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Published: Saturday, 2/2/2013

BGSU, Toledo provide activities throughout Black History Month

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — A “Black Issues Conference” at Bowling Green State University on Saturday will address current topics including “Black Homophobia” and the need to change how the black community views itself.

The conference is one of many events planned at BGSU and the University of Toledo, among other locations, to celebrate Black History Month, which begins today.

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library will offer a family program, “At the Crossroads of Freedom & Equality: Celebrating 150 Years/Emancipation Proclamation (1863-2013)” from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 23 in the McMaster Center at the Main Library, 325 Michigan St. The event is free and open to the public.

A soul food luncheon, a fashion show, and a lecture series are some of the highlights during the University of Toledo's month-long celebration.

Bowling Green kicks things off with a “Taste of February” event today in the Bowen Thompson Student Union Lenhart Ballroom on campus. The sold-out event, which features a dinner and entertainment, is a prelude to Saturday's conference.

“[The conference] has been a tradition at Bowling Green for 14 years,” said Emily Monago, director of the school’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. The multicultural office and the Black Graduate Student Organization are the sponsors. “But it’s not just a BGSU tradition. It’s a catalyst to engage the black students on campus and in the county about issues that affect the black community.”

The 14th Annual Black Issues Conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Information and registration are available through the multicultural office at 419-372-9428.

This year’s conference theme is “The Power of One: Building a Commitment to Constructive Cooperation.” Most of the workshops focus on issues of self-empowerment, building strong relationships, and the need to unite as a community to promote social changes.

In her keynote address, Kathryn Williams, an Ohio attorney, will challenge the black community to re-evaluate “how we think of ourselves as a black nation.”

“Her message will be about the need for coming together as one community,” said Sheila Brown, associate director for multicultural affairs. “Other communities band together and grow, but black folks can’t do this. Why is that?”

A sampling of other Black History Month college events, free and open to the public, include:

University of Toledo

Feb. 6: Noon to 2 p.m., Black History Month kick-off program, Student Union, Rooms 2582 and 2584.

Feb. 18: Noon to 2 p.m., Soul food luncheon, Black Student Union, Trimble Lounge.

Feb. 18: 6 to 8 p.m., Ballroom dancing, urban dance, demonstrations, and workshop, Student Union, Ingman Room.

Feb. 26: 7 to 10 p.m., The Poet - Xplicit OMSS, and jazz flute player Galen Abdur Razzaq, Black Student Union, Ingram Room.

Bowling Green State University

Feb. 8: 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., fourth annual Bowling Green High School and Middle School Black History Assembly, BGHS Performing Arts Center, 530 West Poe Rd.

Feb. 23: 8 p.m., Celebrating the Negro spiritual — American Spiritual Ensemble, Kobacker Hall. Visit bgsu.edu/festivalseries for ticket information.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-304-7589.



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