Black History Month

Grand Rapids and Social Activism in Today's Political Climate: Connecting the Broader Movement to the Local Experiment

Wednesday, February 1, Noon - 1:15 pm 
Mary Idema Pew Library, Multi-Purpose Room 
LIB 100 and 201 approved

A resurgence in social activism occurred within the last five years. Nationally, protests and boycotts reflect a desire and movement for change that addresses societal inequalities. Dr. Louis Moore will give a presentation examining how the national movement and actions towards social justice impacts the local experience of those living in West Michigan. He will highlight the origins, evolution. and deeper meaning of the movement and how activism in today's political climate interacts with higher education. This presentation is sponsored by the Kutsche Office of Local History and is part of its project. "Histories of Student Activism at GVSU." 

"Remaking History: The Civil Rights Movement in the Age of Trump"

Hasan Kwame Jeffries. Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University 
Thursday. February 2. 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm 
Cook-DeWitt Center
LIB 100 & 201 approved

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is an Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University and is the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt. For his 
cutting-edge lecture. "Remaking History: The Civil Rights Movement in the Age of Trump." Jeffries will discuss Civil Rights Movement and the potential pitfalls and promises of grass roots activism that addresses racial and economic inequality in the Age of Trump. 

History and Culture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Dr. Donald Mitchell, Jr Assistant Professor of Higher Education. Grand Valley State University 
Wednesday, February 8, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
Devos Center Room 136 E 
Grand Rapids Campus 

The purpose of the event is to discuss the history and culture of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This interactive session will include a talk by Dr. Donald Mitchell. Jr .. Assistant Professor of Higher Education at GVSU. 

"Whatever Happened to ldlewild?" Film Screening and Q&A Session

Coy Davis Jr. Filmmaker
Thursday. February 9, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm 
Mary Idema Pew Library. Multipurpose Room 
LIB 100 & 201 approved

Come learn about the rich cultural and historic legacy of ldlewild - a vibrant vacation community for African Americans located north of Grand Rapids in Lake County. ldlewild. also known as the "Black Eden." was an immensely popular resort that thrived for decades during the era of segregation. A film screening of the documentary "Whatever Happened to ldlewild?" will be followed by a Q&A session with the director of the film and Grand Rapids local Coy Davis Jr. 

Positive Black Women Luncheon

Tuesday, February 14, Noon - 1:00 pm 
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Grans River Room 
LIB 100 & 201 approved

An annual event hosted by GVSU Positive Black Women to give honor and recognition to those that have made a way and shaped "our" history. PBW presents: A Tribute to Black Women: Strong. Fierce. Dynamic Divas. This event will highlight black women who have made notable contributions but have had their work intentionally overlooked or left out Women that have carried the load and worked tirelessly with no honorable mentions. The tribute will introduce poetry. song and dance for inspiration and provide space for examination of this pernicious phenomenon of erasing and editing "our" stories. All are welcomed to attend Lunch will be provided.

A Taste of Soul

Friday, February 17, Noon - 1:00 pm 
Russel H. Kirkhof Center Lobby 
Allendale Campus 

Join us to share in the deep Southern, African-American tradition of soul food. This style of cooking originated when African Americans. enslaved, were given the leftover scraps. They didn't complain about what they got: they just cooked some of the tastiest food. Traditionally their rations consisted of corn, bacon or salt pork, molasses, flour. seasonal fruits and vegetables. With those few items. a variety of wholesome dishes were created. They learned how to use everything' nothing was wasted. 

Alpha Kappa Psi Co-Ed Business Fraternity: The Black Enterprise with The Evolution Movement

Thursday, February 23th, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 
Holton-Hooker Multipurpose Room 
Allendale Campus 

Evolution Movement is a new growing non-profit comprise of four young black professionals who are alumni of Grand Valley State University. They enhance young high school students and the urban community on finances, good credit. and money management. Join us as they will present on the history of black own businesses and non-profits. As well for important tips on how to start your own business and non-profit. 

Mel Trotter Ministries

Saturday, February 25, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 
On-Site Day of Service, Grand Rapid

On this day of service, students. faculty and staff members will lead an effort to give back West Michigan. GVSU community members are needed to help prepare and serve a lunch meal at God's Kitchen in Grand Rapids. As we help others, we aim to learn more about the communities where we live, as well as about ourselves. Only 7 individuals can participate. Please RSVP to Bobby J. Springer at (616) 331-2177 or 

"The Fannie Lou Hamer Story (Play)

Tuesday, February 28, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm 
Cook DeWitt Center, Allendale Campus 
LIB 100 & 201 approved 

The Artist channels Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer and takes the audience on a riveting 60 minute journey of storytelling integrated with about eleven power songs coupled with a video Montage. During Post Show after costume change. the Artist closes with a healing o & A session to raise awareness about Mrs. Hamer's activism whose efforts led to the passage of the Voter's Rights Act of 1965. 


African/African American Studies, Black Male Scholars Initiative, Black Student Union, Business and Finance Office, College of Community and Public Services, College of Education, Disability Support Resources, Division of Inclusion & Equity, Kutsche Office of Local History, Division of Legal Compliance and Risk Management, Milton E Ford LGBT Resource Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Positive Black Women, Women's Center & WGVU TV & Radio.

Events are free and open to the public. For information on parking or for individuals requiring special accommodations, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 616-331-2177. You may also visit our website at or email us at

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Page last modified November 8, 2017