Black History Month was celebrated and sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Education department at Missouri Western. The CME held events throughout the month of February which included students of all races coming together to celebrate African-American history.
CME Program Assistant Alexis Williams has been a part of the organization for many years. She believes that each event held in February went well regardless of the school shutting down due to the weather.
“Our office planned the majority of the events, if not all of them,” Williams said. “I think they went really good, I wish we didn’t have those snow days, because we could’ve done more. Overall, it was almost something going on every week.”
The events planned where the following: Porsha Olayiwola- a black hip-hop feminist poet, the Charles Drew blood drive- raising awareness and importance of sickle cell patients, a Black Love dinner on Valentine’s Day and a screening of the movie Detroit- it was rescheduled due to the school closings. The CME held a soul food lunch and gave away 50 free tickets to students who may not have had a meal plan. Also Black History Trivia Night was held. Winners won Amazin Fire sticks and tablets. To end the black history month events, the CME held the Black Heritage Dinner
African-American Western junior Octayvia Riley has tried to attend all the events. She was excited that there were so many events planned and feels as though more students should have attended.
“I basically went to all of them except for the trivia night, I couldn’t get off work,” Riley said. “The events that I did go to, I left learning more and I started loving the color of my skin more. I think more people should have came though because they could have left feeling the same way I did.”
Western senior Myriam Pierre also attend some events. She believes that there is currently an inceased importance in attending events during Black History Month.
“I went to the Black Love Dinner on Valentine’s Day with some friends. It was really beautiful, even though I was single I didn’t feel like I was, if that makes sense,” Pierre said. “I never really went to these things during my first years here, but I feel like with everything going on in politics and in society we should start knowing more about our culture and loving ourselves.”
Each event hosted around 10 to 15 people, however there was lots of knowledge given that many students did not enter with. Williams believes that the trivia night helped bring more awareness to why there is an African-American appreciation month.
“My favorite event, if I had to choose, was the Black History Trivia Night,” Williams said. “There was four teams and different questions were asked. We got into the element of asking about Martin Luther King Jr. We tried to get people to answer questions about things they really don’t know but should know about black inventors and things like that. My favorite part was trying to see people figure out the answers and really work together in different teams because they didn’t know.”
Although some events were rescheduled, Williams believes that each student and participant learned something new.
“Overall, I feel like the students learned appreciation and history of their heritage,” Williams said. “I think we know we’re black, but when black history comes around I think its really important for us to connect back to our roots and try to understand different things that’s going on in America and around the world that affects us.”
Plans for next years Black History Month events will begin in the fall semester. Both program assitants Alexis Williams and Dianah Hidzir are graduating this spring, so hiring for the CME will start soon.
For more information about participating in next year’s plans or to join the CME, visit their offices in upstairs Blum 207.