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GVSU to host numerous Black History Month events


A musical tribute to Black Gospel, talk about the Grand Rapids riots are just a couple of events planned for Black History Month at Grand Valley State University. 

The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides the details.

“This year our theme is we are not invisible.  All of our programming is through the lens of our students. We are so excited to share their experiences this year." 

Juanita Davis is the Assistant Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  She says Black History Month events will kick off on Friday with their signature event. “We are not invisible.”

“Our black student organizations have created art pieces that represent their experiences here at Grand Valley. So, there will be an unveiling of those pieces.  It will be connected to our taste of soul, which is a signature event we hold every year, which has traditional African American cuisine.  But connected to that is a presentation about the scraps that slaves were given, and we’re going to show how resourceful the African American community has been since slavery until now with what we’ve been given, so turning little into something big.”

Davis says there will also be a gospel celebration, including gospel rap, spoken word, praise dancing and more to celebrate the impact of the church in the African American community among other programs.  And Davis adds their programming is aimed at connecting everyone on campus –to broaden the lens of inclusion.

“One of the things that Grand Valley endeavors to do especially with the Office of Multicultural Affairs being under the division of inclusion and equity is giving a voice to our underrepresented student population, so this year, our focus, gives voice to that. And it allows their peers who are interacting on a daily basis with them to understand and know their experiences.  It provides them with a different framework to navigate campus now, after attending these events.  Our goal is to just broaden the lens of the majority so they can see that Black History is part of American History.  It should be included, not excluded and not just in February, but throughout the year.”

If you need a full listing of programs this month, go to gvsu.edu forward slash OMA.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.