Every year, the organizations at Kean University honor its diverse student population and its rich African American history by celebrating Black History Month during February. Starting with the kickoff setting everything into motion and an appearance by the distinguished Martin Luther King III, Kean has a lot to offer this month.
Some key organizations are stepping up this year, showing their support by honoring the historic month, celebrating culture and representation.
The Pan-African Student Union is an organization on campus that works to unite students of African descent to learn about their roots, embrace their heritage and educate the community on history, activism and civil rights. With a mission to provide empowerment through knowledge of pre-colonial roots to strengthen the future, the organization is very active on campus, providing informative and uplifting lectures, flag raising events and more.
The Pan-African Student Union (PASU) will be hosting a multitude of events this month in celebration of Black History Month. The month began with the Black History Month Flag Raising Kickoff which was co-hosted by the Office of Student Government. This event kicks off the month of events for Black History Month and includes a flag raising ceremony featuring a special message from Dr. James Conyers from the Office of Africana Studies, followed by activities in the Miron Student Center Atrium.
Black Love Matters, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, is an event hosted by The Poetry Club, Kean University's Top Knotch, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and PASU. This event takes place from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Miron Student Center's Cougar's Den and will be in depth, interactive discussion of Black Love.
Also hosted by PASU is the Black Love Affair event taking place Thursday, Feb. 13 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Downs Hall. This event celebrated the Black Love holiday. Black Love is an observance of atonement, reconciliation, celebration and 24-hour demonstration of love through five specific acts. These acts are also known as tenets: love toward creator, toward self, toward family, within the black community and the black race. It is also during Black Love that people of all races show love and appreciation for the black community.
On Feb. 13, the university will be visited by the eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Martin Luther King III. The human rights advocate, community activist and political leader will speak at the North Ave Academic Building from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for the Distinguished Lecture Series.
The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is another organization at Kean that is putting forth their advocacy, awareness and celebration towards Black History Month. With missions to lead, advocate for and empower women of African descent, as well as to co-host events like Black Love Matters, NCNW will be holding a series of events on Feb. 6 called "For Us By Us." These events, hosted in the Miron Student Center Little Theater, promote, honor, love and celebrate everything black culture has to offer.
The Love Jones Open Mic event, co-hosted by PASU, the Poetry Club and Iota Phi Theta, will be happening Thursday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Miron Student Center Cougar's Den, and will include a retrospective look at the way African American music and art has paved the way for today's black culture. This event will celebrate both the arts of music and poetry.
For more information on the many events happening during Black History Month, access Cougar Link. There, students can also discover more about these student groupsand others who are celebrating Black History Month.