UW-Parkside to Host Series of Events in Honor of Black History Month

Published: January 31, 2023

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside will commemorate Black History Month in February, Beginning with a Kick-Off Feb. 1 from 5-7 p.m. in the UW-Parkside Student Center. This event is open to the public. Black Student Union (BSU) will begin the celebration with Black history trivia, food, the Chicago-style stepping and stepping from historically Black Greek-letter organizations. Black History Month recognizes and celebrates the historical and cultural contributions that African Americans have made to U.S. society.

Black History Month is sponsored by various campus offices and collaborators such as the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), University Advancement team, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the UW-Parkside Library, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the Black Student Union. 

Music, film, student-led activities, discussion of critical issues and the BSU’s Essence Ball (open to the public) with a fashion show featuring locally owned businesses from Racine will be among the highlights of the month that students, staff, faculty, and the community are invited to attend.

Shawna Vermilyer, a sophomore Psychology major and BSU’s Secretary notes, “We have the theme of ‘Black Beauty and Success’ for our Essence Ball this year. We all sometimes think too much about the struggles and the obstacles we face. But look at where we are going! We’ve accomplished so much. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the culture.” BSU is also hosting the Black Business Expo, also open to the public, on Feb. 8 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. featuring both student-owned and local businesses.

“Being black is an everyday thing, but especially in this month. Black History Month means to me being able to shine light on our best qualities and show people the true meaning of what it is to be Black and our lifestyle,” Ezekiel Evans, senior Sports Management major, explained.

The “Milwaukee 53206” documentary tells the stories of the effects of mass incarceration, how it shapes inmates, their families and their community at large. The 53206 ZIP code in Milwaukee is the most incarcerated ZIP code in the United States with 62% of its adult men having spent time in jail or prison. The event is free and open to the public and there will be a post-film discussion.

Anotherexciting event is the Black Ranger Meet-Up. This is a networking event where UW-Parkside Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcomed back to fortify connections.

To learn more visit UW-Parkside’s Black History Month website.

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