Across the Bay Area, the black community is paying homage to the great black scholars, writers, inventors and artists that make up the great contributions to black history and Mills is no exception. Students, faculty and staff have coordinated a series of events in celebration of Black History month organizing the most impressive celebration in years.
Although Mills has come a long way to go in terms of promoting diversity on campus, by having such an array of organized activities to promote Black History month, proves that women of color are definitely becoming more involved on campus and pulling resources to promote cultural awareness.
In typical Mills tradition, many events focused on fostering an exchange of ideas through discussion.
To kick off the month, the Black Women’s Collective screened five films, which highlighted black community issues nationally as well as globally. When the films ended, a brief discussion was held to reflect upon the films’ major themes.
Another event featured a panel with professors Deborah Berman-Santana and Andy Workman, and dean of admissions, Avis Hinkson, to discuss the complex issue of affirmative action. Events like these ensure a marketplace of ideas where we can increase our knowledge and further help bring the Mills community from the periphery of black culture. For example, professor Ajuan Mance will be hosting a discussion on Michael Datcher’s novel, “Raising Fences.” Where professors at other colleges only care about their research, our professors care about their students and are obviously involved with events on campus.
Last week, playwright and actress Hanifah Walidah performed an outstanding one-woman show at the student union that addressed the complicated tensions of homosexuality in the black community. At the end the month Mills will welcome the highly celebrated members of the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to discuss their commitment to African-American cultural expression.
Mills’ commitment to ensure diversity and cultural expression is undoubtedly evident in the events for Black History month. To stand behind our collective effort to promote and increase diversity we should continue to support students’, faculty and staffs’ dedication to showcasing cultural awareness.