SRU marking milestones with Black History Month events


Black History Month graphic

Slippery Rock University is hosting several events to observe Black History Month in February.

Jan. 25, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University will reflect on the milestones achieved by Black Americans as it observes and celebrates Black History Month. Coordinated by SRU's Office for Inclusive Excellence, SRU's Black History Month events, Feb. 1-28, will be presented with the theme "Milestones: Walking Through Black History."

"Black History Month is a great opportunity for the entire campus to focus on the milestones and achievements made by Black Americans," said Keshia Booker, assistant director of multicultural development in SRU's OIE. "There's always more progress to be made, which is why it is a milestone and not a finish line, but it's important that we take time to recognize the issues surrounding the Black community and celebrate our heritage, because Black heritage is part of American heritage."

There will be more than 20 in-person and virtual events throughout February, a month that has been observed as Black History Month in the United States since the 1970s.

SRU's Black History Month events include:

  • History Beyond the Classroom, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 1, Smith Student Center Ballroom, sponsored by the OIE. A poster presentation where attendees can learn about specific events that impacted African Americans as well as contributions African Americans have made throughout history.
  • The Legend Behind the Plate: A Negro League Insider, 6 p.m., Feb. 3, SSC Theater, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Athletics Department, and the President's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. A presentation about Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson. 
  • African American Heritage Day, 1 p.m., Feb. 5, Morrow Field House, sponsored by the Athletics Department and the OIE. A celebration of African American heritage with music, trivia and prizes.   
  • Reaching the Next Milestone, 6 p.m., Feb. 7, via Zoom, sponsored by the Black Alumni Network. An online discussion about networking and building a professional community of advisers. Register on the Alumni Association website.  
  • Success Coaches in the Suite, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 8, SSC Room 234, sponsored by SRU Student Success Coaches. Students are invited to talk about their goals and plans for the spring semester with one of SRU's student success coaches.  
  • Sister Circle, 5 p.m., Feb. 8, SSC Room 322, sponsored by the Women's Center and Multicultural Development. An open discussion about empowered women of color.   
  • Movie: "BlacKkKlansman," 6 p.m., Feb. 10, Spotts World Culture Building, Room 111, sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta. A viewing of the 2018 film directed by Spike Lee based on a memoir of Ron Stallworth, a Black detective who in the 1970s infiltrated and exposed a Ku Klux Klan chapter.    
  • Ebony Ball, 6 p.m., Feb. 11, SSC Ballroom, sponsored by the Black Action Society. The BAS's annual dinner and awards ceremony which includes dancing and live music. RSVP through CORE.    
  • Meet and Mingle with BFSA, 5 p.m., Feb. 15, SSC Ballroom B and C, sponsored by the Black Faculty Staff Association.       
  • Battle of the Aux, 7 p.m., Feb. 17, SSC Theater, sponsored by BAS. An evening of music and competition.    
  • Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Christopher Jackson, 6 p.m., Feb. 20, Miller Theater at the Performing Arts Center, sponsored by the Black History Month Speaker Series Committee. Jackson is an actor, songwriter and composer who played the original George Washington in the Tony and Grammy award-winning Broadway musical "Hamilton."    
  • The Value of the Dollar, 5 p.m., Feb. 22, Eisenberg Classroom Building Room 111, sponsored by Diversity Dialogues Team and the School of Business. A moderated discussion with SRU faculty about the value of money in communities of color.   
  • What is Toxic? Part 2, 6:30 p.m., Feb. 22, Smith Student Center, Room 323, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. and Queens Org. A discussion about the word "toxic" in various contexts and what is acceptable and what shouldn't be tolerated.  
  • Frederick Douglass Institute Speaker Series presents Judge Nicola Henry-Taylor, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23, via Zoom. Henry-Taylor, a 1993 SRU graduate with a degree in history, was recently elected judge for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Call 724.738.4509 or email to register.
  • My Greek Experience as a Person of Color, 6 p.m., Feb. 24, SSC Ballroom, sponsored by Fraternity and Sorority Life and the OIE. Testimonials from SRU students who are part of Greek organizations.   
  • Mikael Owunna and Margues Redd in "Obi Mbu (The Primordial House): An Ibo Creation Myth," 7 p.m., Feb. 25, Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, sponsored by the FDI. A viewing of the experimental film in which Ursula Payne, SRU professor of dance, served as movement director. For transportation information, contact Payne at 724.738.4509 and   
  • Cultural Immersion Trip to Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 25-27, hosted by BAS.
  • No Judgment Zone, Feb. 28, via WSRU-TV YouTube Channel and SRU's FDI Facebook page, sponsored by FDI and the Strategic Communication and Media Department. Talk show series that features SRU students talking about their experiences about DEI on campus.

Students are also encouraged to apply for the SRU FDI Research Award and the Dr. Thomas Gaither Award for Excellence and Leadership. Both provide funding to SRU students engaged in civil-rights activism. The deadlines are 4:30 p.m., Feb. 28. Contact Payne at for more information.

For more information about any of the Black History Month events, contact the OIE at 724.738.2700 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854  |