Celebrating greatness, resilience amid adversity

Cultural music, dance, food are among UC’s exciting events spotlighting Black History Month

“Uthabiti'' means resilience in Swahili.

While the University of Cincinnati honors Black History Month in February, celebrations of Black resilience, determination and never taking "no" for a final answer will pay homage to Black American “uthabiti” with exciting in-person and virtual events across campus.

Among music performances, Ethopian cooking and lectures on Black history, UC’s African American Cultural & Resource Center (AACRC) will also honor “global Blackness,” celebrating the resilience of Black Americans who conquered their dreams during a global pandemic. 

UC's College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services and Information Technology acknowledges influential African American students, staff, faculty, alumni and community partners — who have made history locally or beyond — through stories featured on their "Be Historic" webpage.

In addition, UC's Department of Athletics will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a month-long digital storytelling effort on GoBEARCATS.com and the Bearcats social platforms. Student-athletes from all sports will discuss the meaning and importance of this month through social posts and graphics.

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month while endorsing a specific theme. As UC spotlights the powerful role of Black Americans in U.S. history, several campus events will also highlight the national 2022 “Black Health and Wellness” theme by focusing on fun and easy ways to stay mentally and physically fit.

Among the fascinating in-person and virtual February events, videos and pocket tours of the enormous contributions of UC's Black students and alumni can be accessed anytime from a personal digital device.

Check out the exciting Black History Month events and celebrate Black culture on UC’s campus and surrounding Cincinnati region.

Black History Month kickoff celebrations | Feb. 1 (11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

Join the UC Blue Ash virtual kick-off celebration acknowledging the great works and contributions of Black leaders, culture and excellence. Explore Black student organizations, win prizes with Black culture games and trivia, discuss issues concerning the African American student experience and hear about more exciting events coming up. Click the Zoom link to join.

Black History Month opening ceremony | Feb. 1 (6-7 p.m.)

Join the United Black Student Association (UBSA) on UC’s main campus at the AACRC to usher in the spirit and observation of Black History Month 2022.

Enjoy cultural performances and a special libation as the 2022 student organization leader awardees are unveiled.

 Keynote speaker is  Littisha Bates, associate dean, UC College of Arts & Sciences. 

Location: UC's AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

UC Athletics month-long social media celebrations

Members of UC's Student-Athlete Advisory Council established the Black Student-Athlete Association in September 2020 as one of the group's ongoing #BearcatsUnited initiative.

The group, made up of UC student-athletes, coaches and staff, is dedicated to cultivating a community of inclusion, hospitality and equality of student-athletes representative of the Black, African-American, Caribbean and of the African Diaspora to enhance their experience as a Bearcat during their time of personal, academic, athletic and social growth. 

Throughout February, UC Athletics will celebrate with a month-long digital storytelling effort on GoBEARCATS.com and the Bearcats social platforms. Student-athletes from all sports will discuss the meaning and importance of this month through social posts and graphics.

Visit UC's Black Student-Athlete Association content hub to find all the materials released in February 2022, as well as the content from last year's celebration.

Learn more about the organization on Twitter and Instagram.

UC reflects on 200 years of enormous contributions by its Black students and alumni

This video, produced by the UC's Alumni Association, debuted at the 2019 Onyx & Ruby Gala, hosted by the UC African American Alumni Affiliate. Looking back on its 200-year history, UC reflects on the experiences of its Black students and the enormous contributions of its Black alumni.

UC's Black History Trail: A trip through UC's historic people, places and events

This PocketSights tour, accessed through a digital app, shares some of the most important people, places and events in UC's Black history including triumphs like the creation of the African American Cultural & Resource Center, as well as the early Black struggles for inclusion in residence halls and campus organizations. This trail will help educate students, faculty and neighbors on the importance of African American history around us every day and push us to work for a better racial future for our school, our city and our nation.

