By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant
The Oakland University community will present African American Celebration Month (AACM) 2011: Roots, Achievements and Projections with a series of events highlighting the importance of diversity and raising awareness of black history and culture.
“This year’s theme of Roots, Achievements and Projections aims to provide a well-rounded explanation of where we came from, where we are and where we are headed as a people,” said AACM co-chair Robin White.
Festivities kick off with the annual Keeper of the Dream Ceremony, which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Following this event, the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI) will present opening ceremonies from 1-3 p.m. in the Oakland Center’s Pioneer Food Court, featuring free giveaways and live entertainment.
The Association of Black Students will present “Why Are You Acting Black?” from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, in Oakland Center Gold Room A. This event features a video and discussion addressing central questions of what it means to be black.
Motivational speaker Johnnie Tuitel will visit campus to present “Thrown Off a Plane,” from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24, in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge. The event is sponsored by OU’s Students Toward Understanding Disabilities (STUD) and will focus on Tuitel’s experience of being removed from an airline flight on account of his disability.
Additionally, the Beautifully Black Fashion Show will take place from 7-10 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms. This event will showcase black fashion trends portrayed by OU student models. The event is sponsored by OU’s Intrigue dance team.
The “Tunnel of Oppression” is among the signature events of this year’s celebration, according to AACM co-chair Rodrina Moore. “We would like to give participants the opportunity to see, touch, hear and feel the realities of oppression as a stepping stone to creating diversity awareness,” Moore explained. “There will be acting, video clips and writings on the walls, and different stations will be set up depicting the struggles of various minority groups throughout history.”
Topics to be covered are racism, body image, education, immigration and more. Sponsored by RED COW (Revive, Experience and Dream. Change Our World), the event will take place from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms.
A “Taste of Africa” event will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Sponsored by CMI and the Student Program Board, this event invites participants to sample a wide array of African American-style cuisine.
Another RED COW-sponsored event is the 70’s Party where students are invited to come dressed in their favorite 70’s apparel, from bell-bottoms, to tie-dye clothing to afros. The party will be held from 5-7 p.m. in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms.
“We’ve collaborated with Athletics to make it a tailgate party to the basketball game,” Moore said, adding that a prize will be awarded for best-dressed. After the party, the men’s basketball team will take on North Dakota State University at 7 p.m. in the O’rena.
This month-long series of activities and events is also sponsored by the Office of the President, Academic Affairs, the School of Education and Human Services, Student Affairs, the Integrative Studies program, Kresge Library and the School of Nursing.
For more information about African American Celebration Month at OU, call (248) 370-4404. All events are free and open to the public. For a complete listing of AACM 2011 events and activities, view the website