How is Catholic University Celebrating Black History Month?


Image Courtesy of the Center for Cultural Engagement

By Katherine Plunkett

This past week, the Catholic University of America began its celebrations of Black History Month with an array of events. The Black Student Alliance (BSA) started the month by hosting an open forum on the PWI (Predominantly White Institution) Experience on Thursday, February 2. On Wednesday, February 8, The CCE also kicked off its Black History Month Coffee Hour series with guest speaker Dr. Angela McRae, the Associate Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation. Thursday had two events, Genius For Justice: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Reform of American Law hosted by the Black Law Student Mentoring and Leadership Program and BSA’s Karaoke Night celebrating Black women in the music industry. Finally, this week’s Friday Kickback in the CCE theme was Painting and Presentation to highlight Black artists. 

There are numerous events planned for the rest of the month, as well as t-shirts that will be on sale as a fundraiser for BSA every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for $10. The first upcoming event is a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, February 11. Registration for the event can be found on both BSA and the CCE’s pages on the Nest

The week of Monday, February 13, to Saturday, February 18, will have the next Coffee Hour with Terrence Britt, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. Food and refreshments will be provided in the CCE at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. In the Pryz Atrium at noon on Thursday, BSA is holding a social hour featuring the CAISO Steeldrum band, a Caribbean steel orchestra. The social hour begins at 12:00 p.m. and there will be snacks. There will also be a documentary screening of the 13th by Ava DuVernay hosted by the Black Law Students Association at 5:30 p.m. and a movie night with BSA. The week ends with a Chipotle fundraiser for BSA on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until close. 

 From Monday, February 20, to Saturday, February 25, there will be another Coffee Hour in the CCE at 11:00 a.m. with Associate Athletic Director Jaime Walls. On Thursday, there is a panel on the Black American Experience in Brookland hosted by numerous groups, including the CCE and the history department. The event begins with Mass in St. Vincent’s Chapel at 5:10 p.m. and is followed by a panel at 6:30 p.m. in the Pryz great rooms. The week ends with BSA’s Black and White Tie affair, their annual semi-formal dance on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The theme is Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden! and the dance takes place in the Heritage Hall.

Black History Month will conclude with the final Coffee Hour on Monday, February 27, at 1:00 p.m. with Lawrence Stewart, the Education Abroad Advisor. On Tuesday, February 28, there will be an intercultural dialogue in the CCE at 12:30 p.m. The event features a screening of Soul Food, a student-produced documentary, and a student panel discussion. 

Javier Bustamante, Director of the CCE, commented on the events he is looking forward to this month. 

” I’d have to say I’m very excited about the Social Hour with the Caribbean American International Steel Orchestra,” Bustamante said. “It will be an hour of music and tasty treats. It’s an opportunity to learn about this beautiful style of music and history…Another event I’m looking forward to is our Intercultural Dialogues on February 28. The event will include the screening of Soul Food, followed by a student panel discussion that will break open the major themes of the short documentary.”

The full list of activities can be found on the CCE’s website

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