Black History Month features lectures and 'soultry' music

A variety of events are planned throughout February to celebrate Black History Month at Grand Valley.

Sponsored by Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the celebration will begin with a presentation by 1968 Summer Olympic medalist John Carlos and acclaimed sportswriter Dave Zirin on Thursday, February 2, at 4 p.m. in the Grand River Room of the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus.

Contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs for more information at or (616) 331-2177. Events are free and open to the public.

Service Learning

February 11, 10 a.m.-noon
Students, faculty and staff members will volunteer at Mel Trotter Ministries in Jenison and Guiding Light Mission in Grand Rapids to give back to the community.

Poetry Jam

February 14, noon, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
The third annual Poetry Jam will celebrate Valentine’s Day by bringing the campus community together through poetry. Hosted by Positive Black Women, Grand Valley students, faculty and staff members will recite poems in a cafe-style atmosphere.

A Taste of Soul
February 17, noon-1 p.m., Kirkhof Center Lobby, Allendale Campus
Event participants will taste test and learn about traditional African-American soul food.

Has African American Literature Really Ended?
February 22, noon-1 p.m., room 2270, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Grand Valley philosophy professor Dwayne Tunstall will explore how Africana and moral philosophy, religious ethics and classical American philosophy can complement one another when thinking about issues of moral agency, personal identity, race and the legacy of Western modernity.

From Where I Stand
February 23, noon-1 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
H. James Williams, dean of Grand Valley’s Seidman College of Business, will discuss American business and ways to assure that diversity and inclusion resonate at the “business” level of organizations. This event is part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs' Diversity Brownbag Series.

Real. Soulful. Music.
February 24, 7-9 p.m., Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
West Michigan-based SOULTRY Entertainment will perform a R&B, blues and jazz music concert.

1961, The Freedom Riders and Our Struggle for Racial Justice

February 28, noon-1 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Diane Nash’s involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960, she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, and in 1961, she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham to Mississippi, which was documented in the recent PBS documentary, “Freedom Riders.” Nash's visit is also part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs' Professionals of Color Lecture Series.

Supporting sponsors of the celebration include Grand Valley’s Area Studies, African/African American Studies, Black Student Union, College of Community and Public Service, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, GVSU Sports Leadership Club, Inclusion and Equity Division, Laker Athletics, LGBT Resource Center, Positive Black Women, Seidman College of Business, Women’s Center and WGVU Public Media. 


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