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Celebrate Black History Month at Stony Brook

Open mic contest

This February, discover what Black History means to Stony Brook, our nation and the world, and find ways for all people to come together to establish a more united and stronger community. This year’s Black History Month celebration at Stony Brook begins on Wednesday, January 29, with “Sankofa! Many People . . . One Voice: A Campus Dialogue,” an intimate discussion among students, faculty and staff during Campus Life Time (1 pm to 2:10 pm) in the Student Activities Center Auditorium.

Zebulon Miletsky, a visiting assistant professor in Stony Brook’s Department of Africana Studies, will serve as moderator. The panelists include Jarvis Watson, an academic advisor in the EOP/AIM Office, undergraduate students Shaneell Burton ’16 and Vladimir Piersaint ’14, graduate student Shevonne Cleveland, and Raúl Sanchez, senior director for Title IX and Risk Management.

Many educational, social and cultural programs will be held on campus throughout the month that reflect the theme, “Sankofa! Many People . . . One Voice.” The concept of Sankofa has its origin in Ghana, West Africa. When translated, it means that “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” 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. The theme was created to re-ignite awareness, appreciation, passion and commitment to Black History Month for all people, but especially those whose ancestors are from the African Diaspora.

Highlights of the month include the Dr. McAdoo Memorial Health Lecture Series (February 3, 17 and 24), Stony Brook Gospel Choir on February 6, Food Tasting on February 10, Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest on February 19 (details below), Charity Dodge Ball Tournament on February 22, and much more. The activities culminate on Thursday, February 27, with the Black History Month Closing Program. Unless indicated otherwise on the Black History Month Calendar Listing, all events are open to members of the Stony Brook University community.

Black History Month is coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Black History Month Committee. For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs (631) 632-9968.

February 19: Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest
Performers will present their Spoken Word presentation at the Tabler Black Box Theatre from 7 pm to 9 pm, and a panel of University judges will evaluate the performances. Winners will then perform on WUSB 90.1FM and also be featured in the Blackworld newspaper.

Performances should be respectful and no more than five minutes. All eligible applicants must be enrolled Stony Brook University students in good standing. The application deadline is Friday, February 14, at 5 pm. For more information, please email

This event is open to the Stony Brook community and admission is free.

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