The University of Illinois Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College have scheduled a variety of events and activities during February to observe, appreciate and enjoy African-American History Month.
UIS's theme is POWER (Perseverance, Opportunity, Wealth, Education and Responsibility.)
Most of the events on the two campuses are free and open to the public.
UIS let students have a say in the events being planned, according to student program adviser Justin Rose, who is helping coordinate the month's activities.
"We started the planning process back in September and heard from the student body about the kind of things they wanted to see that speak to their culture," Rose said. "We called a series of meetings all the way up to January to flesh out these activities. These events speak to the campus at large and their cultural and social activities."
"If students feel vested in the process, they are more likely to come. Students say, 'I put my name on this and I helped the event come to life,'" Rose said.
"The goal of every cultural event we do is to educate the campus on things they might not have experienced or know too much about."
African-American History Month events at UIS begin Wednesday with a Candle Light Vigil starting at 10 a.m. in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby, where students and community members are invited to light a candle and say a few words about people they have lost.
The UIS Engaged Citizenship Common Experience Speaker Series will screen the Netflix documentary "13th" at 6 p.m. Friday in Brookens Auditorium followed by a panel discussion featuring Illinois Innocence Project exoneree Teshome Campbell.
The Know Your Heritage Bowl at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Student Life Building will feature UIS students competing in a trivia game to learn about people and things that affect the way we see society today.
The Black Male Collegiate Society Induction Ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in rooms C and D of the Public Affairs Center.
A Soul Food Festival on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Student Life Building Gym will feature food along with performances of poetry, dance, singing and stepping.
The final UIS event of the month, "Black Lives Matter: Through the Prism of Fredrick Douglass," is a UIS Engaged Citizenship Common Experience Speaker Series presentation that starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, on the lower level of Brookens Library.
This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on January 28, 2017.
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