Western Illinois University Celebrates Black History Month


MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – Western Illinois University is celebrating Black History Month with a schedule full of events for students. Students have opportunities to learn about African American history, express their feelings and participate in activities throughout the month. 

“I just want this to be a month where people could come together like, ‘Oh, I see you’re struggling. Do you need help?,’” Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center graduate assistant Jalen Carlos said. “Just to be like a resource for students and to also increase student support.” 

The Multicultural Center (MCC) is home to the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center (GBCC), the LGBT*QA Resource Center, the Women’s Center and the Casa Latina Cultural Center. Each of these organizations has collaborated to bring students together to use this time to gain knowledge, heal and speak what is on their mind in a judgment-free environment. 

“We wanted the theme to be more unified that’s why most events are collaborations,” Carlos said. “We want more people to be a part of the Multicultural Center, so we’re just trying to bring more diverse students. For example, we have melodies of musicality by Afro-Latinx artists. So, we’re doing our collab with Casa Latina, and we’re doing a presentation about different Latinx artists just to show people these are black people.” 

This year’s theme for the black history celebration is “Black Resistance.” The celebration started off with a protective hairstyle photoshoot. The purpose of this event was for WIU students to show different African American cultural hairstyles. Participants were required to wear nude colors with the hairstyle of their choice, then followed by an interview about what black history means to them. More planned events are an art gallery, financial literacy workshop, basket raffle, and movie event. 

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