On Feb. 2, university president Ronald Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community, writing about the “powerful impact African Americans had in shaping the history of the United States,” and moreover, recognizing that Black History Month is a “month-long opportunity to not only celebrate the heritage, accomplishments, and cultural contributions African Americans have made to the nation but also to acknowledge the unique role the diverse and expansive Black community has played in leading the struggle toward advancing freedom, racial justice, and equality throughout the world.”
According to the email, each year the Association for the Study of American African Life and History (ADALH) selects the theme for Black History Month and has chosen Black Health and Wellness this year as the theme. The email details that this theme was chosen as a result of the “ongoing pandemic, and [this theme] serves as a timely reminder of the remarkable breakthroughs African Americans have achieved in the fields of healthcare and wellness and a call to action for us all to address the enduring legacy of disparate healthcare as experienced by communities of color.”
The email also links a detailed list of events occurring during Black History Month. These events included a faculty lunch symposium at 12:00 p.m. on Feb. 9, led by Professor Shoniqua Roach (AAAS/WGS), as well as a Peace Corps celebration event on Feb. 9 starting at 4:00 p.m.
There are also three events on Feb. 10. These include an event on the context of race and education that “allows attendees to explore the historic relationship between race and education,” according to the page; a Madeleine Haas Russel Lecture hosted by Rachel Cantave (AAAS) in the Skyline commons or over Zoom starting at 4:00 p.m.; and an event by the Rose Art Museum called “My Mechanical Sketchbook” — Barkley L. Hendricks & Photography by Dr. Gannet Anko and Dr. Elyan J. Hill. This latter event is an exhibition that will showcase “new scholarship and rarely-exhibit artworks,” according to the page.
There is also an event called Moonlight Gala by the Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO) that starts at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Sherman Function Hall. Registration for the event is available on the page. At the event, “students and faculty can talk, dance, and enjoy each other’s company.”
On Feb. 15, there is an event starting at 7:00 p.m. that features Laura Arnold Leibman’s book “Once We Were Slaves: The Extradordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family.” According to the page, the book “takes a deep look into the background of Blanche Moses, a member of a prominent American Jewish family that can trace its lineage to the time of the American Revolution.”
There are also three events available on Feb. 16. These include a virtual opening celebration of “My Mechanical Sketchbook” starting at 7:00 p.m. and an annual event by BBSO called Shades of Blackness also at 7:00p.m. that “highlight[s] the beauty of the many cultures of the black-identifying diaspora” and to “better understand the truths and complexities of the Black experiences(s)”, according to the page. Finally, there is also a workshop starting at 12 p.m. that “explores some of the contentious meeting points between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) discourse and the Jewish context.”
There is also a virtual event on Tuesday Feb. 22 at 12:00 p.m. that is “aimed at black college students hoping to launch their careers in financial services.” In this event, topics discussed will include understanding being black in the corporate world and how to approach recruiting for your first role as a black student, according to the page.
Further information for all of these events is available in the compiled list of events linked in Liebowitz’s email. Liebowitz also notes that the list is not comprehensive as programming evolves over the weeks.