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UC's Black History Month events highlight success, inspire change

February events bring UC's African American achievements to life through celebration and reflection

As the university enters into its third century, UC looks back on its rich history of African American leaders, trailblazers and alumni who conquered barriers, inspired change and made the world a better place.

In celebration of February's Black History Month, all four UC campuses will offer a series of thought-provoking programs, lectures and fun events. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend.

Throughout the month, UC marks two centuries of African American achievement that have inspired inclusion, a major element of UC's Next Lives Here strategic direction.

The following programming is open to the general public and all members of the campus community.

Celebration of Sankofa: Reaching, Teaching and Advancing

Colorful drawing of an African Sankofa bird holding an egg in its mouth.

While carrying a precious egg in its mouth, the depiction of a Sankofa bird is used to parallel engagements of humble acts of expressions to "reach back and pull others forward." photo/provided

Throughout the month of February

UC's African American Cultural and Resource Center's (AACRC) tribute to Black History Month pays homage to Sankofa, one of the richest African principles. Employed as a communal pledge to "Go back and fetch it," Sankofa is a metaphorical image of a stylized bird with its head turned backwards while its feet face forward.

As a working theme for this year's 2020 Black History Month, the events promise to celebrate ways of connecting back while teaching and advancing the UC and local black communities.

We invite all students, staff, faculty, friends and the Cincinnati community to attend any number of these programs and events that widely embrace the beauty of black history.

Bearcats student athletes highlight heroes

Two African American UC athletes stand together in honor of Black History Month.

UC athletes from across all sports will talk about the meaning and importance of being a black student-athlete and celebrating Black History Month. Throughout February @GoBEARCATS on Twitter will feature black athletes with a photo and tribute to their favorite athlete. photo/provided

All month long, UC's Department of Athletics will run a social media campaign where student athletes identify and honor black athletes who have inspired them. Tune in throughout February to UC Athletics Twitter @GoBEARCATS and Facebook @GoBearcats.

For more information, contact Nikol Cianciola.

'Be Historic,' celebrate four black alumni who have made history

Head portraits of four historic black UC alumni include from left, Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, Reginald Wilkinson, Ricky Pleasant and Mary Wineberg.

Profiles of successful and historic alumni from UC's College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services include from left, Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, Reginald Wilkinson, Ricky Pleasant and Mary Wineberg.

Throughout February online, UC CECH homepage

Celebrate Black History Month with UC's College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services as they proudly acknowledge influential African American alumni and community partners who have made history both locally and beyond. 

Profiled alumni include:

  • Jacqueline Bailey-Davis, CECH '92, recently in the running to become the first African-American female commissioner of the PPD.
  • Reginald Wilkinson, D (Ed) '89, president and founder of Connecting the Dots, consulting company and book author of "Leadership Management and Connecting the Dots" (2018).
  • Mary Wineberg, CECH '02, Olympic gold medalist in the 2008 Bejing Olyimpics, just one of four other UC Olympic Gold medalist and the first African American woman from UC to do so.
  • Ricky Pleasant, M (Bus) '14, former student in UC's Upward Bound program and now executive assistant to the general manager of the American Black Film Festival — the nation’s largest gathering of black film and television enthusiasts.

Read their stories here.

Celebrating African American Women

Poster of several famous black leaders through the ages.

UC Libraries Black History Month exhibit celebrates African American Women of the Movement. Exhibit is on display on 4th floor of UC's Langsam Library throughout the month of February.

Throughout February, on display, 4th floor, Walter C. Langsam Library

UC Libraries will profile African American female leaders who have fought for civil rights. The exhibit will span many years of history from Sojourner Truth, former slave and abolitionist, to Diane Nash, a key player in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to Cincinnati's Marian Spencer, a champion for civil rights both locally and nationally. 

For more information, contact Melissa Norris.

Brother to Brother Super Bowl LIV watch party

Sunday, Feb. 2, (5:30 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Football, food, fun and fellowship. Watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers face off in the 54th Super Bowl and the 50th modern-era National Football League championship game.

