OSU Community Members,
With deep gratitude, we recognize Black History Month and celebrate the contributions and achievements of the Black community throughout Oregon State University and the world.
Held every February, Black History Month is an opportunity for the entire OSU community to reflect on and celebrate Black leadership, ingenuity and achievement. However, celebrating Black history must not occur once a year – Black history is woven into the fabric of the nation – and acknowledging and celebrating should occur year-round.
Last night, we attended the Black Excellence Celebration, an annual recognition of Black student, faculty and staff contributions within the university and wider community. We are deeply grateful to the many honorees for their dedication, care and success.
Black History Month also provides an opportunity to focus on the work ahead to advance equity and justice. This work is led by many OSU organizations that focus on Black leadership and communities. They include the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty Staff Affairs, the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, the Dr. Lawrence Griggs Office of Black & Indigenous Student Success, the Black Student Union, the Black Graduate Student Association, and the OSU chapter of the NAACP, among many others on the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses, including the OSU Office of Institutional Diversity and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Bend.
We encourage Oregon State community members to participate in the many Black History Month events taking place this month, including:
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Address with LaTosha Brown, voting rights activist and co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.
- Race in America Discussion: “Colorism in the Black and Latinx Communities” on Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. at the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.
- “Black Lives Matter in Academic Spaces: Three Lessons in Critical Literacy” with Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m.
- “It’s 2022: Do Black Lives Really Matter” panel discussion, on Monday Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center.
We also invite the OSU community to engage with Black history within the university through the Oregon Multicultural Archives housed online at the Valley Library.
Join us in observing Black History Month to celebrate and take action to create a more inclusive and just university, and proactively confront racism within OSU, higher education nationally and in the community.
Scott A. Vignos
Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer