UT to Host Events Celebrating Black History Month

Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero behind Hotel Rwanda, and Bree Newsome, the activist who removed the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House, are among the speakers who will be at UT during February to celebrate Black History Month.

In addition to hosting well-known speakers, other events will celebrate African American music, international dance, and diversity in the workplace.

Among the events happening around campus to commemorate Black History Month:

Black Issues Conference, “Using our Roots to Cultivate Tomorrow’s Black Leaders”: The Office of Multicultural Student Life and the UT chapter of the NAACP will host the 12th annual Black Issues Conference, which serves to open a discussion about the issues affecting the African American community. This year, rapper and activist David Banner will be the keynote speaker. In addition to other workshops, online influencer Jouelzy will present her workshop “Something to Talk About: How to Use New Media for the Advancement of Causes & Career.” The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 4, in Alumni Memorial Building. Registration for this event has been closed.

A Celebration of African American Music: The School of Music will host an ensemble concert featuring Love United Gospel Choir, Trinidadian Steelband, Hart-Strings Advanced Ensemble, the Austin East High School West African Dance Troupe, and UT jazz students. The event will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, at the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Diversity Job Fair: The Diversity Job Fair will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, February 13, in Thompson-Boling Arena and is designed for students from a variety of populations, such as students with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Professional dress and resumes are expected. The fair is open to all UT students.

“Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to be Learned,” featuring Paul Rusesabagina: Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian who, while working as a hotel manager in Rwanda, hid and protected more than 1,200 Hutu and Tutsi refugees during the Rwandan genocide. His efforts were the basis of the 2004 Academy Award nominated film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle as Rusesabagina. Rusesabagina’s lecture will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, in the Cox Auditorium in Alumni Memorial Building. The event, which is open to the public, is free for opted-in students and $5 for others.

 Diversity Student Leaders Society CCI Experience Diversity Banquet: Hosted annually by the Diversity Student Leaders Society, the CCI Experience Diversity Banquet provides an inspirational diversity experience for students, faculty, and others in attendance while raising funds for the college’s diversity and inclusion program. The event begins at 7 p.m. Friday, February 17, at the Bearden Banquet Hall. It will feature a silent auction and multicultural dance, music, and performing arts will be showcased during the night. Tickets can be purchased and donations can be made by contacting diversity@cci.utk.edu.

 13th Documentary Showing Facilitated by Assistant Professor James Williams: Sponsored by the Black Cultural Programming Committee, Black Student Union, Brothers United for Excellence, the Student Life Diversity Committee, and the NAACP at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, in Room 32 of Alumni Memorial Building. This event is free and open to the public.

Second Annual Fleming-Morrow Distinguished Lecture in African-American History: Chad Williams, associate professor and chair of the African and Afro-American Studies Department at Brandeis University, will present a lecture “Torchbearers of Democracy: The History and Legacy of African American Soldiers in World War I” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, in Alumni Memorial Building Room 210. The lecture will highlight the legacy of more than 380,000 African American soldiers who fought in World War I. Williams has written a book, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, and received many awards due to his knowledge on this topic. A book signing and refreshments will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public.

International Dance Competition: This annual competition celebrates dance from cultures across the globe. The 2016 show included American break dancing, Korean pop dance, Russian and Indian traditional dance, and many others. The competition will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 24, in Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building. This event is free and open to the public.

“Tearing Hatred from the Sky,” Black History Month Celebration Featuring Bree Newsome: Bree Newsome is a community activist and organizer, award-winning filmmaker, writer, composer, and singer who removed the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House in 2015. She will be speaking on the essential role that art and symbols play in shaping culture and consciousness. This event will be hosted by the Black Cultural Programming Committee at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 27, at the Frieson Black Cultural Center. This event is free and open to the public.

“Getting Real about HIV and You,” featuring Hydeia Broadbent: Learn about living with and preventing HIV/AIDS from Hydeia Broadbent. Born HIV positive, Broadbent uses her story as a tool to help others find hope and inspiration. This event will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, in Room 32 of Alumni Memorial Building. The event, which is open to the public, is free for opted-in students and $5 for others.

 Selma Screening Sponsored by URHC: Celebrate Black History Month with the United Residence Hall Council by watching the Academy Award-nominated film Selma. The screening will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, in the URHC office at 1720 Melrose Place. This event is free and open to the public.

C O N T A C T:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)