February - Black History Month

WSU Vancouver acknowledges and celebrates Black History Month.

Founded by Carter G. Woodson, dates back to 1915. Then, in February 1926, Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History formally implemented the national observance of Black History Week to recognize Black, African, and African American peoples’ immeasurable contributions and cultural influences that have made and continue to shape U.S. and world history. In 1976, the weeklong observance expanded to become Black History Month. This year marks the 95th anniversary of Black History Week and the 45th anniversary of Black History Month.

WSU Vancouver is dedicated to promoting an ethical and socially just society through an intentional commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity. Throughout Black History Month 2021 and every day, WSU Vancouver is in solidarity with calls to action from ASALH and NAACP to recognize the strengths, resistance, and sheer perseverance of Black people, dismantle all systems of oppression, and build communities of antiracism, belonging, and love. Below are some strategies to activate your advocacy during Black History Month, and throughout this year.

  • Commit to actualizing the beloved community at WSU Vancouver where Black students, staff, and faculty feel a deep sense of welcome, belonging, value, and opportunity to thrive.
  • Register for BaCE workshops and commit to change agency for equity, antiracism, belonging, and justice to transform the campus community and university policies, processes, practices, and pedagogies.
  • Read books on equity, antiracism, inclusion, belonging, joy, love, and justice. Join this reading group through the BaCE program.
  • Attend virtual heritage month programs and events curated by CILA.
  • Use resources from the Equity and Justice Resources page and contribute to the Virtual Gallery of Affirmations to provide continued encouragement to our students, faculty, staff, and external partners.
  • Contribute to the Cougar Food Pantry, Diversity Fund and Student Emergency Fund.
  • Attend free virtual events through the 2021 Black History Month Virtual Festival hosted by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
  • Create space for healing. Be present, kind, caring, and compassionate. Authentically shift your cultural perspective to recognize and celebrate fellow human beings during moments of strength and struggle. If you are a faculty or staff member, take the IDI.
  • Speak names of fellow human beings targeted by deadly violence whose names we know, including Casey Goodson Jr., Kevin Peterson Jr., George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Riah Milton, Tony McDade, and fellow human beings whose names we do not know.
  • Remember more than 427,000 fellow human beings who have succumbed to COVID-19.

Wash your hands, wear your face covering in public spaces, practice physical distancing, and take care of yourself.

Join us in building a campus community of equity-mindedness, cultural responsiveness, and inclusive excellence at WSU Vancouver during this Black History Month and beyond. We are in this together.

Sincerely,

Mel Netzhammer, Chancellor
Renny Christopher, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Domanic Thomas, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollmen
Obie Ford III, Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion