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A Cross-Community Black History Month Celebration

A Cross-Community Black History Month Celebration
Endicott’s grassroots approach to celebrating Black History Month involves groups all over campus and beyond.

After last year’s Black History Month, which featured an enormously successful campuswide expo, Endicott’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) is following up with another collective approach to Black History Month throughout February.

Director of Belonging and Spiritual Life Gail Cantor said the expo was a big part of the College’s journey towards a more grassroots-oriented approach to DEIB. Now that almost every School and Department has its own DEIB Task Force—in addition to the campuswide, larger Task Force—it made sense to charge Gulls with contributing their own personalized events and presentations to the month’s festivities.

“People are no longer waiting for someone else to do something, no longer looking outside themselves for action,” Cantor shares. “We’re more interested in educating ourselves about racial injustice and how Black history fits into areas like nursing or the arts. I think people feel closer to it.”

The result of this ongoing change is a long list of events in February that will inspire the community to think, talk, and act in ways that make Endicott a more knowledgeable, equitable, and engaged place. Many events and exhibitions have been planned individually all across campus, from a display in the Internship & Career Center about Black alumni-owned businesses to a March visit from author and speaker Calvin Ramsey, courtesy of several humanities faculty members.

Kicking off the month on February 1 is one of the largest events, the Black History Month Games, a scholarship fundraiser that will benefit students of color at Endicott. The first 50 attendees of that night’s women’s and men’s basketball games will receive a free “EQUALITY” t-shirt.

Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Aaron Loredo hopes the unifying nature of sports will provide a meaningful impact on the community.

“People from all walks of life come together to cheer on their favorite team,” he explained. “I can’t think of a better way to kick off Black History Month than to do it as one, watching a basketball game.”

If you can’t attend, the shirts will be available for purchase at games and throughout the month, courtesy of local Black-owned business AKA Embroidery. Loredo said owner Anthony Hodges is an inspiration to his community and the perfect choice to partner on this event.

A Cross-Community Black History Month Celebration

Then, Amplifying Voices: A Celebration of Diversity in Film debuts at The Cabot in downtown Beverly on February 3 in a two-day event that will showcase lived experiences as told by filmmakers of color.

“This event is a beautiful way creating a space here on the North Shore where our community can celebrate and recognize filmmakers of color,” said Brandi Johnson, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “My hope is that through a common love and interest in film, we all can be exposed to various experiences, which will hopefully promote better thought, understanding, and discussion.”

Opening night (Feb. 3) features the documentary The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, followed by a Q&A with Professor Jamie Wilson of Salem State University and Endicott’s own Elizabeth Matelski, Associate Professor of History. Tickets are available now.

On February 9, the Nest will host Which Lives Matter, a conversation with author, speaker, actor, playwright, and activist Monti Washington.

“He will inspire us to take a stand, to show up and be present, to have our actions matter,” Cantor explained. “We’re seeing more leadership coming from our students and I hope that many will leave the event motivated and inspired to continue making change.”

Additional events include:

  • Manninen Center for the Arts exhibit A Tower of Strength: Black Women of the Suffrage Movement celebrates remarkable Black women in history like Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell, and Ida B. Wells, who paved the way for Shirley Chisholm, Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, Ayanna Pressley, and other leaders of today. Catch the exhibit early—it ends Friday, February 3, with a closing reception on February 2.
  • On February 13 the Center for Belonging & Inclusion will host Drop-In and Discuss: Black History Month, where community members can drop in, enjoy food, and join ad-hoc discussions about issues that exist for people of color on campus.
  • Through a grant from Interfaith America, students have a chance on February 21 to gather for dinner and podcast listening with founder and President Eboo Patel while dialoguing about how we can live together in diversity. Register here.

Check the Endicott calendar and news pages for up-to-date information on all these events and more throughout February.