Tarleton experiences different cultures through Black History Month celebrations
By Bethany Kyle—
February marks Black History Month, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is seeking to bring the spirit and history of the holiday’s observance to Tarleton students, faculty and staff.
The event allowed everyone in attendance to “experience the different cultures we have on campus,” said Diane Rodriguez, Student Success Program Coordinator.
The room was crowded with students and faculty walking through stations that explained the history of the foods being sampled. Beyond the event, students and faculty alike reflected on the importance of programs of this type.
“It’s important; people need to get to know the history and what the culture is about,” said senior kinesiology major Brendon Williams.
Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason said the goal of the celebration is to encourage “education, awareness, and fostering dialogues across campus as we reflect on issues of social justice, multiculturalism and equality.”
The other four events in the works for this month will continue to “provide an opportunity for everyone to learn more about our powerful collective history,” said Helvie-Mason.
Another new event this year will be the Spoken Word Poetry night. “Spoken Word Poetry is more than an art form; it is a venue to share thoughts and learn about new perspectives,” said Helvie-Mason. The event spotlights slam poetry champions that have been invited to Tarleton to perform and also invites others interested in performing during the open-mic time.
As in the past, there will be a lecture hosted by MENtal Freedom and Bold groups and will include a panel of Texas representatives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
A diversity luncheon and a Movie on the Lawn event featuring “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” will be co-sponsored by Recreational Event Programming later this month.
Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1970, when it was expanded from originally being a weeklong celebration.