Black History Month Events

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week as an opportunity to commemorate and honor the rich history and achievements of people of African descent in the United States. In 1976, during Bicentennial celebrations, the week became a month, and has been celebrated since across the United States.

Western Washington University is proud to celebrate during February with a calendar of events across the university, organized and sponsored by a variety of organizations, departments, and clubs. 

 Throughout the Month

Honoring Black LGBTQ+ history and Futures

All month long, LGBTQ+ Western is honoring Black LGBTQ+ history and celebrating Black LGBTQ+ futures by profiling Black LGBTQ+ artists, intellectuals, activists, and organizations on Instagram. @lgbtqwestern.

Moments to Remember

Monday - Friday during February

10:00am, KUGS-FM 89.3 and kugs.

“Moments to Remember” with host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. features a series of radio features highlighting African Americans whose contributions are part of our American history. 

"Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was" 25th Anniversary Edition (Six-Hour Series)

Saturdays: Feb. 6, 13, 20 at 6:00 pm
Sundays: Feb. 7, 14, 21 at 5:00 pm

KUGS-FM 89.3 and kugs.org 

Produced for Radio Smithsonian 

“Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was” is the story of radio’s role in the 20th century transformation of the African American community. First aired in 1996, the specials have been reformatted into six hours for 2021. Original host Lou Rawls guides us, with new narration from original producer Jacquie Gales Webb.

Through interviews, historical airchecks, comedy, drama, and music, the series reveals the remarkable correlation between milestones of Black radio programming and African American culture. Among other topics the series explores the role of radio during the great migration of Blacks from the South, trail-blazing Black DJs and stations, and Black radio during the Civil Rights movement.

“Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was,” was hosted by Lou Rawls and produced for Radio Smithsonian in 1996, by Jacquie Gales Webb, with associate producers Sonja Williams and Lex Gillespie 

 The Dance Union Podcast Sponsorship

Podcast available anytime

The Dance Union Podcast:

We are living in questions and conversations about accountability.

Viking Athletics Celebrates Black History Month

Viking Athletics has gathered stories from their archives and conducted insightful podcast interviews with former and current Black student athletes. Read and listen on the Viking Athletics website.

Prose to Practice

We are putting our ideas into practice.

Deep Listening

We engage in deep listening with our dance communities.

Go to The Dance Union webpage to listen to episodes about anti-racist and social justice issues in the dance field. This excellent podcast is being used in a WWU Dance History course and made available for students on the WWU Dance website. All are encouraged to jump in and learn from this vital resource. WWU Dance is grateful to be able to offer a monthly sponsorship to support BIPOC artists beyond the month of February, and the WWU community is encouraged to listen in and learn.

Queering Research presents Race/Ism: a Human Ecological System

Race/ism: A Human Ecological System

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

4:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Race/ism was created by European colonizers in order to seize land, labor, & gain control of the means of production. For every capitalist crisis, market disaster, & form of resistance that colonizers met from colonized peoples, they created a “new race”. Using a historically grounded analysis of race/ism & Darwinian evolutionary human biology, Dr. McLean discusses the role of racist colonial capitalism in creating & reproducing the major health disparities we see in colonized populations. This talk is co-sponsored by SMATE and the Sociology Department.

Dr. McLean is a social & natural scientist who studies evolutionary genetics, theoretical population genetics, race/ism, Du Boisian historical sociology, science & technology studies (STS), philosophies of science, & philosophies of biology.  His work seeks to understand how social, political, & economic inequalities influence health & contribute to the perpetuation of health inequalities. By analyzing human genetic data, human osteological remains, medical/dental records, & historical demographic methods, he aims to better understand how the relationships that colonized/racialized peoples have to various forms of structural domination dictate who gets sick, when they get sick, where, why, & how. Their research aims to contribute to the field by providing new ways of understanding how the social, political, & economic effects the biological & demonstrate how to see the body as material evidence of inequalities commonly understood as covert.

Negarra Kudumu smiling in a red turtle neck with feather shaped earrings

Negarra A. Kudumu

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

3:00-5:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Password: blackart

Negarra A. Kudumu presents on a group of contemporary Black artists including Simone Leigh, who has been selected as the first Black woman to ever represent the U.S. at the next Venice Biennale in 2022.

