Interim President's Message: Black History Month
I hope all of you are taking care of yourselves and remaining healthy!
Today begins Black History Month, a celebration acknowledging the achievements of the African descendants who have shaped American history. Every February, we purposefully recognize the lasting contributions Black people have made to our society. Please take a minute to acknowledge the moments that define … or have been defined by … Black people and Black culture in our nation and around the world.
This is indeed an exceptional month, particularly at universities such as UHD. It offers a time for reflection and provides scholars and students with opportunities to host events and present research on topics celebrating the African diaspora.
Although we remain off campus, I am pleased that virtual Black History Month events are scheduled for UHD community members. The Black Student Association is hosting events focused on financial literacy, Black empowerment, and additionally engaging in social media activities to uplift and empower their fellow Gators.
The Center for Diversity & Inclusion has events focused on engaging students, staff, and faculty in reflective moments. Additionally, the Center for Critical Race Studies will host noted race, gender, and sexuality scholar Dr. Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr., the week of Feb. 22. More details on the virtual CCRS events will be made available soon.
UHD's social media platforms will spotlight members of our community who are making history…be on the lookout for upcoming posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showcasing our Gators!
As a result of Dr. Carter G. Woodson's initial work, Black History Month has been an institution in our nation since 1976 when then-President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as a time to commemorate those individuals and moments that have played pivotal roles in our country.
As we continue to face a global pandemic and political change, allow the celebration of Black History Month to serve as a reminder of the multiple contributions made by Black Americans and other ethnic communities.
As Gators, let's celebrate Black History Month with confidence and optimism for the future and continue to embrace the diversity that defines our University, our city, our nation, and our world.
Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
University of Houston-Downtown