Union celebrates Black History Month

“Add to this the pride of achievement; the desire to rank among the successful souls on earth, and we have the factors which have brought some of the ablest of human beings into the limelight that revealed them to an admiring world, as leaders and examples.” —Lewis Howard Latimer

Black History Month is the annual celebration in February to acknowledge African American history and heritage. Originally created by acclaimed historian Carter G. Woodson, the weeklong event grew to a month-long event. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

African American history is American history. Former President Barack Obama said it best, “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history. It is about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It is about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.”

This month, we will highlight the many achievements of our faculty, students, and alumni. The 2022 theme for Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness”. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.

Alumna Renee Mahaffey Harris will share her work to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through advocacy, education, and community outreach as the President & CEO Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati (The Health Gap) in a Nexus feature.

In a Channel U podcast, Dr. Kimarie Bugg, faculty in the Health & Wellness degree program, and internationally known specialist in lactation, anti-racism and health equity strategies, will share best practices to provide global health equity through action-oriented projects.

An exploration of James Baldwin as a scholar will be shared in a discussion led by Dr. Nancy Boxill, Public Policy and Social Change Concentration Faculty.

An engaging and interesting online panel discussion on the current political environment with alumni U. S. Congressman Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District of Illinois, Ohio State Senator Cecil Thomas, 9th Ohio Senate District, and Dr. Vanessa Enoch, President & CEO of Cultural Impact, LLC, political and social justice advocate will be held on February 23. Joining them will be Mayor Darren E. Bryant, the youngest Black mayor in Illinois state history.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and President’s Cabinet, we thank you Team Union, for your outstanding efforts to continue our legacy as leaders in higher education, graduating students prepared and committed to the advancement of a culturally pluralistic, equitable, and interdependent world.

With deep appreciation and in celebration of Black History Month,

Dr. Karen Schuster Webb


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