WPI Celebrates Black History Month 2023
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) celebrates Black History Month 2023 by honoring and highlighting the diverse culture, heritage, and contributions of Black Americans throughout history. Black History Month is nationally recognized and serves as an opportunity to honor and celebrate the traditions, food, art, languages, culture, and stories of Black communities. We encourage our community to study, observe, and celebrate the Black community on campus, within the Worcester community, and beyond.
February is dedicated as Black History Month, to not only learn of the struggles, but to celebrate the triumphs of Black Americans throughout U.S. history, including the Civil Rights Movement and their artistic, cultural, and political achievements.
STEM Scholar Highlights:
- Mae Jemison (Engineer, Physician, & Former NASA Astronaut)
- Julian Earls (Physicist)
- Aprille Ericsson-Jackson (Aerospace Engineer)
Read, Watch, Listen and Learn
- Read Honoring Black History Month with Teaching and Learning
- Explore Gordon Library's Black History Month LibGuide
- Explore Worcester Public Library Black History, Culture, and Experience Collection
- Explore Worcester Black History Project – Black History Matters online
- Explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Explore the National Center of Afro-American Artists (Roxbury, MA)
- Explore the National Civil Rights Museum
- Explore the U.S. National Archives of African American history
- Explore the 10 ‘Must Watch’ Black Documentaries
- Learn more about Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
- Read My Beautiful Black Hair by St. Clair Detrick-Jules
- Read more about Black STEM Leaders
- Read Amanda Gorman’s poetry collection
- Read 80 Powerful Black History Month Quotes That Will Inspire You and Move You (Reader's Digest)
- Watch The Hair Tales (Hulu , 2022)
- Watch High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America (Netflix, 2021)
- Listen to the Code Switch podcast
- Listen to Black in the Garden podcast
- Listen to Intersectionality Matters podcast
- Participate in Wellness Day Events on Wednesday, February 1, 2023:
- Using Microresistance to Combat Microaggressions with Lisa Maddox from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST in Unity Hall (UH 420).
- Crocodile River Music (African Dance & Drum) from 12:30 PM -2:00 PM in the Rubin Campus Center (Odeum A).
- Enjoy Vinyasa Yoga between 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM EST in Center for Well-Being - Program Room 102E Daniels Hall/Morgan Wedge.
- Register for How to manage money, deal with debt, and create a financial legacy on Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST offered by Fidelity Investments.
- Participate in campus Black History Month Programs:
- Join African Student Association (ASA) on Friday, February 17, 2023 for their annual Touch of Africa event from 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM EST in Alden Memorial Hall.
- Join the Black Student Union (BSU) on Saturday, February 18, 2023 for the inaugural Kiss My Kicks Sneaker Ball from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST in the Rubin Campus Center.
- Join the WPI community for Black History Trivia Night on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 from 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST in the Rubin Campus Center Food Court Stage. Prizes will be awarded.
- Join WPI’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Chapter
- Join WPI’s Black Student Union (BSU) Chapter
- Join WPI’s African Student Association (ASA) Chapter
- Join WPI’s Step Team
- Join WPI’s African Percussion and Dance Ensemble
- Support the Psi Phi Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
- Support Black Professionals in STEM (BPS)
- Support local Worcester's Black Owned Bakers, Caterers, and Restaurants
- Prioritize and Practice Self-Care
- Register to Vote -OR- Check Your Voter Registration
- Everything you need to vote. Vote.org
- Become a Poll Worker
Thank you to the members of the Black History Month Planning Committee:
- Mackenzie Lipman (Student Activities Office)
- Arnold Lane (ODIME)
- Gregory Lane (Pre-Collegiate Outreach Office)
- Alesia LeSane (ODIME)
- Erin Mayo (Office of Accessibility Services)
- Emily O’Brien (Gordon Library)
- Paige Neumann (Gordon Library)
- Elitumaini Swai '23 (President of the African Student Association)
- Cayla Jumpp '23 (Vice President of the African Student Association)
- Jessica Rhodes '25 (Vice President of Psi Phi Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.)
In February 1969, the idea for celebrating Black History Month was promoted by Black students and educators at Kent State University followed by the first celebration of Black History Month on campus one year later in 1970. In 1976, Black History Month was widely celebrated across the country in schools, colleges, and community centers. President Gerald Ford praised the month, urging all citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” (National Today.)
Learn More: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) promotes and oversees all student facing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning experiences, programs, services, trainings, and initiatives for WPI.