Throughout February, Georgia State University is celebrating Black History Month by hosting a wealth of events that recognize the achievements and legacies of Black pioneers while also recognizing present Black excellence.
While many of Georgia State’s Black History Month events take place in-person, online students can participate in select events virtually. History buffs, literature lovers and those eager to learn more about the legacies and contributions of Black people across the African Diaspora will find their fit with this year’s offerings.
History buffs can attend select lectures through The Third Annual Mario A.J. Bennekin Black History Symposium, which will be held Monday, Feb. 20, through Friday, Feb. 24. The symposium, titled, “Black Empowerment in America: Mobilization, Organization and the Struggle for Equality” will feature presentations from scholars, activists and Perimeter College students that examine past and present Black empowerment movements, as well as the continual pursuit of equality for all individuals.
The keynote speech will be held Monday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. and will be presented by Eshe Sherley, M.A., a scholar of Black women’s and labor history. Sherley is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan. Her presentation, titled “‘Your Eyes are in Your Heart’: Black Feminist Organizing in Atlanta” will discuss labor organizer and civil rights activist Dorothy Bolden’s work with the National Domestic Workers Union. The link to register for Sherley’s presentation can be found here.
Throughout the week, other scholars will share their historical research, and links to register for virtual access to those presentations are available on the symposium homepage.
Literature lovers can tune in Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the inaugural Global Read-a-thon, presented by the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora. The event is a celebration of books from Africa and the African Diaspora and will unite individuals in Gambia, Germany, New York and Jamaica for seven hours of reading. The virtual, webinar-style event will be hosted by former CNN anchor and White House correspondentSuzanne Malveaux, and will feature readers including award-winning author Tayari Jones and Atlanta television legend Monica Kaufman Pearson. The link for the event will be available soon.
Finally, Georgia State University’s Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence will host the 34th Annual Benjamin E. Mays Lecture Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in a virtual format. The lecture, titled “Learning is Life-Long and Life-Wide: Reflections on Learning, Leadership and Education Research,” will be presented by Na’ilah Suad Nasir, the sixth president of the Spencer Foundation.
Nasir is an educational researcher whose work focuses on the racialized and cultural nature of learning and schooling, with a particular focus on the experiences of African American students in schools and communities. Prior to her role leading the Spencer Foundation, Nasir held a faculty appointment in education and African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also served as the chair of African American Studies, then later as the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion. She also served on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Those interested in attending the lecture should register to obtain the link.
All year, Georgia State offers resources to students looking to engage in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. It offers a searchable Diversity Database for programs and initiatives, as well as a Resource Library of policies, publications, guidelines, articles, directories, procedures, multimedia and more.
Students who would like to learn more about Georgia State’s Black History Month events can access the full calendar here.