The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is helping to celebrate Black History Month with various events, talks, forums, discussions and symposiums.
Yolanda Avent, the director of OMSA, said that this year’s Black History Month events all have a common message.
“The theme of this year is black history through the scope of entrepreneurship, but also in that lens of entrepreneurship, of stepping outside of your comfort zone,” Avent said. “So it’s sort of duel themed in terms of and kind of thrusting yourself into areas of diversity and difference”.
On Monday Feb. 9, there will be a forum and panel discussion titled “Blurred Lines: Race, Gender, and Culture at VCU.” Some of those included on the forum is Yewande Austin and Lamman Rucker. Austin is a musician who touches on racial issues in her songs and is a U.S. Cultural Ambassador.
Rucker is an actor who is best known for playing T. Marshall Travers on the CBS show “As The World Turns.” VCU Chief John Venuti will also be in attendance to talk about racial profiling and ways to avoid violence between students and police officers at VCU.
Avent said these events are very relevant given the recent news of racial tension and social unrest across the country .
“Its a timely month and list of activities that we have around those issues that have come up because of the Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and other individuals that hit national spotlight,” Avent said. “I say that because there have been so more before them that haven’t hit the national spotlight, but because it has it makes it very timely.”
The final week of the month will be Diversity Scholars in Research Week. It will put focus on students who are doing research in diverse areas and spotlight that work. There will also be a poster session that will allow students to display their findings they discovered through research.
Following that there will be a networking session that will allow students to interact with faculty and more information about summer prep programs, graduate school, national scholarship and other topics.
Sika Nyamador, a freshman international studies major, works at OMSA and is in charge of promoting the Black History Month events. While it is still early in the month, Nyamador said it has been a successful campaign so far .
“All of the events we’ve had had so many people come because vcu is so diverse and multicultural so everybody is interested in learning more about who we are,” Nyamador said.
Nyamador said that it is important to note that the events are open to everyone.
“Its just not all about black people,” Nyamador said. “Its all about learning about different cultures and just getting involved with the movement to just try to get social equality.”