Nearly every day this month, students will have the chance to celebrate Black History Month by attending one of more than 50 events coordinated and hosted by the Black History Month Committee through the Intercultural Center.
Senior Nia McIntosh founded the Black History Month Committee three years ago, after sensing that the campus may benefit from a student-run committee which plans events intentionally for students. She also thought it was important to give this outlet to students who may not necessarily be involved with other groups on campus.
“With everything going on in the world and on our campus, I thought it was important that people feel there’s a place for them,” McIntosh said. “The committee has grown more than I expected it to and we’re partnering with tons of organizations across campus.”
On the first of the month, the committee partnered with the Black Student Alliance and the Pit to host “The Family Reunion: Black History Month Kickoff” which the Pit offered cuisine from the African Diaspora.
Throughout the month, there are two Painting with a Purpose events offered, a project which encourages students to paint a self portrait without using skin tones.
“We talk about colorism and racism while painting, and students are able to find inner resolve by painting out all of these things they’ve come to internalize,” McIntosh said, who describes the event as a project she’s seen grow since coming up with the idea.
“Many of the events create a learning environment to engage across differences and build relationships amongst the Wake Forest community, as well as create multiple partnerships with academic departments, student organizations and administrative offices,” said Director of the Intercultural Center Jonathan McElderry.
In addition to Painting with a Purpose and the event in the Pit, the Intercultural Center is also offering students the chance to watch the movie Selma through the Student Union film series on Friday in Pugh and Marvel’s Black Panther on Monday Feb. 12 in the Intercultural Center of Benson.
As a part of the events calendar, McElderry will be hosting the Just One Word Dinner on Monday, Feb. 12. This invitation-only event will focus on the topic of resilience.
“My hope is that students share their stories of ways they have been resilient throughout their college career, as well as in their personal lives, while simultaneously sharing some of my life experiences with them,” McElderry said.
Diversity Education is partnering with the Intercultural Center to host this event. Other entities participating in hosting various events include Winston-Salem State University, the Anna Julia Cooper Center, the History Department, ZSR Library, the Office of Wellbeing and the University Counselling Center, which is hosting a #Queenin on Tuesday for women of color to “discuss ways to care for our mental and emotional wellbeing” according to the event page.
Later in the month, there will be a Skate Night with Black Student Alliance, a Students of Color Study Abroad Panel, and Blind Date with a Book: Black History Month edition.
“When working with the Black History Month committee, we wanted to be intentional on providing a variety of programs that would appeal to the Wake Forest community; whether it be participating in the kickoff event in the Pit, seeing the premiere of Black Panther, engaging with alumni through the Black Professionals Forum or attending one of the many Wellbeing Wednesday sessions,” McElderry said.