Black History Month is a time to celebrate heroines and heroes of United States history, recognize their contributions, and honor their legacies -- legacies that deserve to be honored every day of the year.
Black History Month is also a time to reflect on our own community -- who we are now and who we hope to become. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
To that end, this year’s events and speakers created opportunities for learning, conversation, and reflection among students, faculty, and staff. Student speakers shared “vulnerable moments and powerful words, in addition to hopes and goals for our community as we continue to grow into a truly inclusive environment,” noted Anthony Gibson, DEI Program Coordinator and facilitator for the Guiding Knights.
In one feature, student speaker Oyetola Ajayi-Obe ‘21 encouraged the community to “learn how to have uncomfortable conversations.” In another, Lawrence Alexander, leader for Carney, Sandoe & Associates’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice, posed reflective questions centered on daily habits that lead to social change and the power of influencing conversations about race and social justice.
From discussions around stereotypes experienced by BIPOC students on campus to explorations of iconic African American figures throughout history, we recognized the triumphs of the past, the struggles of the present, and the ongoing growth we must commit to as a community -- during Black History Month and beyond.
“History has its eyes on us,” wrote Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate. We take her words to heart as we work to foster a safe, supportive, inclusive space for each and every Golden Knight.