Halftime show features Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

The fan with the closest prediction to the final score receives a prize.

Event is sponsored by UC's AACRC.

For more information, contact Eric Watford.

Student highlights and black history moments on video

Feb. 3-29, campus monitors all over UC Blue Ash campus

Check out the campus display monitors all over campus to meet UCBA students who are doing great things and learn facts about black history. This effort is sponsored by UC Blue Ash Multicultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Tracy Davis.

Free HIV testing

Monday, Feb. 3, (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, UC’s Student Wellness Center will partner with the AACRC and Caracole to provide free HIV testing to students on campus. 

For more information, contact Tracy Davis .

Black Leaders in Business panel discussion

Tuesday, Feb. 4, (5-6 p.m.), LCOB 1220

Take part in "Personal Stories of Strength and Success." This Black Leaders in Business panel discussion is sponsored by UC Lindner Office of Inclusive Excellence in UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

Panel includes:

  • Vince Byrd, experienced program and project manager at Accenture

  • Howard Elliott, founder and president of OTR Connections & Management Consulting Firm

  • Marsha Thornton, director of Supplier of Diversity, Fifth Third Bank

  • Briana Whitlow, talent acquisition and engagement partner at Phillips Edison & Co.


RSVP for the event.

For more information, contact Briana Harper.

'Keeping the dream alive,' MLK lunch and learn

Wednesday, Feb. 5, (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.), UC Blue Ash, Walters 100

Join students, faculty and staff to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as featured speaker, Lizzie Ngwenya-Scoburgh, associate professor of management and human resources at UC Blue Ash, speaks on “Keeping the dream alive” in our current social culture. Lunch is provided.

To RSVP.

For more information, contact Tracy Davis.

Kickoff to Black History Month

Wednesday, Feb. 5., (6-7 p.m.), AACRC Harambee Room, 60 W. Charlton

Join guest speaker Antar Tichavakunda as he discusses his dissertation findings on the National Society of Black Engineers and the history of African American students in higher education. 

For more information, contact.

Black History Month opening ceremony

Thursday, Feb. 6, (6-8 p.m.), AACRC Main Lounge, 60 W. Charlton

Join the Black History Month opening ceremony kick-off event. The theme, "Honoring the Past" and "Inspiring the Future" pays homage to the legacies that have influenced our current history and encourage future generations to become inspired.

Event sponsored in collaboration with the United Black Student Association and the NAACP.

For more information, contact Jaja Bertin or Janae Dawson.

Black Love Week (campuswide)

Week of Feb. 10-14

Black Love Week includes a series of programs, activities and events sponsored by the United Black Student Association featuring various expressions of love from a black perspective. Through creative expressions, the UC community uses the week as a way of encouraging students, faculty, staff and the Cincinnati community to demonstrate, receive and participate in various displays of black love.

For more information, contact Jaja Bertin or Janae Dawson.

'Is She the One?'

Monday, Feb. 10, (5 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Join the forum to dialogue about issues and positive matters surrounding black male students on campus. The topic, “Is She the One?” becomes a perfect segue into Valentine’s Day as the Brothers 2 Brother ManCave will delve into selecting the perfect mate with discussions surrounding the characteristics that factor into finding the right mate. UC African American male staff will discuss historical values in the black community such as dating, courting and marriage.

For more information, contact Tyler Adams.

'Moonlight' movie screening

Tuesday, Feb. 11, (12:30-2 p.m.), UC Blue Ash, Muntz 119

A screening of a powerful coming-of-age movie “Moonlight” — winner of the 2017 Best Picture Oscar, Best Picture Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics Choice Award — will be presented in collaboration with UC Blue Ash Alliance Student Group.

For more information, contact Tracy Davis.