UC's Black History Trail was developed as a small group student project in professor Anne Delano Steinert’s African American History in Public course in the spring of 2021.

Access the tour here.

'Listen and learn with libations' | every Wednesday in February (6 p.m.)

Sip, laugh, learn and grow at Ludlow Wines, 343 Ludlow Ave., with host UC associate professor of history Holly McGee every Wednesday in February for a four-part “Drink ‘n Think” lecture series on African American history. 

Feb. 2The African Diaspora and Liberation: Learn about Africa, the people/cultures of West Africa, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its first contact with the so-called New World.

Feb. 9 - Universities and Slave Benefactors: Understand the connection between the slave trade and the history of financing/endowment of institutions of higher learning and their contemporary fortunes.

Feb. 16 - A History of Violence: Join in understanding the mechanics of lynching, race riots, forced migration and the genocide of Black communities in the early twentieth century. 

Feb. 23 - Race and films: Kick back and relax while we survey the history of Black artistry in film, and the groundbreaking projects that used art as a backdoor to civil rights activism.

Union Baptist Church Cemetery tour | (date/time TBA)

Join UC associate professor Holly McGee's history classes as they virtually visit the United American Cemetery for a 2-hour guided tour. UBC is the oldest, continually run Black Baptist congregation in Cincinnati. From its founding in 1831 to today, it has been a vital center of the Black community, providing critical social, political and educational opportunities to its congregants and beyond. 

*due to icy weather this event has been postponed and will be re-scheduled for later in the month. please keep checking back!​*

Click the Zoom link to join the rescheduled tour to learn more about the church and the exciting new historical records preservation efforts underway.

HIV testing | Feb. 7 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)

In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Feb. 7), the AACRC supports the efforts of the Student Wellness Center and their partnership with Caracole to provide FREE & Confidential HIV testing to students on campus.

Outreach Educators offer testing, referrals, counseling and harm reduction and prevention education.

No appointment necessary. Walk-in, complete a rapid test (no needles) and receive results in 15 minutes!

HIV testing will continue the first Monday of each month.

Location: AACRC , 60 W. Charlton

'Self care is health care' lunch & learn | Feb. 9 (11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.)

Join professional life and business coach Tarita Preston for an interactive 60-minute session exploring self-mastery. Sessions are designed to take a deep dive into finding the greatest opportunities to create safety, security and balance in our professional and personal lives.

Preston will help challenge current ways of thinking that may be driving daily feelings, choices and decisions and the importance of taking care and protecting our mental health and well-being in these trying times. 

Location: UC Blue Ash, Walters 100

*Zoom link for attending virtually; if attending in person, lunch will be provided by Soleil Kitchen.

Mindful meditation moment | Feb. 9 (12:30-12:45 p.m.)

Join in on 15 minutes of mindfulness and meditation in UC Blue Ash Muntz Hall. Lunch is provided.

4A Virtual Black History trivia night | Feb. 10 (7-8:30 p.m.)

Join the UC African American Alumni Affiliate (4A) as they celebrate a virtual Black history trivia night.

Participants will be able to compete for a number of different prizes by using their knowledge of Black history. The event is free to participate. Click to join Zoom link. (link TBA)

For more information, contact Justin Gibson, gibsonjn@foundation.uc.edu  


Classy Cats Valentine's Day talent showcase | Feb. 12 (7-9 p.m.)

It’s finally back! 

The annual Valentine’s Day talent showcase will present a $100 raffle and the best talent will receive a special gift. Open to anyone 18 and over in the Cincinnati area. Free admission! 

Location: Zimmer 400  

Understanding and building generational Black wealth, Black professionals panel discussion | Feb. 16 (12:15-1:30 p.m.)

Join local business leaders Sheila Simmons and Savon Gibson for virtual discussions about building and growing benerational Black wealth. Both speakers are passionate about sharing their knowledge on this topic with others, especially members of their community. 

Click to join Zoom link.


