The Oakland University community will pay tribute to diversity with the 2013 African American Celebration Month: My Family, My Community, Ujima. This year’s theme will spotlight black history and cultural achievements with a series of events kicked off with the 21st annual Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards on Monday, Jan. 21.
Featuring a keynote address from marketing mogul Daymond John – joined by special guest speaker Gov. Rick Snyder – the ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Following the event, a special kick-off party with food, African dancing and singing performances will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the Oakland Center Pioneer Food Court.
The celebration offers many opportunities to reflect on the historic achievements of African Americans, according to Omar Brown-El, director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives.
“The month provides a look into the artistic, economic and cultural impact that African Americans have made on modern society.” Brown-El said. “Each year, we come together as a community to recognize and celebrate those contributions.”
The Butterfly Effect: Lupus in Our Community will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, in Oakland Center Banquet Room A. Sponsored by the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, this event will shed light on a disease that affects about 1.5 million Americans, with women representing almost 90 percent of those diagnosed.
The headline event – My family, My Community, Ujima – will examine Michigan's progress in the realm of social justice. Sponsored by Kresge Library, this panel discussion will be held from noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, on the library's fourth floor.
Saturday, Feb. 2, will feature a trip to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Buses will depart from OU at 9:30 a.m. and return at approximately 5 p.m. This event is for OU students only and each student is allowed to bring one guest. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the CSA Service Window, located on the lower level of the Oakland Center.
A screening of the movie “Red Tails” will take place from 8-10 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Oakland Center Gold Rooms B and C. The 2012 release – starring actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard – is a fictionalized account of the Tuskegee Airmen, the pioneering group of African American military aviators who fought during World War II.
The signature Taste of Africa Gala will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. A full evening of entertainment is planned as attendees are invited to sample a diverse selection of culinary creations and enjoy the sights and sounds of African music, dance and spoken word performances.
For a complete listing of events, view the website at oakland.edu/aacm
The 2013 African American Celebration Month at Oakland University is supported by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, African Student Association, College of Arts and Sciences, Fashion House of Oakland Univiersity, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Gender and Sexuality Center, Kresge Library, School of Business Administration, School of Nursing, Black Nurses Association and Student Program Board.
For more information about African American Celebration Month at OU, call (248) 370-4404. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.