'I Am Not My Hair: Confidence in Color, Kinks and Curls'

Wednesday, Feb. 12, (3:30-4:30 p.m.), Lindner College of Business 1220

"I Am Not Hair: Confidence in Colors, Kinks and Curls" is a panel discussion with local black business leaders sponsored by the Lindner Office of Inclusive Excellence in UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business. The panel will address stereotypes, microaggressions and pride as it relates to black hair in business. This Black Leaders in Business Panel is sponsored by UC Lindner Office of Inclusive Excellence in LCOB.

Panel includes:

  • Marsha Thornton, director of supplier diversity, Fifth Third Bank

  • De Asa Nichols, manager of supplier diversity, Fifth Third Bank

  • Irvin Carney, lead software engineer, management consulting firm 84.51

RSVP for the event.

For more information, contact Briana Harper.

AACRC Love Choir concert and dance

Wednesday, Feb. 12, (12:30 p.m.), UC Blue Ash, Muntz Auditorium Lobby

Wobble Wednesdays is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to interact in a fun and healthy way by dancing together.

For more information, contact Eric Watford.

AACRC Love Choir concert

Poster by UC's AACRC Choir presenting The Variations of Love with a dash of Karaoke, 12th February, Wednesday, 7 p.m., at AACRC

Wednesday, Feb. 12, (7 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Celebrating Black Love Week, the United Black Student Association African will feature the African American Cultural and Resource Center choir in a black love concert. Themed “Variations of Love,” the choir will perform popular love songs from oldies to goodies to current trending love music, featuring a spontaneous “Love Karaoke Fest.”

For more information, contact Eric Watford.

'Finding Kenyon Barr: Exploring Images of Cincinnati's Lost Lower West End'

Wednesday, Feb. 12, (4 p.m.), Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Rd. (near entrance)

Join curator and UC doctoral candidate Anne Delano Steinert as she explores the "Finding Kenyon Barr" exhibit featuring photographs taken in 1959 as the city prepared to demolish nearly 4,000 buildings, causing the displacement of nearly 25,000 residents from Cincinnati's West End — a neighborhood of 97% African Americans. Learn more about this act of institutional racism, which has forever reshaped Cincinnati's urban landscape. The curator's walk and talk is sponsored by UC's department of history.

For more information, contact Anne Delanio Steinert.

Wobble Wednesdays

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 19, 26, (12-12:30 p.m.), UC Blue Ash, Muntz Auditorium Lobby

Wobble Wednesdays is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to interact in a fun and healthy way by dancing together. Event is sponsored by the AACRC.

**Eligible faculty and staffcan earn 10 Be Well UC points (your employee wellness program) for participating ($10 value). To earn your points, be sure to log into the updated Alyfe portal and self-report this event as a well-being related event or activity. The event is sponsored by UC Blue Ash Multicultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Tracy Davis.

Black History Month Read-In

Thursday, Feb. 13, (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), UC Blue Ash Muntz Auditorium Lobby

Join featured author Rachelle Lawson who wrote “Girl, Get Yo’ Life!” along with UC Blue Ash faculty, staff and students in celebrating African American works. All are welcome.

To sign up and read, visit.

For more information, contact Tracy Davis.

'Shades of You,' makeup and mocktails

Saturday, Feb. 15, (12-2 p.m.), AACRC

Connect with folks of all colors in the UC community while promoting women's empowerment through makeup, mocktails, games, food and fun. All are welcome at the event sponsored by the AACRC. The eevetn is sponsored by Shades of You.

For more information, contact Lachelle Ponder.

'Marshawn Lynch: A history,' screening and discussion

Monday, Feb. 17, (6 p.m.), TUC Cinema

Loosely inspired by director David Shield’s book, “Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season,” documents and celebrates Lynch’s attempt to be true to himself in a capitalist, racist society that wants to exploit him. Lynch is leaving a legacy of the eloquence of silence, echo and mimicry as tools of defiance. Film is followed by a short discussion.

The event is sponsored by the Sport Administration Department and AACRC.

