UW-Eau Claire Invites Community to Black History Month Events
student musicians, poets, and more to explore Black history at university event series
UW-Eau Claire is planning a four-event lineup in February for its annual Black History Month event series, which will include a wide array of student artists' involvement, the announcement of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Leadership Award, on-campus and local vendors joining the final event, and more.
Notably, the opening event on Tuesday, Feb. 6, will highlight five individuals who deeply contributed to the March on Washington and consequently, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech: A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, Mahalia Jackson, and Clarence Jones. Creatively told and explored thanks to student involvement, the event will intertwine short documentary video clips, music and singing, spoken word, and more. At the end of the event, the recipient of the 2024 Martin Luther King Social Justice Leadership Award will be announced.
“I really want community members to know they are welcome and encouraged to be here.”
DR. STACEY JACKSON
MEMBER OF THE BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLANNING COMMITTEE
Dr. Stacey Jackson, associate professor of psychology and member of the Black History Month planning committee, will also co-host the series’ second event on Thursday, Feb. 15, “Still I Rise: A Black History through the Arts.” The event will explore some American Black history, furthered by performances from UWEC students, including hip hop artist True Serva, an interview with Callie Greer of Mothers Against Violence in Selma, and others.
“(The event will) educate those in attendance on the Black lived experience, the unique aspects of being Black and living in America, with a degree of historical chronology explored through artistic means,” Jackson said. “By now, most people are familiar with some of the challenges that not just Blacks but people of color and the BIPOC community experience in this country and throughout history to an extent, but (the art in this event) speaks to, where do we go from here? (How do we) move forward?”
The final event of the series, “Black Essence: Did You Know?”, talks about some of the most iconic creations and happenings in history from the moon landing to the making of smartphones, and how Black scientists and inventors made them possible. It will also bring in on-campus individuals from an array of departments as well as booths or vendors from the local community, including food vendors Nigerian Kitchen and Big Papas BBQ.
“I really want community members to know they are welcome and encouraged to be here,” Jackson said of the university event series.
For the second event in the series, “Still I Rise: A Black History through the Arts,” attendees must RSVP online so caterer C&T’s Soul Food can prepare enough food and enough seating is available. There is no charge to attend any of the events.
Black History Month event schedule:
Black History Month event schedule:
Feb. 6: 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration: Our Dream
Schofield Auditorium | 5:30-7pm
This year’s program will highlight five individuals whose contributions to the March on Washington made Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech possible. Their stories will be shared through multimedia elements and student performances, powerfully demonstrating that historic change is most often made through the hard work of a community of dreamers.
Feb. 15: Still I Rise: A Black History Journey Through the Arts
Dakota Ballroom, Davies Center | 5:30-7pm | RSVP your free ticket online
An evening of education and entertainment, the event will feature a program chronicling American Black history. Emcees Dekelen Griffin and Dr. Stacey Jackson will guide us through the trials and triumphs of the American Black experience, featuring performances by hip-hop artist Tru Serva, African drummer Olu Famule, and UWEC student Elijah Vanderpoel, an interview with Callie Greer of Mothers Against Violence in Selma, poetry, and more.
Come hungry, as a dinner catered by C&T’s Soul Food will be provided. For catering purposes, please book your free ticket here ahead of time to guarantee your seat. At-the-door tickets will be limited. Doors open at 5pm.
Feb. 20: Chavelier Film Screening
Woodland Theater, Davies Center | 5-7pm
Great music? Check! Set in Marie Antoinette’s France? Check! About a hidden figure from Black history? Check! The movie Chavelier has it all! Join MSS for a showing of this recent biopic, which brings to light the fantastic life and music of the formidable French Caribbean composer who rivaled Mozart. Bring your friends for free popcorn and a larger-than-life story!
Feb. 29: Black Essence: Did You Know?
Ojibwe Ballroom, Davies Center | 5-8pm
Do you know what your smartphone, the moon landing, and frozen pizza have in common? They were all made possible by Black scientists and inventors! Come to this event to learn more about how the contributions of Black individuals have changed our world. The event will feature exhibits highlighting little-known facts and figures from Black History, along with booths hosted by local Black-owned businesses. Learn, support local vendors, and enjoy some light refreshments on us!