EWU Celebrates Black History Month

January 30, 2023

In honor of Black History Month in February, Eastern Washington University’s Africana Studies has organized a wide range of events with plenty of opportunities to learn and connect with the campus community.

The events, offered in partnership with the Multicultural Center, Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Eagle Entertainment, Sorority and Fraternity Life and the departments of history, anthropology, and modern languages and literature, kick off on Feb. 1 and run through Feb. 24.

Here are the upcoming events in celebration of Black History Month:

Feb. 1 (Wednesday) | Black Owned Business Pop-Up Shop | EWU NCR | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Africana Studies is hosting a pop-up shop in which Black owned businesses will come to campus to sell their products and/or set up a table to promote their businesses. We are excited to help spotlight local Black owned businesses and support Black excellence. Please keep an eye on our social media pages to catch a glimpse of the businesses that will be represented. You can follow us on Facebook at EWU Africana Studies and on Instagram at EWUAFRICANA.

Feb. 3 (Friday) | Food from the Diaspora – Africa | Monroe 205 | 3 p.m. 

Be prepared to satisfy your tastebuds with authentic cuisine originating from Eastern and Western Africa! Please join Africana Studies for some amazing authentic Ethiopian-Eritrean food such as injera (pancake-like flatbread), Spice chicken stew (door wot), salad, lentil stews (misir wot), kiki wot (split pea stew), and many more dishes. From Nigeria, you will experience seasoned oven baked chicken with jollaf rice and collard greens. Please join us as we recognize and celebrate African heritage with foods from the African Diaspora.

Feb. 4 (Saturday) | Sydney Guillaume | Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox | 7:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                                               

Feb. 5 (Sunday) | Sydney Guillaume | Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox | 3 p.m.

The Africana Studies Program along with the Music Department welcomes Haitian music composer Sydney Guillaume to Spokane in February. Sydney will perform a commissioned piece for the Spokane Symphony and Eastern Washington University at the Fox Theater. The celebrated musician and composer will return in March to talk with EWU students in Dr. Finnie’s and Dr. O’s classes. He will also work with students in Dr. Middleton’s music composition classes, and work with the EWU Choir on the piece he wrote. Sydney will discuss overcoming many challenges as a Black Haitian musician and share his unique life experiences and perspectives. Students will discover the rare existence of a financially commissioned composer who writes music that reflects the creolized influences of his homeland. All events are open to EWU students and faculty.

Feb. 8 (Wednesday) | Dr. Bettina Love: Living a Hip Hop and Abolitionist Life | Showalter Auditorium | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Dr. Love will discuss how Hip-Hop Civics Ed, when linked to the framework of intersectionality and abolitionist teaching, creates a space where Black lives matter and analytic sensibilities are nurtured to engage youth in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion and justice. Her talk will end by calling for us all not only to teach students about racial violence, oppression and how to make sustainable change in their communities through innovative and radical civic curriculum, but also to expose youth to the possibilities that come with envisioning a world built on Black joy, creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Feb. 8 (Wednesday) | Dr. Bettina Love Workshop: Respect the Process: Examining Our Social Justice Perspectives | Hargreaves Reading Room, HAR 201 | 1-3 p.m. 

Open to faculty and staff. Through interactive activities, this workshop will help participants examine their own perspectives of their social justice work and ideas about diversity, privilege and intersectionality. Participants will gain a better understanding of how institutional power that reproduces injustice, social exclusion and oppression, despite our best efforts, is embedded in our social justice work.

Feb. 16 (Thursday) | Divine 9 Panel | PUB NCR | Noon-1:30 p.m. 

There are nine historically Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Those organizations are Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.

Co-hosted by the Black Student Union Club, we are excited to bring the community a D9 Panel in which we will have a few guests from some of the BGLO’s speak and answer questions. Our goal is to bring back the Divine 9 to EWU’s campus. We invite faculty, staff and students to attend this event and see how you can support us on this mission of bringing back Black Greek Letter Organizations to Eastern’s campus.

Feb. 21 (Tuesday) | First Generation Black Student Panel | PUB NCR | Noon-1:30 p.m. 

Please join us in listening to four current EWU students talk about their experience here at Eastern as Black students, and hear their stories on the trials and tribulations that they have gone through and have faced as first-generation students. Students will be asked a set of questions and a Q&A is to follow for the public.

Feb. 22 | (Wednesday) African American Black Experience – The Role of Social Movements in Shaping Black Identity | Patterson Room 110 | 10-10:50 a.m.                     

Feb. 23 | (Thursday) African American Black Experience – The Role of Social Movements in Shaping Black Identity | Patterson Room 110 | 11-11:50 a.m.  

For centuries, social movements have shaped and characterized Black identity and the African American experience. In the 21st century, people of African descent seek social justice and racial equality by establishing community and fostering activism through social media. Angela Schwendiman explores social movements and social media as mechanisms to dismantle systemic racism and redefine Blackness and Black identity as a collective experience.

Feb. 24 | (Friday) First Silent Auction | Monroe 204 | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Africana Studies is excited to host our annual silent auction fundraiser. You will love the auction items we have this year. We have tickets to Seattle Mariners, Spokane Indians and Spokane Chiefs events, museums around the state of Washington, golf course passes, tattoo certificates and so much more to bid on! We want to thank the Cheney, Spokane and EWU communities — as well as other businesses around the state of Washington and Idaho — for donating these items. We greatly appreciate your generosity. All donations will go towards student scholarships, our Lead to Succeed Mentoring Program, and other educational programming for our students.