For more information, contact Alicia Cintron.

'The Past, Present and Future of Black Generosity'

Tuesday, Feb. 18, (6:30-7 p.m.), AACRC

Join the UC community as Tyrone McKinley Freeman, associate professor in the IUPUI Lilly School of Philanthropy, gives a historical context to how African Americans have given their time, talent and treasures to various causes over the past 150 years. The Black Philanthropy Program is sponsored bu UC's African American Alumni Affiliate, United Black Student Association and the AACRC.

To reserve a spot, visit

For more information, contact Justin Gibson.

Lecture on Charles McMicken

Tuesday, Feb. 18, (4:30 p.m.), Annie Laws 407, Teachers/Dyer, UC CECH

Join Evelyn Wilson, doctoral candidate at Louisiana State University, for a lecture on the free black population in antebellum St. Francisville, Louisiana, which was one of the homes where UC benefactor Charles McMicken lived and owned slaves. Understanding this community will facilitate understanding McMicken's relationship to his African American family, free people of color in the parish and people he held in slavery. The lecture 'Charles McMicken and the African American Community in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana' is sponsored by UC's department of history.

For more information, contact Anne Delano Steinert.

Second Alvin H. Crawford 'Eminent Visiting Scholar: Diversity in Orthopedics,' lecture

Wednesday, Feb. 19, (6:30 a.m.-12 p.m.), UC Medical Sciences Building 5051

Join UC's College of Medicine Department of Orthopedics as they present a day of education and application with UC alumni guest lecturer George Russell Jr., professor and chairman, University of Mississippi Medical Center's Department of Orthopedics; Wayne Johnson, Board of Directors of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons and Melissa Summers, chief resident, UC College of Medicine Department of Orthopedics.

For more information, contact Delores Dodson.

Q&A with Evelyn Wilson on 'Charles McMicken'

Wednesday, Feb. 19, (2 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Join an afternoon of Q&A with Evelyn Wilson from Louisiana State University for more on the discussion about Charles McMicken's past and the future of his legacy. The open format event is sponsored by UC's department of history.

For more information, contact Anne Delano Steinert.

Panel discussion on 'Building Black Wealth'

Wednesday, Feb. 19, (3:30-4:30 p.m.), LCOB 1220

Listen to a panel discussion with local business leaders addressing systematic hurdles and triumphs to create generational wealth. The discussion, titled "Building Black Wealth: Financial Literacy and Building Wealth in the Urban Community," is sponsored by the Lindner Office of Inclusive Excellence in UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

Panel includes:

  • Sheila Simmons, wealth management advisor, Fifth Third Bank

  • Mark Walton, wealth management advisor, Fifth Third Bank

RSVP for the event 

For more information, contact Briana Harper.

Black History Month trivia night

Thursday, Feb. 20, (5 p.m.), AACRC

Participate in a series of interactive trivia games regarding Black History Month. One winner will receive a free ticket to the UC African Students Association culture show after party. The event is sponsored by the AACRC.

For more information, contact Mary Safowah.

'Red, White and Soul' veterans program

Friday, Feb. 21, (4-5:30 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Enjoy a panel discussion recalling accounts of what it was like to be a black soldier in the Vietnam War. Entertainment includes skits, singing, and spoken word acts. Catering from a black restaurant owned by a Vietnam veteran. Event sponsored by UC’s African American Cultural and Resource Center and the Veterans Programs and Services.

For more information, contact Terence Harrison.

Greater Cincinnati Education Network launch party

Saturday, Feb. 22, (12-1:30 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Join students, parents, community members and teachers for the Greater Cincinnati Education Network (GCEN) launch party. GCEN is a nonprofit focusing on empowerment, education and transformation that provides educational programs and initiatives for residents of Southern Ohio, Southern Indiana and Norhern Kentucky. Everyone is welcome to network, have fun and learn more about GCEN. The event is sponsored by the AACRC.

For more information, contact Davon Burnett.

