The Black History Month Opening Program at Stony Brook University takes place on Wednesday, January 31. Various campus organizations will be hosting a range of educational, social and cultural programs that focus on the campus’ dual theme for the month, Sankofa! Still I Rise.
Sankofa is an Akan language of Ghana that translates in English to “return and get it,” and has been the enduring theme over the years for Black History Month at Stony Brook. Sankofa is used throughout the pan-African world to promote the idea that African people must go back to their roots in order to move forward. “Still I Rise” is a nod to Maya Angelou’s famous poem, reflecting on the ways people are able to rise and overcome despite the varying challenges they face.
Check out some of the major highlights of the month below, and you can find the full schedule on Stony Brook’s Black History Month website.
Wednesday, January 31
Opening Ceremony, 12:50 PM to 2:20 PM, SAC Sidney Gelber Auditorium
This year’s guest speaker is Allison J. McLarty, MD, a thoracic aortic surgeon working with Stony Brook Medicine. She is active in the Women’s Heart Program and is on the Lung Cancer Evaluation Center team that uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide the best possible care.
Thursday, February 1
Welcome Black Social, 8 pm to 10 pm, UNITI Cultural Center (UCC)
Celebrate the beginning of the semester and the start of Black History Month with your fellow students. Get familiar with the UCC and mingle with one another while listening to prominent Black musicians.
Thursday, February 8
“Black History Month Unity Forum: Still I Rise,” 6 pm to 8 pm, Wang Center Theater
This event will bring a diverse group of African American and Latino students together to discuss how the month’s theme “Still I Rise?” has manifested into various experiences related to education, immigration, women’s rights and race. For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs, (631) 632-7320.
Sunday, February 18
NAACP Image Awards, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, SAC Ballroom A
This formal celebratory event will acknowledge people on campus who have consistently served their community.
Thursday, February 19
Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest, 8 PM to 11 PM, SAC Ballroom A
The Black History Month Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest is an opportunity for SBU students to showcase their gifts and intellect through spoken word and diverse modes of expression. There is a general theme that contestants should focus on, so please read the guidelines. We also encourage those who just want to perform to sign up and share their talents.
Wednesday, February 28
Closing Ceremony, 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm, SAC Ballroom A
The closing program is the culmination of a month-long roster of educational and cultural events marking Black History Month at Stony Brook. The event will feature live performances and presentations from student groups and organizations, as well as speaker Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and author of Growing Up X.