Adler University celebrates the achievements of Black people in the U.S. and Canada, recognizing their abilities to navigate structures that were not built for their success. We study Black history to fill gaps in our understanding of the history of our nations, which include the lives, contributions, and struggles of Black people.
We encourage the Adler University community across campuses and the public to join us to learn, participate, and celebrate Black History Month. Join us for the many Black History Month events happening across Adler University.
Wednesday, February 9, 12-1 pm CST / 10-11 am PST
Presented by: Sharena Sigmon (she/her)
The topic of Black maternal health will be explored through a discussion about a short experimental horror film, written and directed by Sharena Sigmon, which depicts the story of a Black pregnant woman who suffers from medical complications and vicious hallucinations. The film’s central theme is to help audiences become aware of the increased rate of Black maternal mortality and how Black women’s difficulties during pregnancy are often dismissed by the American healthcare system.
Thursday, February 10, 2-3 pm CST / 12-1 pm PST
Presented by: Dr. Moussa Magassa
Institutions of high education have an ethical and legal responsibility to promote and guarantee Black health and wellness. To do so, they however need to develop an effective strategy to root out systemic anti-Black racism. Anti-Black racism is prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping or discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and colonization. Anti-Black racism is deeply embedded in Canadian institutions, policies, and practices, to the point that it becomes a part of our systems.
Systemic Anti-Black racism doesn’t only affect Black health and wellness but also Black people’s social, cultural, and political participation and access to opportunities and justice.
This practical and interactive presentation/workshop style will engage participants to critically assess their institution’s readiness for rooting out Anti-Black racism and promoting Black health and wellness.
Friday, February 11, 12-2 pm CST / 10 am-12 pm PST
Presented by Dr. Phanuel Antwi
In this presentation, I will re-member two memorable events in two different geographies and times. My turn to these events and times not only serves as a way to bind loss and violence and desire and pleasure but also as a way to loop both events and create a pocket of time to entangle these feeling structures (loss, violence, desire, pleasure) and their transhistorical emotions. The first memory occurred in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1946 when Viola Desmond, a Black businesswoman, was dragged to jail from a movie theatre by a police officer for sitting in the wrong seating area. Viola Desmond’s punishment consisted of injured hips and knees, a night in jail, and a fine of $20. The second memory took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020, when George Floyd, a Black man, was buying a pack of cigarettes and the 17-year-old clerk of the family-owned grocery store called 911, believing a forgery was in progress when George Floyd presented a counterfeit $20 bill. George Floyd was pinned to the ground by one of the four officers who arrived for this alleged fraud, and the officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, killing George Floyd. The presentation will address the suggestion that binding and looping these moments together offer us a method of attending to Black social memory and that the $20 bill displays the symptoms of racial violence. Concerning these ideas, I will also present theories from Austin Clarke’s “membering” and Derek Walcott’s “muse of history” to document Black cultural memory and identify repeating patterns of anti-Black racism.
Tuesday, February 15, 8-9 pm CST/6-7 pm PST
Presented by: Corey Clay
This discussion will foster a conversation about allies and white fragility.
Many non-BIPOC live in a social environment that insulates them from race-based stressors. This fabricated environment of racial protection creates a false construct of people claiming to be allies, but the actions of these people are destructive to the real work that needs to be accomplished. This discussion will address what real allyship is and whether white fragility will be the ultimate roadblock to getting things done on any real basis. Will this fragility become the major stumbling block to true racial progress?
Wednesday, February 16, 12-1pm CST / 10-11am PST
Presented by: Ericka Hart and Dr. Jenae Thompson
Please join The Center for Diversity and Inclusion for a conversation with kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, and sexuality educator Ericka Hart. Facilitated by Dr. Jenae Thompson, we will discuss issues related to the Queer Black community and Health Care as well as acknowledging community pain and ways to engage in advocacy during this pandemic.
Tuesday, February 23, 2-3pm CST / 12-1 pm PST
Presented by: Jean Pierre Makosso
Jean Pierre will welcome his audience to a place of mystery, intrigue, hopes, dreams, music, dancing, and stories that will capture your spirit. Fly with the eagles above the jungles of the Congo, where Jean Pierre was born. Roar with the lion, run with the giraffe, and dance with the monkeys. Move to the rhythm of the drums. Jean Pierre will tell you about his home and people, make you laugh, cry – and show you how to soar!
Wednesday, February 24, 2-3pm CST / 12-1 pm PST
Presented by: Krystal Paraboo
Friday, February 25, 12-2 pm CST / 10am-12pm PST
Presented by: Nic Wayara
In this session, participants are challenged to discuss and reflect on what doing “The Work” means, particularly in our commitments to collective liberation, justice, and community healing.
Centering the experiences and needs of Black people, as well as Indigenous, and all racialized people, we explore some of the ways that derail us from doing “The Work”, and the tools that can sustain us for the long haul.