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Black History month banner-red, yellow and green text on a black background stating-BLACK HISTORY MONTH February 2023 with a white Metropolitan Community College emblem

Black History Month

Black History Month Kick-off: “Deepening Your Creative Practice” Through the Works of August Wilson 
In collaboration with the Omaha Community Playhouse

§ Chopped: The Playwright’s Edition, Kim Louise, Facilitator
During this generative workshop, we will explore new ways to create plays by delving into mash ups with other literary and writing forms. We will write without boundaries and invent, for ourselves, unique recipes for constructing drama. Building on the premise that genre informs genre, our goal is not to eliminate but to elevate our writing by introducing a new practice or strengthening a current one.
§ Call & Response: August Wilson Workshop, Khalid Long, PhD, Facilitator
Taking their cue from Wilson and his four Bs, workshop attendees will creatively “respond” to an “artistic call.” In other words, they will explore the potential of various sources to inspire their creative imaginings. Using a piece of visual art or music as their inspiration, workshop attendees will produce a creative writing project in a timed session (the beginnings of a creative essay, a ten-minute play, a song, a short story, or a collection of poems, etc.). They will be responsible for briefly explaining the project to the group. This exercise aims to get workshop attendees to think deeply through practice about their artistic inspirations and callings.
§ The August Wilson Artists’ Corner, Wali Jamal, Facilitator
Wali Jamal, from Pittsburgh, PA is the only actor in the world to have appeared in all 11 of August Wilson’s works, the 10-play Century Cycle and the autobiographical show How I Learned What I Learned. Join Mr. Jamal for a compelling workshop to celebrate the work of August Wilson and to strengthen your skills as an actor, storyteller, and collaborator. Wali will share personal stories of his time working with August Wilson and dive into the dynamic pathways and strategies used to bring Wilson’s words to life. This workshop will leave the participants inspired and motivated to share their stories with the world.
DATE: Saturday, January 21, 2023
TIME: 11:30 a.m. Lunch & Registration Check-in
WHERE: Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus, Building 22, Conference Center
Register for Deepening your Creative Practice


Jasmine Brown, Author, Rhodes Scholar, and medical student

Black women physicians’ stories have gone untold for far too long, leaving gaping holes in American medical history, in women’s history, and in black history. It’s time to set the record straight.
No real account of black women physicians in the US exists, and what little mention is made of these women in existing histories is often insubstantial or altogether incorrect. In this work of extensive research, Jasmine Brown offers a rich new perspective, penning the long-erased stories of nine pioneering black women physicians beginning in 1860, when a black woman first entered medical school. Brown champions these black women physicians, including the stories of: Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who graduated from medical school only fourteen months after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and provided medical care for the newly freed slaves who had been neglected and exploited by the medical system; Dr. Edith Irby Jones, the first African American to attend a previously white-only medical school in the Jim Crow South, where she was not allowed to eat lunch with her classmates or use the women’s bathroom; Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who, after meeting Dr. Irby Jones, changed her career ambitions from becoming a Dillard’s salesclerk to becoming a doctor. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Elders as the US surgeon general, making her the first African American and second woman to hold this position.

DATE: Wednesday, February 1
TIME: 10:30-11:30 a.m. CST
Register here for Twice as Hard

VIRTUAL Chamber Music PERFORMANCE: Ain’t I a Woman!

The Core Ensemble

Celebrate the lives and times of 4 significant African American women: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, renown novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter and fervent civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. Text is by Kim Hines. The musical score is drawn from heartfelt spirituals of the Deep South, the urban exuberance of the Jazz Age and the concert music by African American composers including Diane Monroe.
DATE: Tuesday, February 7
TIME: 10:30-11:50 a.m.CST
Register here for Chamber Music

HYBRID LECTURE---The Importance of Black History Month

Dr. Karlos K. Hill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of African American Studies, University of Oklahoma

Historically, mainstream American history excluded black Americans’ contributions to U.S. society and typically demeaned black Americans as racial inferior. Only since the civil rights movement have African Americans and other racial minorities gained much deserved recognition. Black History Month remains an important American institution (regardless of the criticisms that have been launched against it) because it attempts to repair the accumulated damage that racism and historical amnesia have wreaked on American culture and society. In this presentation, Dr. Hill argues that Black History Month has become a comforting ritual for congratulating ourselves on how far we as a nation have come rather than critical assessing the work that remains to be done.
DATE: Wednesday, February 8
TIME: 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST
Audience members attending in-person do not need to register.

In-person: Fort Omaha Campus Bldg. 22, Swanson Conference Center, Room 201A
Audience members attending virturally through Zoom register here for The Importance of Black History Month

HYBRID LECTURE---Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Black History

Dr. Roderick Smothers, President, Philander Smith College

Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., was named 14th president of Philander Smith College on October 1, 2014, and began his tenure in January 2015. A dynamic scholar, transformative leader and forward-thinking visionary, Smothers is committed to building upon the institution’s strong and historic legacy, while advancing its mission to new levels of excellence. His focus is on strengthening academic programs, enhancing the college’s local and national presence, growing enrollment, increasing donor giving, and better equipping graduates with the qualifications, skills and resources that will allow them to compete in the globalized 21st century marketplace.
A native of Vidalia, LA, Smothers earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in public administration (with a concentration in higher education administration), and a doctoral degree in educational leadership, research, and counseling, all from LSU. He also holds certification in fundraising management from The Fund-Raising School at the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Initiative. Additionally, he has served as a U.S. Air Force reservist with active duty time spent during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
DATE: Monday, February 13
TIME: 6:00-7:15 p.m. CST
Audience members attending in-person do not need to register.
In-person: Fort Omaha Campus Bldg. 22, Swanson Conference Center, Room 201AB
Audience members attending virturally through Zoom register here for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Black History

VIRTUAL VIDEO & DISCUSSION: Finding the Gold Within  

Discussion led by: Kevin Reese, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Georgia Southern University

Finding the Gold Within follows six Black men from Akron, Ohio, through their first years of college. Despite their high levels of confidence and critical thinking, the stark reality of being away from their families and communities brings a series of crises. A sister dies in a car accident; a home gets broken into, a brush with the law, racial jokes and provocations never seem to end.
Each young man is tested. Can he keep his eyes on the prize? Can he stay true to himself? Be it poetry, football, music, basketball, theatre, psychology, law, or international relations their dreams and goals change. Each of them is determined to disprove society’s stereotypes and low expectations. Many will have to overcome the fate of their missing fathers, some that of their scheming uncles or drug-dealing cousins.
DATE: Thursday, February 16
TIME: 2-3:50 p.m. CST
Register here for Finding the Gold Within

Participation for all programs is free and open to the public.
Contact Intercultural Education or 531-622-2253 for more information.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  Audience members requiring accommodations due to a disability must contact Barbara Velazquez,, 531-622-2253 at least two weeks prior to the program.

Additional International/Intercultural Education virtual programming can be found on YouTube.