The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) aims to commemorate Black Heritage Month (BHM) with 21 events blended between online and in-person across all three campuses after last year’s events were moved online due to the pandemic.
OMA aims to provide an educational environment for students, staff, faculty, and alumni to educate the USF community about black culture and celebrate the contributions the black community has made to society.
While COVID-19 restrictions aren’t being enforced by the university, OMA deputy principal Nicole Luckett said each event will provide resources such as masks and hand sanitizers for students to use. feel comfortable.
“We really try to make sure we’re doing what we can,” Luckett said. “They make their own choices, but we just want to make sure we’re safe, and we lead by example.”
February 2 marks the start of events with Black Heritage Month kicking off at USF Tampa Bull Market beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m.
OMA will seek to drive engagement for upcoming events and provide visibility to the student associations involved. According to Luckett, students who attend can expect free “swags” such as BHM t-shirts and information stands from student organizations to become more connected with them.
In previous years, BHM has included events that educated students and staff about the intersectionality of USF’s Black community for those who identify as women and members of the LGTBQ community.
OMA intends to expand its representation this year with the Association of Latin American Students, Association of Dominican American Students and Club Kreyol by co-sponsoring events such as the February 3 Afro-Latinx Conversation of 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Marshall Student Center (MSC) amphitheater. to educate attendees about Black and Latino backgrounds and influences.
“We’re taking these African communities and the Latinx communities and influencing or infusing them together to make sure they’re looking at representations of these two heritages together, which is really cool,” Luckett said.
Luckett said students should keep an eye out for White Scripts and Black Superman: Black Masculinities in Comic Books, a film screening and discussion with documentary filmmaker and anthropologist Jonathan Gayles, hosted by OMA. The screening will take place on March 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the MSC Oval Theater.
Gayles earned her Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from USF and won the 2012 Popular Culture/American Culture Association Outstanding Documentary Film for the film.
“We’re going to bring it back to talk about some of the scripts written by white people but featuring black men as Superman and talking about toxic masculinity,” Luckett said.
Luckett also encouraged students to attend the online Enlightenment Workshop Series held on Microsoft Teams on February 8 from noon to 1 p.m.
The series features a panel of educators, including director of the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching Dana Thompson-Dorsey, English professor Geeveryl Robinson, and senior advisor to the president and vice president for diversity and diversity. including Elizabeth Hodge-Freeman to discuss perspectives on racial bias and systemic racism.
“So these are really courageous conversations that are designed to foster an inclusive culture of excellence at the University of South Florida,” she said.
“We have different speakers to really talk about different perspectives on bias, cultural competency, systemic racism and these intersecting identities, or trends that we see facing black communities across America and the African Diaspora.”
OMA’s efforts this year to partner and coordinate with student organizations that reflect the USF experience have been a highlight, according to Luckett.
“The Office of Multicultural Affairs has been really intentional about programming with student organizations because it’s their student experience on campus and we want to be able to support them and do the things they’d like to see,” said she declared.