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Chico State

Chico State Hosts Events Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Black History Month

A graphic design with a traditional African flag, a raised fist and the words, "Young, Black, and Gifted," celebrating Black History Month 2023"
Image by Rose Duncan

Chico State is collaborating with the City of Chico for the community’s 42nd annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The festivities will take place on Sunday, February 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. inside Chico State’s Bell Memorial Union (BMU) Auditorium at 400 West 1st Street. The scheduled events will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King and kick off Black History Month.

Chico’s MLK Unity Group has partnered with Chico State Black Student Union and others to present the program. Refreshments will be provided at this free family event, which is titled, “Victory in Unity.”

In 1965, Dr. King said, “We must all learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], or we will all perish together as fools.” Lead Program Coordinator Romulo Howard said that despite divisions, Americans are urged to continue to find common ground and come together.

“As divisions in our nation and communities widen, Dr. King reminds us to unite as brothers and sisters regardless of our backgrounds,” Howard said. “We experience victory when we come together to heal from the trauma caused to our planet, ourselves and one another—we are resilient and we are forever hopeful.”

The February 5 program, which is sponsored by the Educational Opportunity Program, will begin at 1 p.m. with speakers, spoken word, drumming and music. The program moves into the BMU at 2 p.m. with a Mechoopda land acknowledgement followed by a labor acknowledgement to recognize Africans who were forced into slavery.

After some high-energy sorority and fraternity step-dancing, moving music, uplifting spoken word and participation by local elementary and junior high schools, the day concludes with keynote speaker and emeritus chairman of the Black Voice Foundation, Dr. Hardy Brown.

“Hardy Brown will make a connection between the abolitionist who assisted slaves to gain freedom and how it opened the doors to higher education for Black people,” said Black Student Union Club President Saly Boury. “Along with his presentation, he will bring artifacts ranging from slavery to the Civil War era.”

The theme for Chico State’s Black History Month events is “Young, Black, and Gifted,” which will continue on and off the Chico State campus, including:

  • February 9, Black Men’s Student Social at MLIB 172 (the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center office) from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • February 15, Black Family Game Night at MLIB 172 from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • February 16, Aux Talks in Trinity Commons from 2 to 3 p.m.
  • February 17, African American/Black Unity Brunch at the Albert E. Warren Center from noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • February 18, Black Skate Night at Cal Skate from 9 to 11 p.m.
  • February 23, Young, Black, and Gifted Block Party on Glenn Lawn from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • February 28, Black Dinner and a Story at MLIB 172 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Additionally, submissions for a Black History Month BMU Art Gallery Show, reflecting and celebrating the Black experience, are currently being accepted—deadline is February 6.

This month’s events are presented by Chico State’s Black Student Union in partnership with MLK Unity Group, and are sponsored by Chico State’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Cross-Cultural Leadership Center; the Student Organization Event Allocation Fund; Associated Students (AS); and AS Government Affairs; Black Source; Bethel AME Church; and Chico State’s Black Faculty and Staff Association.

Those who require accommodation for these events or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.