Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series, the UIS Diversity Center and The Springfield NAACP will co-host a film screening and panel discussion at 4 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. This event will begin with a screening of the 30-minute film “Springfield Had No Shame: The Springfield Race Riot of 1908.” The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Teresa Haley, president of the NAACP Springfield and Illinois Chapters.

Sunday, February 10
Black Male Collegiate Society Induction Ceremony 
Join UIS as we celebrate the accomplishments of those being inducted into the Black Male Collegiate Society. Hear from various Black Male Collegiate Society members and newly inducted members on their journey from maleness to manhood. This event is at 3 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, February 12
Know Your Heritage Bowl 
Join UIS for a trivia game to learn about important African-American people, inventions, and legislations that impact the way we see society today. The event will happen at 9 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

Friday, February 15
High School-College Mixer 
Local high school students (juniors and seniors) are invited to partake in a campus visit where they will have a chance to interact, learn and socialize with many current African American student leaders at UIS. There will be a chance to learn more about the importance of Greek Life and witness a special presentation. This event will be held in the Student Union Ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This event is open to local high school students.

Movie Screening & Discussion: “Cornbread, Earl and Me” (1975) 
Nathaniel "Cornbread" Hamilton was the black urban dream and a hero to Wilford. Shortly before he would have become the first man from his community to go to college, the police mistake him for a rapist and shoot him dead in the street. Wilford is determined not to betray his hero’s memory. Join us for this movie screening and panel discussion at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. This panel discussion is in conjunction and builds into the “Stranger Fruit” documentary screening and discussion.

Sunday, February 17 
Soul Food Festival
The Soul Food Festival serves as a time for the university to come together, have fun and listen to music, all while enjoying soul food. Educational and cultural exhibits will be displayed throughout the evening. This event will take place at 6 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, lower level concourse.

Monday, February 18 
“Stranger Fruit” Documentary Screening 
The documentary “Stranger Fruit” will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. The documentary tells the story of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on April 9, 2014. “Stranger Fruit” shows what took place through the eyes of Brown's family. Following the documentary, there will be a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of citizens and police officers in the U.S.

Tuesday, February 19
“Blackness Across Borders” 
Speaker Roberto Rincón will offer an analysis of black racial identification among Afro-Mexicans in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Rooms C/D.

Wednesday, February 20 
Building your Trans Ally Toolkit or Beyond Black Trans Death & Doom
Black, gender-expanding activist, educator, and musician, Jay-Marie Hill will enlighten audiences on transgender power and resilience through lecture, discussion, and live original music at this UIS Black History Month event at 4 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Greatroom. This performance/experience will widen audience awareness to include living and thriving alongside transgender people. This performance experience will include a focus on supporting Black Trans Thriving.

Friday, February 22
This event is being held at 4 p.m. in the Diversity Center to educate and create dialogue surrounding the importance of hair in the black community, specifically with women and the issues that can arise as a result of lack of understanding, discrimination, and appropriation. This panel discussion will provide education to those who might not have the understanding around hair and the black community, as well as allowing participants to share and ask questions they might have.

Saturday, February 23
Ebony Ball 
The Ebony Ball is a chance to appreciate and celebrate the black excellence of our current student leaders. The evening will be filled with education, laughter and positivity. The event is open to all students who believe in leadership and unity. Please take the time to increase the value of our student leaders by rooting them on in celebration this evening. Dress attire is business casual. This event will take place in the Student Union Ballroom at 8 p.m. Lincoln Land Community College students are welcomed to attend.

Sunday, February 24
Gospel Karaoke 
This is an event that will highlight spirituality within the black community as its importance and prominence within the culture. Join us at 6 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Greatroom.

Thursday, February 28 
Closing Ceremony 
Students will reflect on Black History Month during this closing ceremony featuring food and discussion at 3 p.m. in the Diversity Center.

For more information on Black History Month events, visit the UIS Diversity Center website at or contact Justin Rose, director of diversity and inclusion designee, at 217/206-6333 or

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