Transformative Financial Wellness, Black-owned business fair | Feb. 16 (6-7 p.m.)

Join speaker, educator, author and self-proclaimed “wellness fanatic” Al Riddick as he provides expert information to those who want to start making immediate positive financial changes.

Participants will also be provided with financial coaching and tools to develop the proper financial mindset and behaviors to help build their understanding of making, saving and spending money. 

Location: UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business 

'Resiliency of Music' love concert | Feb. 16 (7-8 p.m.)

Join the AACRC choir’s annual Valentine’s Day “Rhythms and Rhymes: The Resiliency of Black Love” concert featuring feature various love poems written by talented choir members centering on the resilience of Black love. 

The UC campus community is also invited to submit poems they’ve created to be considered as a special feature in the concert. Music will be crafted specifically for your poem and will be placed in a special segment of the concert.

Submissions may be sent to Eric Watford watfore@ucmail.uc.edu no later than Monday, Feb. 7, by 5:00 p.m.  Also, one lucky couple will be serenaded by special guest performer!     

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Ethiopian/Jewish Cooking Class | Feb. 17 (4-5:30 p.m.)

The AACRC will collaborate with the Hillel Jewish Center to share in learning about a cultural cooking experience. Guest speaker Avezu Fanta will share her life story along with sharing the history of a special event. 

Food provided by Asian Amma's Kitchen. 

Seating is limited and registration is required.

Location: Hillel Jewish Center  

Eighth annual Onyx & Ruby Gala | Feb. 19 (6 p.m.)

Created in 2007, the Onyx & Ruby Gala recognizes the achievements of African American alumni, faculty, staff and students at the University of Cincinnati. Since then, this elegant event has become one of the largest alumni-driven award events for the UC Alumni Association, having grown each year of its existence.

The 2022 alumni awardees are Stephanie Smith, Georgia E. Beasley Legacy Award; John Bey, Linda Bates Parker Legend Award; Laverne Summerlin, Tower of Strength Award; Reginald Bolding Jr., Pillar of the Community Award; Maurice Stewart, Emerging Leader Award; and Akua Wilson, Student Trailblazer Award.

  • 6 p.m. Welcome reception
  • 7 p.m. Program and dinner
  • 9:30 p.m. Afterparty

Location: The Graduate Cincinnati Hotel (formerly Kingsgate Hotel)

For more information, contact Justin Gibson, gibsonjn@foundation.uc.edu  

Kuamka and Black Women’s History Week | week of Feb. 21-26

Kuamka, which is Swahili for the phrase "in the beginning," is a week of exciting events where students will compete in several areas to become the next Mr. and Ms. Kuamka. Join in the academic and leadership excellence celebrations, attend social programming and more. This year, Kuamka parallels with “Uthabiti” as the candidates demonstrate great resiliency while navigating through the challenges of the pandemic in order to achieve Kuamka crowns. 

Meet the candidates: Kuamka platform and Q&A | Feb. 21 (6-8:30 p.m.)

Meet the Kuamka candidates as they are formally introduced to the campus for the first time during the platform competition. Q&A to follow.

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Names, Monuments and Stories: Changing the narrative of tributes and symbols in our society | Feb. 22 (time TBA)

In our society, there have been many stories and tributes to the confederate history of the U.S.  Efforts have been made to change the narrative through removal of confederate names, monuments and symbols across the country. Digital storytelling has also provided a means to change the stories being told.  This panel brings together historians, student activists and documentary film makers to share their experiences in this process and engage in discussion to further these efforts.

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

Kuamka talent showcase | Feb. 23 (7 p.m.)

Cheer on the Kuamka 2022 contestants as they display their respective talents in an artistic showcase. From spoken word to dancing and many more acts, this artistic event will put the candidates one step closer in hopes of achieving King and Queen status. 

Location: DAAP Auditorium (4400 Aronoff)

Uses of my body: Writing, performing, working out | Feb. 24 (11 a.m.)