Negarra is Curator at the Seattle-based Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) and is also owner and founder of Negarra A. Kudumu | Art + Healing, a consulting agency which "depart[s] from the premise that both art and healing are grounded in making: artists make art works, curators make exhibitions, scholars research and create critical texts; and healers make sustainable integrated solutions that benefit and advance their clients' well-beings at the mind, body, and spirit levels."

Kudumu’s presentation is sponsored by Western's Art and Art History Department.

Rudy Royston Jazz

Western Washington Jazz Studies

Wednesday Feb. 3, 2021

5:00 p.m., Visit event page for more information

WWU Jazz Studies will host virtual events with contemporary jazz artists each Wednesday throughout Black History Month. This performance features percussionist Rudy Royston; find out more and get connection information on the College of Fine and Performing Arts event page.

Idris Goodwin in a black tshirt, Howlin' Wolf in white text underneath an image of Ray Charles on the shirt

Idris Goodwin: "Idris Presents"

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

5:00-7:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Playwright, poet, and performer Idris Goodwin will perform a sampling of his writing, followed by an artist talk moderated by Theatre & Dance Chair; Rich Brown, followed by a question-and-answer session. Idris Goodwin is an award-winning break-beat poet, playwright and director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. In addition to the recently released poetry collection “Can I Kick It?”, he’s had several publications from Haymarket Books including “Inauguration,” co-written with Nico Wilkinson, “Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins,” and the play “This Is Modern Art,” co-written with Kevin Coval. He’s appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” Sesame Street,” NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. His plays include “And in This Corner Cassius Clay,” “How We Got On,” “Hype Man” and “This is Modern Art.” Goodwin is the co-host of “The Same Old New School” podcast on Vocolo Radio.

Talking Black History, Black Pride Symbol showing solidarity

Talking Black History

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

6:00-7:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

WWU’s Residence Life Inclusion Assistants will host two sessions "Talking Black History" Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. They have created a game highlighting Black history using Kahoot and will show a brief video with discussion afterwards.  

Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX (Public Radio Exchange) exclusive

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

6:00 p.m., KUGS-FM 98.3 and kugs.org

"Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs," with host, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard. These stories come from The Kitchen Sisters collection -- stories of Black pioneers, self-made men and self-taught women, neighborhood heroes and visionaries. People who said, "yes we can" and then did. 

Reneé Robinson, Guest Lecture

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Email Susan Haines for the Zoom link

Reneé Robinson is a famed Alvin Ailey dancer and Juilliard professor who will share Horton technique and a discussion about the history of Black dance in America.

Reneé Robinson is an American dancer from Washington, DC, who performed as a Principal Dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She began her dance training in classical ballet at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet.[2][3] She also attended the School of American Ballet, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Ailey School. Robinson was a member of the Alvin Ailey II before becoming a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1981.

Before joining AAADT, Robinson was a student at New York University, majoring in dance and minoring in economics. She was torn between becoming a professional dancer or an attorney specializing in the arts

She has worked with many renowned choreographers, such as Alvin AileyLar LubovitchDonald McKayleJudith Jamison, Ulysses DoveJerome RobbinsBill T. JonesGarth FaganKatherine DunhamHans van Manen and Carmen de Lavallade.

Robinson has also performed at the televised Kennedy Center Awards. Other televised appearances include performing at President Clinton’s first inauguration, American Express advertisements, the Bill Cosby Special on Alvin Ailey and on the PBS special “A Hymn for Alvin Ailey”  In 2003, she performed at the White House State Dinner in honor of the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki In 2008, while performing in the East Room of the White House during the first dance event hosted by Michelle Obama. Robinson hit one of the chandeliers while performing

In their 2006 season, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrated Robinson's 25th year with the company; her tenure is the longest of any female dancer in the company's history. Upon her retirement (with her final performance with the company on 9 December 2012 ), she was the last company member to have worked with its founder, Alvin Ailey, as well as being the only dancer to have performed with all three of the company's artistic directors (inclusive of Artistic Director Emeritus Judith Jamison and Jamison's successor, Robert Battle)

Tanya Darby Jazz

Western Washington Jazz Studies

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

5:00 p.m., Visit event page for more information and Zoom Link

WWU Jazz Studies will host virtual events with contemporary jazz artists each Wednesday throughout Black History Month. This performance features lead trumpet player Tanya Darby.

