Thursday February 7, 2013

Black History Month

The University and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of activities and events.

The University of Dayton and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of activities and events throughout the month of February.

“The programs that we have created are intended to be a memorial that highlights the accomplishments of the people of African/Caribbean descent,” said Jerami Johnson, a student engagement assistant with OMA. “Since black history isn't the primary focus of the American education system we feel that it is important for all to know what blacks have done, not only for this country, but the world.

“Though the arrival of blacks to this continent is a dark part of America's history, this month, as well as our programming, shows that something beautiful can come from something so deeply embedded in darkness.”

Many of the programs take place in conjunction with other departments and units, such as ArtStreet. One such event is a poetry slam and open mic night Saturday, Feb. 16, featuring student-led spoken word group UKURI.

“The importance of this open mic is to create a atmosphere where everyone is welcomed to express themselves,” said Kwyn Townsend Riley, first-year student and UKURI president. “Since this is Black History Month, it is important to acknowledge that this luxury was not always a given to people of my color and descent. Freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of perspective can all be heard through poetry at this open mic. It’s important that people attend to hear the difference and diversity that sums up to equal the University of Dayton community.”

Here is a calendar of upcoming events. For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 9-3634 or visit

Thursday, Feb. 7: Black History Month celebration dinner
$5 for an entree, two side items, a drink and dessert 
5 p.m. in Marycrest, Kennedy Union and VWK

Tuesday, Feb. 12: University of Dayton Speaker Series – Michelle Alexander
Highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate and legal scholar, Alexander is The New York Times’ best-selling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. A book signing will follow.
7:30 p.m., Kennedy Union ballroom

Wednesday, Feb. 13: African Textiles As a Catalyst For Learning

Featuring Willis Bing Davis, a Dayton-based nationally recognized visual artist, this hands-on activity is the creation of an assimilated quilt square by each participant. To preregister, visit
7 p.m., Davis’ studio. Transportation will be provided. Meet at ArtStreet at 6:30 p.m., and participants will return to campus by 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15: Film showing – Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity
This film explores racial identity through the lens of hip-hop music and culture. Professor Tom Morgan from the department of English leads the 7 p.m. discussion.
11:30 a.m. in Library Group FlexSpace and 7 p.m. in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (Alumni 101)

Saturday, Feb. 16: UKURI at the Dayton Poetry Slam
Dayton Poetry Slam returns to the city this winter in its new home at ArtStreet. Witness creative rhythms and artistic voices as the campus's dynamic student led spoken work organization, UKURI, takes the stage along with other Dayton poets and spoken word artists.
7 p.m., ArtStreet Studio B
Part of the monthly Dayton Poetry Slam at ArtStreet series

Tuesday, Feb. 19: REAL Topic: Examining Modern Day Racism
Join OMA and members of the University community as we discuss what racism looks and feels like today, in contrast with the impact that racism has had historically. University faculty members will lead the discussion.
6 p.m., Office of Multicultural Affairs (Alumni 101)

Wednesday, Feb. 20: BATU Black History Trivia and Town Hall Meeting
Students can compete in a trivia based competition focusing on Black history topics. BATU will also hold a town hall meeting to discuss the campus climate and the mission of BATU.
6 p.m., Office of Multicultural Affairs (Alumni 101)
Saturday, Feb. 23: Trip to the Freedom Center
Experience the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati with Housing and Residence Life’s multicultural programming committee and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Your $3 ticket includes transportation, admission and lunch/snacks! The bus leaves at 9 a.m. and returns by 4 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Kennedy Union box office beginning Feb. 8.  

Tuesday, Feb. 26: Creative Cultural Exchange with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Cityfolk
Posing the question, “What kinds of leadership help art nonprofits thrive in a changing world?" join two of Dayton's leading arts organizations as they outline the successes, challenges and failures of producing diverse art and promoting cross-cultural experiences in today’s 21st century world.
7 p.m., ArtStreet Studio B