Join Simone Savannah for a morning of performance and poetry reading from her recent book, "Uses of My Body," in TUC's Atrium.

Savannah is a Black feminist writer, teacher, certified personal trainer, winner of the Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize chosen by Jericho Brown and currently postdoctoral fellow in UC's Taft Research Center.

During her short talk, Savannah will share the stories behind her poems about being a Black woman, the body, working out and writing.

For more information, contact Simone Savannah, savannse@ucmail.uc.edu.


Film in Context: Meet Bayard | Feb. 24 (5 p.m.)

Join UC’s AACRC and LGBTQ Center as they collaborate to feature Bayard Rustin, a renowned African American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence and gay rights, and who is best known for his work as adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1950s and ’60s. 

Also to his credit, Rustin worked with A. Philip Randolph on the March on Washington Movement in 1941 to press for an end to racial discrimination in employment. 

Composer and writer Steve Milloy and lyricist Bruce Preston will help guide the stories that helped shape the rich legacy of Bayard Rustin.                          

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton 

'Who we are: A celebration of Black art,' All Arts art extravaganza | Feb. 24 (6-8 p.m.)

View art pieces and performances from amazing local Black artists and hear them discuss what and who influenced them to become an artist. Extravaganza follows the eras of Black American history: Pre-Slavery, Slavery, Reconstruction, Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights, Early Modern and Hip-Hop.  

Location: UC Blue Ash Muntz 119 and virtual Zoom link

Black Career Prep | Feb. 25 (1-4 p.m.)

The AACRC, Linder College of Business and the African American Chamber of Commerce collaborate to bring the all-important tools desired from professionals in the career industry. Areas pertaining to interview and career preparation such as resume writing, interview prep, how to dress  and other important areas of career preparation will be the focus. The fair will also provide first hand learning about internships and co-op opportunities.    

Location: Kautz  Attic, 4th floor Lindner Hall 

'Furaha' Friday | Feb. 25 (6 p.m.)

Join in on the first "Furaha," which is Swahili for fun, for a perfect opportunity to meet new people and kick back with old ones. Bring any personal cards or games for a night of fun.

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center tour | Feb. 26 (12-3 p.m.)

Join UC history classes on a virtual tour of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, featuring a visit to the John Parker genealogy room. Click the Zoom link to join.

Kuamka Ball | Feb. 26 (6-10 p.m.)

The annual ball will culminate a week of events by showcasing each Kuamka candidate. Activities include presenting the Transitions 2021-2022 class, celebrating student grades and highlighting accomplishments of graduate and professional students. At the end of the night the new Mr. and Ms. Kuamka will be crowned.

Suggested dress is formal attire or African Garb.

Location: UC Tangeman University Center or virtual link (TBA)

Mental health and its effect on Black women in the workplace | Feb. 28 (12-1 p.m.)

Join a virtual open and honest conversation with a panel of Black women across campus as they share their experiences of the current climate of work expectations and its effect on mental health.

The experience of Black women in the workplace comes with a host of complexities and issues that differ from other Americans. Black women’s double minority status needs to be understood to build inclusive and equitable workplaces.

Register for the virtual event here

Black History Month virtual closing ceremony | Feb. 28 (6-8 p.m.)

Join the AACRC as they virtually reflect on the Black History Month 2022 events. Highlights of the AACRC’s BHM programs and photos from various other campus Black history programs will be featured.

*All offices and student organizations are encouraged send photos of various Black History Month programs to Eric Watford at: watfore@ucmail.uc.edu  immediately after their event.

Link to virtual closing ceremony

UCASA game night | Feb. 28 (5-7 p.m.)

Celebrate the University of Cincinnati African  Student Association  week with a UC Bearcat basketball game watch party. A game night based on black history trivia is included with music videos.  

Location: AACRC, 60 W. Charlton 


Featured image at top: Black History Month theme poster. photo/provided

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