Shirley Jo Finney sitting in a chair and smiling

“Art as Activism”

Shirley Jo Finney

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

5:00-7:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Shirley Jo Finney will discuss her body of work as a professional director and the role it has played in shaping her as an artist.  Prior to Finney’s talk, participants are invited to view “CITIZEN: An American Lyric,” by Claudia Rankine Adapted for the state by Stephen Sachs. Finney will discuss directing Rankine’s work as part of her artist talk.

“CITIZEN” is a provocative meditation on race, fusing prose, poetry, movement, music, and the visual image. A lyric poem, snapshots, vignettes, on the acts of everyday racism. Remarks, glances, implied judgments. Everyday encounters, the did-that-really happen moments and those larger incidents that become national or international firestorms. As Rankine writes, “This is how you are a citizen.” 

Read Shirley Jo Finney’s Bio

 

Trey McLaughlin looking up, wearing a backwords had and multicolored stud earrings

Trey McLaughlin, Gospel Music Artist 

Feb. 10, 17, and 22

1:00-1:50 p.m., Contact Angela Kasper, assistant professor of Music, for more information

Gospel music artist Trey McLaughlin will join the WWU Music Zoom classroom to discuss and perform Black Gospel music in the United States while teaching some of his pieces to WWU student singers. More information about Trey and his group, Sounds of Zamar, can be found at treymclaughlin.com.  For more information, contact Angela Kasper, assistant professor of Music.  

 

I Am Not Your Negro

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

7:00 p.m., watch through the ASP Discord Server

Every Thursday in February, Associated Students Productions will host a film screening to celebrate Black History Month. A diverse and thought-provoking assortment of films will be offered that are made and led by Black filmmakers from different time periods. This film screening features I Am Not Your Negro. Screenings are offered through Netflix Teleparty where attendees can chat with other viewers. A Netflix subscription is required.

Driving While Black from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

6:00 p.m., KUGS-FM 89.3 and kugs.org

One evening in 2015, Montrealer Kenrick McRae was pulled over by police. The officer told him his license plate lights weren’t bright enough. So, after having the dealership verify his lights were in fact working fine, Kenrick got another light and mounted it himself to make sure he would never be given the same reason again. But he still was. In fact, no matter how scrupulous he is, Kenrick, who is Black, says he has been stopped by Montreal police multiple times. After Kenrick's girlfriend filmed him being handcuffed and detained during a traffic stop one night in 2017, he lodged a formal complaint with Quebec's police ethics committee, determined to prove that what's happening to him is because of the color of his skin. This is the story of one person's ongoing experience of racial profiling by police, and how it has undermined every facet of his life. 

Douglass Day at WWU

Friday Feb. 12, 2021

9:00-11:00 a.m., Event Zoom Link

Douglass Day is a transcribe-athon of Mary Church Terrell’s archives at the Library of Congress organized by By the People. Co-organized by WWU’s English and History Departments, Fairhaven College and Western Libraries.

Gilcrease Museum and Quraysh Ali Lansana

Seminar on A.J. Smitherman, Lawyer and Newspaper Editor

Friday, February 12, 2021

12:30 p.m., register at www.gilcrease.org/wip-lansana

This seminar will feature Quraysh Ali Lansana, Tulsa Artist Fellow, and his research on A.J. Smitherman. Smitherman was a Tulsa lawyer and newspaper editor. The seminar will focus on pre-circulated drafts, followed by a roundtable conversation among participants. To receive an electronic copy of the paper, please contact Alex Patterson. This event is arranged by Dr. Jenny Marie Forsythe in WWU’s English Department.

The Compositions of Billy Strayhorn

WWU Jazz Studies

Mid February (TBD)

Contact Kevin Woods for more information

The Jazz Studies Program faculty at Western are working on three video recording collaborations with internationally renowned artists celebrating the compositions of Billy Strayhorn which will be available for viewing mid-February. For more information, contact Kevin Woods, Director of WWU Jazz Studies.  

