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Chico State

Chico State’s Grand Finale for Black History Month: Victory in Unity Celebration

A Victory in Unity graphic that lists the purpose and schedule of the event.

In a triumphant conclusion to Black History Month and in collaboration with the MLK Unity Group, the Black Student Union at Chico State invites the community to partake in the annual Victory in Unity Celebration.

This free, family-friendly event commemorating Black History, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and marking the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act takes place on February 25 at the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium on the Chico State campus. 

Minister Charles L. Coleman, second vice president of the NAACP Butte County Branch 1029-B, will deliver the keynote address. The event will offer various engaging activities, including an open mic rally at the Wildcat Plaza, dance and musical performances by local elementary and high schools, and dynamic sorority and fraternity stepping. It concludes with a free dinner for all attendees, catered by the Associated Students of Chico State.

“Often, our students get here and find themselves the only Black individual in a class. Our employees are often the lone Black person in the grocery store. These experiences can lead to a feeling of being overlooked,” said Dominique Soares, an admissions advisor within Chico State’s Educational Opportunity Program and a mentor for the students organizing the event. “Victory in Unity is intended to show our Black students they are important, they are seen, and they matter. At the same time, this is an inclusive event that welcomes families from the entire community to join in the celebration.”

Soares said the event is held in February, rather than on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so students who have returned for the spring semester can attend. She described the event “like a family reunion,” combining the celebration of Black culture with education, inspiration, and entertainment.

“I want the event to create a sense of belonging for our Black students and also be a bridge between Chico State and the greater community,” said Tyrek Edwards, a construction management major and president of the Black Student Union. “It’s not just for Chico State; I want Butte College students, local community members, and even groups from Sacramento to come together to celebrate our language, cuisine, art, and music—all aspects of our culture.”

The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a lively rally at the Wildcat Plaza featuring guest speakers, music, and spoken word poetry. The schedule for the day is as follows:

  • 1–2:30 p.m. – Rally at the Wildcat Plaza
  • 1:30–3 p.m. – Art and Facts in the BMU, Room 2003
  • 3–4:30 p.m. – Program (keynote, stepping, local schools) BMU Auditorium
  • 4:30–6 p.m. – Community Dinner (catered by Associated Students) BMU Auditorium

Groups scheduled to perform include:

  • Black Student Union (Chico State)
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Hue Vision
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Los Tambores de Chapman (Chapman Elementary School)
  • Pleasant Valley High School Choir

Victory in Unity is sponsored by Chico State’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Cross-Cultural Leadership Center; Multicultural and Gender Studies Department; Associated Students (AS); AS Government Affairs; Office of Outreach, Research, and Grants; Student Life & Leadership; College of Communication and Education; Educational Opportunity Program, and Black Faculty and Staff Association.

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

About California State University, Chico 

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest institution in the 23-campus CSU system, the nation’s largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 14,000 students and serves as the comprehensive university of the North State, the 12-county region where the campus is located. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States and recognized for its quality of education, affordability, value, and alumni success. Its mission includes enduring commitments to academic distinction, transformative student experiences, prominent scholarship and innovation, and a culture of excellence and accountability. With strategic priorities of equity, diversity, and inclusion; civic and global engagement; and resilient and sustainable systems, Chico State is working to solve the unprecedented global challenges of the 21st century.