Let's Go to Church at The Way Community Church

Sunday, Feb. 23, (9:30-11 a.m.), Academy of World Languages School, 2030 Fairfax Ave. 

 Church service at The Way Community Church with Pastor Geneva Miller, UC Black Women on the Move executive team member. The event is sponsored by UC Black Women on the Move.

For more information, contact Geneva Miller

Black Women's History Week

Feb. 23-29

Throughout the week, a variety of events will celebrate the rich history of black women achievers, leaders and trailblazers throughout society.

This year's theme, "Interntional and Empowered: No Longer Silent," is presented by UC Black Women on the Move.

Programs and events are in collaboration with UC's AACRC, Sisters Impacting Sisters, Women's Center, Office of Equity and Inclusion, CCM Black Student Association, Student Activities and Leadership Development and Ethnic Programs and Services.

Seventh annual 'Sip and Paint'

Monday, Feb. 24, (5-6 p.m.), AACRC

The seventh annual "Sip and Paint" is designed to encourage dialogue via creative painting activities while enjoying mocktails. The event is sponsored by Sisters Impacting Sisters and UC Black Women on the Move. 

To register by Feb. 14. (space is limited).

For more information, contact Mercedes Jones 

CCM Black Student Showcase

Monday, Feb. 24, (7-8:30 p.m.), Watson Recital Hall, CCM

Come out and support some of CCM's talented jazz studies, instrument and voice students. The free hourlong program is devoted to giving CCM's students a platform to perform selections personal to them. This year's showcase features a segment on black women to highlight their significant musical achievements. Other segments will include works written by Donny Hathaway, Miles Davis and original pieces composed by CCM students. The event is sponsored by CCM Black Student Association.

For more information, please contact Tondra Holt.

Protect Yourself Against Human Trafficking

Monday, Feb. 24, (5-7 p.m.), AACRC

Take part in a free self-defense and education class to learn the signs and become more aware of your surroundings and what to look for to protect yourself and others in a crisis. Professional instructors are provided by Girlfriendz Networking Group and Fully Loaded Dance Studio. A signed waiver is required.

To register.

For more information, contact Mercedes Jones.

Black-Owned Business Fair

Wednesday, Feb. 26, (12-2 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Come and chat with representatives of black owned businesses who will be offering full-time and part-time positions, as well as paid internships. Business formal attire is suggested. Event sponsored by UC Lindner Office of Inclusive Excellence in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. 

To RSVP for the event

For more information, contact Briana Harper.

Women of UC's Night Out at Women's Basketball

Wednesday, Feb. 26, (7 p.m.), UC Fifth Third Arena

Everyone is welcome to join UC Black Women on the Move as they support UC's women's basketball team versus the Connecticut Huskies. 

For more information or to reserve your spot for this ticketed event, contact Carol Tonge Mack.

Mark Lomax Project, lecture and showcase

Wednesday, Feb. 26, (6-7:30 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Enjoy beautiful music with African American MAC music innovator Mark Lomax as he plays his concert presentation titled "400," inspired by the 400th anniversary of the transatlantic slave trade. Discussions about the music will follow. Event is hosted by CCM student and former Mr. Kuamka 2018, Joseph Parrish.

For more information, contact Eric Watford.

'Disrupt the Disparity, Be the Match' program

Wednesday, Feb. 26, (4:45 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Learn how you can "Disrupt the Disparity" and be the match for a patient with a blood disorder such as leukemia or sickle cell disease who needs a blood stem cell transplant. Patients of ethnically diverse backgrounds have increased challenges when searching for a matched donor. The event is sponsored by the AACRC.

For more information, contact Mercedes Jones.

'Battle Cry: Protect, Preserve & Persist'

Thursday, Feb. 27, (9 a.m.-3 p.m.), TUC 4th Floor

Enjoy an in-house, daylong Black Feminist Symposium conference dedicated to uplifting black scholarship and celebrating black voices through forums, panels and lectures led by UC students, staff, faculty and community members. The Black Feminist Symposium works to unite black feminist achievement between UC members and the community at large. This annual symposium successfully connects UC Women's Center student activism with community work while supporting space that elevates black contributions achieving social justice. 