Mike Crusoe leaning on a set of percussion instruments

Conversations with Former Seattle Symphony Principal Timpanist, Michael Crusoe

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

5:00-6:00 p.m., Email Patrick Roulet for a Zoom Invitation

Michael Crusoe is the former principal timpanist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 37 years. He is the timpanist with the Grand Teton Music Festival and has served as the principal timpanist of the Seattle Opera and the Mostly Mozart Summer Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York. A highly respected teacher and performer, he has taught on the faculties of the University of Washington, the Waterloo Music Festival in New Jersey, Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University. Crusoe can be heard with the Seattle Symphony on the critically acclaimed Delos label recordings directed by Gerard Schwarz.

 

This conversation is made possible by WWU’s Department of Music.

Justin Copeland holding a trumpet in an alley

Justin Copland

Justin Copeland

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021

5:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

WWU Jazz Studies will host virtual events with contemporary jazz artists each Wednesday throughout Black History Month. This performance features trumpeter, pianist, and composer Justin Copeland.

Two people sitting, with their heads resting on one another

Beale Street

If Beale Street Could Talk

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

7:00 p.m., watch through the ASP Discord Server

Every Thursday in February, Associated Students Productions will host a film screening to celebrate Black History Month. A diverse and thought-provoking assortment of films will be offered that are made and led by Black filmmakers from different time periods. This film screening features If Beale Street Could Talk. Screenings are offered through Netflix Teleparty where attendees can chat with other viewers. A Netflix subscription is required.

Jen M. Jackson

Policing Blackness: How intersectional Threat Shapes Black Politics

Thursday Feb. 18, 2021

4:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Racial threat continues to be a primary issue facing Black Americans in the United States. Specifically, the threat of police violence looms large and constant for many young Black people, especially during this COVID-19 moment. Yet, little is known about how young Black Americans' experiences with threat shape their political attitudes and responses. In this project, Jenn M. Jackson of Syracuse University examines the role of racial threat in influencing young Black Americans’ political behavior via surveys, experiments, and qualitative interviews. Specifically, they are concerned with how socialization with trauma, racial violence, and other threats shapes the daily perceptions of and responses to policing in the United States including the surveillance and carceral logics which order and facilitate public spaces.

Jackson finds that young Black women are the most concerned about threats like policing when compared to other groups. Moreover, they find that mainstream media's emphasis on police killings of cisgender heterosexual Black men often shapes political attitudes about the significance and likelihood that Black women will be harmed by police. Jackson refers to this process as intersectional threat or threat that operates based on social location and orientation to power. Thus, in this talk, Jackson presents new findings and data which help to address the various ways that young Black Americans confront and navigate racial threat in today's complex political world.

The talk is sponsored by the WWU Faculty Senate, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Political Science Department, Honors Program, and Women and Gender Sexuality Studies.

Nkieru Okoye

An Interview with Composer Nkeiru Okoye

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

1:00-2:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Hailed as “sublime” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nkeiru Okoye’s genre-bending compositions reflect a dizzying range of influences — Gilbert & Sullivan, the Gershwins, Sondheim, Copland, gospel, jazz, and Schoenberg. Okoye writes in both the opera/theatre and symphonic mediums, and her works have been performed on five continents.

A musical storyteller, researcher and historian, Okoye’s best-known works incorporate social science themes while combining a wealth of influences and styles. Her music freely navigates between African American improvisatory and folk idioms and contemporary concert practices. Okoye is best known for her opera, “Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom and her 9/11-inspired orchestral work, “Voices Shouting Out.” Her suite “African Sketches has been performed by pianists around the globe. The inaugural recipient of the International Florence Price Society’s Florence Price Award for Composition, Okoye has received commissions, awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, OPERA America, New York State Commission for the Arts, ASCAP, “Meet the Composer,” and Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation commissioning grants for female composers for her operas and orchestral works.

Okoye is profiled in the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation “Music of Black Composers Coloring Book,” Routledge’s “African American Music: An Introduction” textbook, and the Oxford University Press “Anthology of Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora.”

