Black History Month

The theme for Fitchburg State's observance of Black History Month is Black Health & Wellness. 
Black Female Smiling Headshot with listings of events happening on campus in February 2022

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and the members of the Black Diaspora. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

The theme for 2022 focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.– Association for the Study of African American Life and History

The Black History Month Committee and the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness are excited to commemorate the national theme of Black Health & Wellness. Throughout the month, please choose to explore what wellness means for you, get connected to resources, and decompress. Understanding that February can be a difficult start to the semester, we've created opportunities for education to pair with engagement. We hope to see you at some of our virtual and in-person options. 

We are committed to providing a comfortable, inclusive, and respectful environment for all members of our community. If you have any accommodation needs or information you feel would be helpful for us to serve you better, we invite you to share it with us directly.

Consult the calendar of events on this page throughout the month to learn about the individual programs, which will be conducted in a virtual format. All are welcome to learn and engage. 

Click on individual events below for information on how to participate in these virtual programs, view livestreams, and participate in Q&A sessions.

Events will be recorded the with the consent of the presenters. Programs will be rescheduled in the event of university delays or closures, with updated information posted to the event listings below.

Events

Black History Month Events

Speakers

BHM Speaker:  Porsha Olayiwola 

Porsha Olayiwola BHM Speaker headshot

Porsha Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator, originally from Chicago and now a resident of Boston. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola is an MFA candidate at Emerson College. Porsha Olayiwola is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too forthcoming with Button Poetry and is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston.

MLK Speaker: Jasmine Prince

Jasmine Prince MLK Speaker headshot

Jasmine is a native of Birmingham, Ala.a and is a proud alum of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology. Jasmine also holds a master's degree in college student affairs from the University of South Florida. Throughout her career in higher education Jasmine has led programs and initiatives centered on student success, diversity education, social justice, student organization development, and leadership development. In her role as associate director, she supports the director with strategic planning, supervises the King Center interns, and leads programs with a variety of campus partners. She is dedicated to helping students find space to thrive as they navigate their collegiate journey. 

Committee Members

  • Junior Peña (Center for Diversity & Inclusiveness)
  • DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld (English Studies)
  • Jonathan Harvey (Humanities/School of Arts)
  • Lori Steckervetz (University Library)
  • Lacrinia Dirtion (President, Black Student Union)
  • Anthony Puertas (Vice-President, Black Student Union)
  • Destiny Zayas (Treasurer, Black Student Union)
  • Amina Dina (Social Events Coordinator, Black Student Union)
  • Allison Turner (President, Gay Straight Alliance)
  • Bridget Driscoll (Vice-President, Gay Straight Alliance)
  • Andrew Klein (Community Standards)
  • Mercyline Muma (Student Member)