Westfield State University celebrates Black History Month

Feb 1, 2021

Westfield State University will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a slate of events including a virtual paint night, a celebration of Douglass Day, and a discussion with alumni who identify as Black and Brown about challenges they have faced in their work environment. This year’s theme is “Honor the History. Embrace the Power. Shape the Future.”

Since 1974, Westfield State University has observed Black History Month by hosting events that inform the campus community and general public about the continuing importance of representation for African-American history, culture, and traditions.

Westfield State University Black History Month Events (all virtual):

The Black History Month Museum
Thursday, Feb. 4, 6–7 p.m.
This exhibit will provide a journey through the African-American experience and features over 1,000 authentic artifacts, with original documents from historic figures such as Booker T. Washington, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, former President Barack Obama, and many other African-Americans.
Sponsored by: Office of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership

Douglass Day
Friday, Feb. 12, noon–2 p.m.
A celebration of the life of Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) and a transcribe-a-thon of the papers of Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954), who was among those who established the first Douglass Day in 1897 and later helped to found the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the NAACP.  By the People, a crowdsourcing platform through the Library of Congress, will be used to transcribe her work. Participants will watch a live broadcast, with speakers on Douglass and Terrell (12-12:30), followed by the nationwide transcribe-a-thon (12:30-1:30) and closing remarks (1:30-2). Participants are welcome to participate in the Great Douglass Day Bake Off by baking a birthday cake and posting a photo of it on social media with #DouglassDay.  For more information, visit www.douglassday.org.
Sponsored by: Ely Library and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Paint by Number
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
Celebrate Black History Month in a unique way by painting one of three historic Black icons, such as Rosa Parks, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Painting kits will be sent to students and a live painting session and discussion will be held online.
Sponsored by: Office of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership

The Color of Silence: A Column in Westfield Voice about Race
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7–8 p.m.
Attendees will discuss a proposed new column for Westfield State’s online student newspaper, Westfield Voice. “The Color of Silence: A Column about Race” would share stories about race and racism. Session participants may share and reflect on their own experiences with race and racism.
Sponsored by: Reading and Writing Center

Voices of Color: What it Means to be a Person of Color in the Workplace
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4 p.m.
Panelists will be alumni who identify as Black and Brown and will include a discussion about the challenges they have faced in their work environments.
Sponsored by: The Career Center and Urban Education Program

Meet the Greeks
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7–8:30 p.m.
An introduction will be provided to the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that are referred to as “The Divine Nine.” Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in Black History. Each organization invited is a member of the Divine Nine and has Westfield State University listed in its charter.
Sponsored by: Office of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership

For more information about or access to Westfield State’s events in observance of Black History Month, call the University’s Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership Center (SAIL) Center at 413-572-5619 or email sail@westfield.ma.edu.