In March 2020, the state of Michigan issued a proclamation acknowledging her extraordinary contributions to the history of Detroit, for “Black Bottom,” a symphonic experience commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in celebration of the centennial season of Orchestra Hall. Among Okoye’s upcoming projects are a tryptic of “sung stories”: “Tales from the Briar Patch,” commissions from Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music and On Site Opera, and an untitled “Gathering” for voices, choir and orchestra commissioned by University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Okoye is a board member of Composers Now! She holds a B.M. in composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Rutgers University.

This guest interview is made possible by WWU’s Department of Music.

Jordan Lyle, Guest Speaker

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

5:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Jordan Lyle is a multidisciplinary freelance Designer and Creative Director from Kingston, Jamaica, currently based in Los Angeles, California. Since graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he has been fully immersed in the world of art direction, graphic and motion design, photography, typography, creative consulting, and most recently entrepreneurship. Outside of motion design, he has collaborated both in front of and behind the camera with several brands including Mr. Porter, Urban Outfitters, VSCO, Warby Parker, Teva, and Timex as he continues to expand his personal creative brand and vision beyond motion. In 2018 he founded For The Culture Club – a brand of content and goods with an emphasis on quality and thoughtful design from a Black perspective. This guest lecture is being provided by the WWU Design department.

Ed Bereal in front of a red brick wall and Knowledge Bennett in Dialogue in a suit and wide brimmed hat

Ed Bereal and Knowledge Bennett in Dialogue

Thursday Feb. 18, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

The Western and Whatcom communities were treated to the full scope of Ed Bereal’s career in a retrospective at The Whatcom Museum in the fall of 2019, and the Western Gallery offered a comprehensive overview of Knowledge Bennett’s work in early 2020 (which was unfortunately cut short by the pandemic). Born four decades apart, the two artists come from different artistic backgrounds. They have strong personal visions and distinct individual voices, but their shared commitment to art and social justice brings them together.

In their dialogue, Bereal and Bennett will discuss the artistic and social challenges of today. It is meant as a free-flowing exchange that may lead anywhere.

This event made possible by the Western Gallery.

“Race: Let’s Talk About It” from WHRV Norfolk, Virginia

Thursday Feb. 18, 2021

6:00 p.m., KUGS-FM 89.3 and kugs.org  

On “Another View,” we begin our “Race: Let’s Talk About It” conversation with filmmaker Karen Thorsen, creator of the documentary “James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket.” In his own words, Baldwin shares what it means to be black, poor, gifted and gay in a world that doesn’t understand that all men are brothers. Thorsen gives us insight on this iconic literary giant and civil and gay rights activist, along with the back story on the development of the film. 

"The Killing Fields"

Friday Feb. 19, 2021

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Email Susan Haines for the Zoom link

Jonathan Lee and Tweet Boogie, NYC Hip-hop choreographers and faculty at the Alvin Ailey Dance school will be presenting their film “The Killing Fields” about the injustice in policing in America and BLM. They will lead a discussion about the issues presented in the film and share how the hip-hop vocabulary was generated, as participants learn the choreography that tells the story of injustice. Offered by WWU Dance. 

Learn more about Jonathan Lee  Learn more about Tweet Boogie

Black and white image of Joe Bowie walking next to a brick wall

“Embodied Intersectionality Workshop”

Joe Bowie

Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

2:00-3:40 p.m., Email Penny Hutchinson for the Zoom link

In this Embodied Intersectionality Workshop, we will center and affirm opportunities to cultivate empathy and connection through embodied storytelling, engaged journaling, and deep listening. We will collaborate to create a safe space in which we collectively interrogate, reflect upon, and witness those places where our individual identities intersect and overlap. When viewed through a lens of social justice, intersectionality investigates how intersecting power relations influence social relations across diverse societies as well as individual experiences in everyday life - examples of these may be categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, and age; how they are interrelated and mutually shape one another. It is my hope that we will begin our explorations somatically - from a more internal first-person perspective - to create a bridge to collective understanding of those places where our individual aspects connect. We will embody, write, discuss, share, and breathe together. Respect, community, and kindness will be key to our collaboration. Let’s make them paramount as we explore and discover together.

