Please join the Student Diversity and Inclusion Services office in celebrating Black History Month. Events will take place throughout the month of February, and we encourage you and your students to attend.

We will have Purple Bench in SDIS on Fridays from 3-4pm. We would love for students to come engage in conversations regarding Black History Month. A special menu at T’s will be featured February 20-24 and a display with featured works in the OSF Library February 1-28.

Step Afrika! will join us on Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00 pm in ASC Woulfe N. Step Afrika! ranks as one of the top ten African American dance companies in the United States, this event is sponsored by the Diversity Activities Board (DAB).  BESA will begin their series of events with a Black History Discussion led by Dr. Todd Lawrence on Thursday, February 2 at 5:30 pm in ASC Hearth Room.

“The Gathering” will take place on Friday, Feb. 3rd at 8 p.m. in ASC LL Dance. We once again welcome DJ Enferno for a “Purple Rain” themed event.  Invite students to celebrate the new semester with us by reconnecting with friends and letting loose on the dance floor.

Come to ASC LL Dance on Tuesday, Feb. 7th at 5:00 p.m. for popcorn and our Movies That Matter Series! We are screening, RUBBLE KINGS, a documentary where former gang members discuss the lifestyle and culture that led to the birth of hip-hop in 1970s New York.

The third installment of our Culture Stew series will take place on Thursday, February 9th at 5:30pm in ASC Dorsey Way (2nd floor). Come eat some stew and take part in a teach-in sponsored by the Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) which focuses on immigration.

Our main event this month is a series of slam poetry workshops and performances for our 3rd Annual Slam Poetry Week. Events take place Tuesday, Feb. 14th through Friday, Feb. 17th with support from DAB, American Culture and Difference, Office of Mission, and the English department. Please encourage students to register with SDIS to compete in the slam poetry contest on Friday.

  • Poetry Workshop Facilitated by Donte Collins and Sarah Ogutu: Tuesday, Feb. 14th at 6:00 pm in ASC 202
  • Poetry Workshop Facilitated by Donte Collins and Sarah Ogutu: Thursday, Feb. 15th at 6:00 pm in ASC 202
  • Donte Collins and Sarah Ogutu Perform: Thursday, Feb. 16th at 6:00 pm in ASC Woulfe North, Dinner provided
  • Slam Poetry Contest Hosted by Mike Mlekoday: Friday, Feb. 17th at 5:00 pm in ASC Scooter’s, Dinner provided

We continue with our And Still We Rise series in partnership with the Luann Dummer Center for Women (LDCW). This month it is led by Dr. Artika Tyner Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:30 pm in the LDCW (OEC 103). 

BESA will host a Black History Month Dinner on February 23rd at 6 pm in ASC Woulfe South.  Everyone welcome!

We are excited to celebrate the dedication of Dorsey Way (Formerly Campus Way) on Monday, February 27 at 3 pm on the 2nd floor in ASC.  The first African American student to attend St. Thomas was John Henry “Harry” Dorsey. In 1888, Dorsey was invited to attend the (then) St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary by Archbishop John Ireland. Ultimately, he was ordained as a member of Society of St. Joseph in 1902 becoming only the second African American priest to be ordained in the United States.

We will conclude our month with Mr. Russel Balenger, founder the Circle of Peace movement, leading a training for students on honest, respectful dialogue on challenging, complex topics. Students are encouraged to join us in the ASC Hearth Room on Tuesday, February 28 from 5:30-6:30pm.

We hope you can join us for these fantastic events!