To learn more about the Black Feminist Symposium check out the BFS Portal.

'Talking Black in America'

Thursday, Feb. 27, (5:30-7:30 p.m.), Kresge Auditorium, UC Medical Sciences Building

What defines talking black? Enjoy an NSF-funded documentary from the Language and Life Project about the African American system of language — one that is in place early on and one where children are continually working it out. The event is hosted by the Black Graduate & Professional Student Association & Academic Health Center.

After the film, there will be a question and answer session with the executive producer of the film, Walt Wolfram.

Registration and light refreshments from 5-5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

'Strength in Numbers,' UC College of Medicine banquet

Friday, Feb. 28, (6-8 p.m.), UC Medical College, CARE/Crawley Atrium

As an ode to the concept of strength in numbers, enjoy a reception featuring speeches and performances in celebration of the importance of the black community and the power in sticking together. Keynote speaker is Roosevelt Walker, MD. Event is hosted by the Student National Medical Association. Dress code is cocktail attire.

To RSVP.

For more information, contact Udoka Oji or Eunice Apyapong.

World Fest 2020 opening ceremony

Friday, Feb. 28, (4-8 p.m.), TUC 4, Great Hall

Join the campus and community for food, fun and activities as students, staff and faculty of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds express, share and celebrate their cultural and ethnic heritages. The event is sponsored by UC's Office of Ethnic Programs and Services.

For more information, contact Fabrice Juin.

Lunch & Learn, 'Finding Your Voice'

Friday, Feb. 28, (12-1 p.m.), Location TBA

Become part of a diverse and enlightened dialogue about how to "Find Your Voice" led by a guest speaker. Please bring your own lunch. The event is sponsored by UC Black Women on the Move.

For more information, contact Ewaniki Moore-Hawkins.

'Cincinnati Experience,' Bearcat Scholars Event

Friday, Feb. 28, (12:30 p.m.), AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

UC's Office of Admissions will host a 2-day overnight "Cincinnati Experience" event for underrepresented minority students offered admission for Fall 2020. Incoming students invited to the the event will stay on UC's Uptown campus from Friday to Sunday, enjoying tours, food and festivities.

For more information, contact Delonte LeFlore.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KuWXYiijUt0?rel=0

Sixth annual Onyx & Ruby Gala

Saturday, Feb. 29, (6 p.m. cocktails - 7 p.m. dinner/program), Kingsgate Hotel and Conference Center

One of the largest alumni-driven events for UC's Alumni Association, the Onyx & Ruby Gala recognizes the achievements of UC African American alumni, faculty, staff and students. The 2020 master of ceremonies is Emmy Award winner Kerry Charles, a UC alum and FOX 5 Atlanta, anchor/reporter. Event is sponsored by UC’s Alumni Association.

For more information, contact Justin Gibson or Onyx and Ruby Gala.

UC African Students Association Cultural Show

Saturday, Feb. 29, (4:30 p.m.) dinner in TUC 400, (6:30 p.m.) show in TUC Great Hall

Celebrate African culture at a night filled with music, dancing and entertainment, hosted by the great King Paul. The event is sponsored by UCASA, Black Arts Collaborative and Worldfest.

For more information, contact Mary Safowah.

Community Service/Outreach

Saturday, Feb. 29, Time/Location (TBA)

More information coming soon.

Check back for event updates.

 

Featured image at top: Colors of the African flag surround the words Black History Month 2020. photo/DepositPhotos 

Two women stand with the UC Bearcat at the Onyx and Ruby Gala.

Pamela Goines and Cindy White-Jones enjoy a night at UC's Onyx and Ruby Gala, squired by the Bearcat of course. photo/provided