OSU celebrates Black History Month, many contributions by Black community members

Feb. 8, 2023

Dear OSU Community Members,

Throughout February, we celebrate Black History Month and honor past and present Black and African-American leadership, activism, achievements and resilience throughout Oregon State University, the nation and the world.

While Black History Month is an annual national celebration, Black community members within OSU make a difference every day of the year. 

Last Wednesday, we heard from educator, historian and journalist Jelani Cobb who called on each of us to work together to create societal and institutional change. Cobb visited OSU as part of the university’s 41st annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.

Last Thursday, I was proud to attend the Black Excellence Celebration. This annual event recognizes Black students, faculty and staff members for their profound contributions within OSU and beyond. The event was organized by students at the Lonnie B. Harris Cultural Resource Center, who do great things daily to advance equity, inclusion and success for students at OSU.

Fundamentally, Black History Month provides us the inspiration to advance equity and justice within Oregon State University. I encourage you to engage with the many events planned during Black History Month at OSU. These events include:

•    A community dialogue on the “Power of Color,” Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Multipurpose Room.
•    A presentation at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 on “My People are Rising: the History and Legacy of the Black Panthers in the Pacific Northwest” in the Memorial Union Horizon Room.
•    A discussion on Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. in MU by nationally recognized Portland State University historian Dr. Carmen Thompson on “American Whiteness and Anti-Blackness: Toward Understanding Race in America.”

Throughout this month, I ask you to consider how you can contribute to our shared work to confront racism and create opportunities for all.


Jayathi Y. Murthy