Black People United launches host of new initiatives

February is not only the month of heart-shaped cards and presidents, but also a month to focus on African-American history. To celebrate Black History Month, Washington State University Vancouver and the Black People United club will sponsor a “Did You Know?” campaign until Feb. 29

The “Did You Know?” campaign features a series of posters on display around campus. Onlookers are invited to learn about the origins of February’s observance of black life as well as the contributions of prominent African-Americans to society..

A celebration called “Black History in Action” will open Feb. 11, which is open to the community as well as students, staff, and faculty. The event is sponsored by Black People United, ASWSUV and Student Diversity. BPU hopes to make this event a Black History Month tradition at WSU Vancouver.

The Feb. 11celebration will take place in the Firstenburg Student Commons from 5-7 p.m. According to Jose Scott, president of BPU, there will be two local performers at the event, Mic Mar and Horizun. One of the performers is a singer while the other is a rapper. A local, nonprofit dance group will also perform, said Scott..

Beyond guest artists, “Black History in Action” will also feature a “Jeopardy!” style quiz game that features trivia about Black History Month, as well as opportunities for storytelling. Scott said that free food and beverages will be available at the event. According to Scott,  “PoShines Café De La Sol,” a church-operated nonprofit restaurant that specializes in Cajun cuisine, will serve “traditionally Black and African-American food.”

As a new club on campus, BPU says their goals are to encourage and empower African American students, staff and faculty members. One way they work to accomplish this is by hosting events that focus on the African-American community. Meeting times are available on CougSync.

Though this year’s Black History Month will feature both  the “Black History in Action” event and the “Did You Know?” campaign, Scott said that the BPU wanted to do so much more to celebrate Black History Month.

“When we began planning for this event we had a list of ten different things we could do,” Scott said. “One thing we wanted to do was have an event every week and to have games and documentary showings. We wanted to do all of that, but for now we’re a new club and we’re just trying to gain some momentum. We currently don’t have the resources to make that all happen, but we would love to make it happen.”

Questions about any of the Black History Month events or those interest joining Black People United can contact Jose Scott by email at jose.scott@wsu.edu.

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