Joe Bowie was born in Lansing, Michigan and began dancing, on a dare, while a sophomore in college. After graduating, he moved to New York City to pursue a dance career and danced professionally for more than twenty-five years - dancing and touring domestically and internationally with both the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Mark Morris Dance Group. In addition to performing, he has devoted his time to teaching, and has given master classes in Modern and Contemporary Dance technique at several colleges, conservatories, and universities throughout the United States. As a senior company member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Bowie was given the opportunity to set and stage the works of Mr. Morris, and to assistant direct Morris’ operatic debuts at the Metropolitan Opera (NYC), the English National Opera (London, UK), and the Edinburgh International Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland). Prior to joining the Northwestern Dance faculty, he taught Contemporary Dance at the University of South Carolina (Columbia Campus). Bowie earned his A.B. in English and American Literature with an independent concentration in African American Poetry from Brown University

Alassane Dia standing with his arms crossed wearing a red back pack

“The African American Journey: Race in Zora Neale Hurston”

Alassane Dia

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

3:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Alassane Abdoulaye Dia is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Université Virtuelle du Senegal in St. Louis, Senegal. His written works include, “The Power of Peace and Love: An African Tale of Wisdom,” and “The Voice of the Tradition in the African Novel: Chinua Achebe’s Artistic Use of Orature in Things Fall Apart and Anthills of Savannah.” Dia’s presentation will discuss how Zora Neale Hurston’s writings can be viewed as a means to fight for black civil rights. It will focus on Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Moses, Man of the Mountain.” This guest lecture is offered by the WWU English Department.

Dr. Bernice A. King

A Conversation with Dr. Bernice A. King

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

4:00 – 5:15 p.m., Livestream Link

Dr. King is the CEO of the King Center which was founded by her mother, Coretta Scott King. From this position, the same one held by her mother, Dr. King continues to advance her parents' legacy of Kingian Nonviolence, which she re-branded Nonviolence365™.

She graduated from Spelman College with a BA in Psychology and from Emory University, with a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law. She also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Wesley College. She’s a member of the State Bar of Georgia, a trained Mediator, a member of the International Women’s Forum, and the National Council of Negro Women.

Her most recent accomplishments include being an Alumna of the 2020 Leadership Atlanta Class, as well as being honored with The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.'s Phoenix Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to society.

Dr. King will share her thoughts with more than 700 college and university campuses through National Society of Leadership and Success. This event is brought to WWU by VU Leadership and Community Engagement, WWU Chapter of National Society of Leadership and Success, Associated Students, AS Ethnic Student Center, AS Student Advocacy and Identity Resource Centers, and Student Outreach Services.

Damani Phillips Jazz

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

5 p.m., Visit event page for more information and Zoom link.

WWU Jazz Studies will host virtual events with contemporary jazz artists each Wednesday throughout Black History Month. This performance features Damani Phillips, a classical saxophonist and Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

Kathy Perkins posing underneath a multicolored and mask. Flowers and leaves, and a variety of shapes decorate the mask

Early Black Women in the American Theatre Before 1960

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

5:00-7:00 p.m., Event Zoom Link

Presented by Professor Kathy A. Perkins. Since the early 1980s, Professor Perkins has conducted research on the contributions by Black artists behind the scenes in the American Theatre. For this lecture, she will highlight the role and presence of Black women playwrights, producers, and designers before the 1960s. 

Kathy A. Perkins, scholar and lighting designer, is the editor/co-editor of six anthologies, in addition to serving as a senior editor for the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. A recipient of numerous research and design awards, including Fulbright, NEH, NAACP Image Award, the USITT Publication Award, and the ATHE Career Achievement Award in Academic Theatre, she has traveled to over 40 countries as both a designer and scholar. Perkins has designed nationally and internationally at such venues as Berkeley Repertory, Arena Stage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Baltimore Center Stage, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Yale Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Conservatory, Mark Taper Forum, Congo Square, and the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa. Perkins is a Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

A woman with long and messy hair with a confused expression

Bad Hair

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

7:00 p.m., watch through the ASP Discord Server

Every Thursday in February, Associated Students Productions will host a film screening to celebrate Black History Month. A diverse and thought-provoking assortment of films will be offered that are made and led by Black filmmakers from different time periods. This film screening features Bad Hair. Screenings are offered through Netflix Teleparty where attendees can chat with other viewers. A Netflix subscription is required.