Bridgewater State is highly focused on racial equity and justice, and educating the campus community and beyond. One way we can do this, is by not focusing only on the inequalities but also on the excellent contributions and achievements of black people.
Black History Month offers the opportunity to better educate people about the contributions to society African Americans have made and continue to make.
This year’s theme for the annual month-long celebration is, “Black Excellence: A Journey to Equality.” Bridgewater State University is hosting multiple activities throughout February inspired by this theme.
“Black excellence, for me, is looking at the greatness, of all the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made to the world, which is not usually talked about. Especially in K-12 schools, where all you hear about regarding Black history is from the slave ships to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, director for intercultural student success.
Pitterson-Ogaldez added, because of the lack of education, stereotypes have been formed.
“There is injustice, exclusion, and oppression that has happened to African Americans, that they don’t have ambition; they don’t work hard. They are often used as entertainers, whether that’s in sports, music or TV, yet don’t receive rewards in an equitable way,” she said.
It’s through education that the narrative can change.
“Bridgewater State is highly focused on racial equity and justice, and educating the campus community and beyond,” Pitterson-Ogaldez said. “One way we can do this, is by not focusing only on the inequalities but also on the excellent contributions and achievements of black people.’”
Pitterson-Olgadez formed a committee made up of members from across campus and BSU affiliated groups that organized different events to be held during Black History Month to educate and inspire the BSU community.
From Feb. 1-28, Sodexo will be serving cultural cuisines in all BSU dining facilities.
Masterclasses with Mekbul J. Tahir
On Thursday, Feb. 9, and Thursday, Feb. 23, campus community members are invited to attend a masterclass with international choreographer, dancer, and teacher Mekbul J. Tahir from 3-5p.m. in Burnell Room 138A.
Nubian Square Walking Tour
Hosted by the Bridgewater State Program Council, on Saturday, Feb. 11, an off-campus Nubian Square Walking Tour will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Roxbury. To register, click here.
Black History Month Banquet
The annual BSU Black History Month banquet will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the RSU Large Ballroom. BSU Director for Intercultural Student Success Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez is the keynote speaker and will discuss “Black Excellence.”
African American Studies Five-Year Anniversary Celebration
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Maxwell Library Heritage Room, the BSU African American Studies program will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Register here.
Afro Am Alumni Association Virtual Mixer
A virtual mixer is planned for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27. Contact email@example.com
MRISJ Civic Speaker Series
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, an online discussion, “Repairing Historical Harms: A Conversation on Reparations,” is planned. To register click here.
Black Film Series
Wednesday, Feb 22: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, 1:50 p.m. in Burnell Room 138A
Thursday, Feb. 23: Pelo Malo, 2 p.m. in Boyden 223
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Just Mercy 2 to 4:30 p.m. LGCIE RSU Room 101
“It’s important that people take the initiative to first educate themselves, you can do this through reading, watching documentaries, through building relationships – positive, loving relationships with members of the African American community,” Pitterson-Ogaldez said.
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