Opportunities to consider culture, community and contemporary media are part of Ferris State University’s 2021 Black History Month programming schedule. All events are available to students, faculty, staff and Big Rapids area community members.
Office of Multicultural Student Services Assistant Director Darnell Lewis said the first activity was a Zoom-based game, “Black Card Revoked,” on Tuesday, Feb. 9. The celebration’s keynote event will come in a Zoom meeting Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker Mike Ellison, a Detroit-based recording artist and actor who leads “Legacy and Lexicon.”
“Mike was also our keynote speaker for the 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on campus,” Lewis said. “He has a program that includes his excellence in spoken-word presentation, multimedia content and various levels of audience participation and engagement during our virtual meeting. We will discuss culture, community and creative arts, which should be an intimate and inclusive conversation.”
Lewis said he is thankful for collaborative relationships with the Housing and Residence Life Office, Residence Halls Association and the Harmony Project, a diversity and inclusion group. Their joint efforts will provide students an opportunity to enjoy the 2018 action/adventure film “Black Panther” on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
“We are using the Kast platform, so participants will have to access a QR code to complete their pre-registration and then receive a link in their campus email,” Lewis said. “Our team has worked hard to plan out a variety of concession items, which participants can pick up the afternoon of our showing, in the University Center between 4 and 5 p.m. Even though COVID means we watch remotely, this should make for a more shared and enjoyable experience for our audience.”
The OMSS will again turn to Kast, along with the Zoom platform, in a collaborative effort with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and ally students (LGBTQ+) Center for the Wednesday, Feb. 24 program, “Black, Queer and Successful,” which begins at 6 p.m.
Lewis also noted an opportunity to be reflective and focused on self-help in their program Wednesday, Feb. 17, “Black Mental Health: Surviving to Thriving,” which will begin at 7 p.m.
“Our chance to learn from Black Mental Wellness, Corp. is especially important in this time of social strife, impacted by the political climate and global pandemic,” Lewis said. “The black female psychologists and psychiatrists on their team will address the need for mindfulness, exercise, breathing techniques and other intentional actions to counter personal and social pressures.”
For more information about the 2021 Black History Month schedule, contact the OMSS office by phone at (231) 591-2617 or through email.