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Chico State

Poetry Slam, Gospel Choir, Candlelight Vigil Highlight Black History Month Events at CSU, Chico

The Black History Celebration Choir performs during Chico State's Black History Month celebration.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Pedro Douglas (center) directs a free concert by the Black History Celebration Choir in Harlen Adams Theater (PAC 144) on Friday, February 24, 2017 in Chico, Calif. The Black History Celebration Choir made its debut to a standing ovation from an overflow crowd at Trinity Methodist Church earlier this month, during Martin Luther King Day celebrations. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

California State University, Chico will join the national celebration of black culture and achievements during Black History Month, honoring black Americans with a full slate of events through the entire month of February.

The events kick off on Friday, Feb. 1 with Black Trivia Night from 5 to 7 p.m. in Bell Memorial Union (BMU), Room 210. On Monday, Feb. 4, Selvester’s Café-by-the-Creek plays host to a Juke Joint party at 6 p.m., and a Poetry Slam follows that week on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at The Hub.

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion kicks off its spring series of Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion with “Pray it Away: The Black Church and its Role in the Community” from noon to 1 p.m. in BMU, Room 210. The conversation will be led by Pastor Loretta Dickerson-Smith from Bethel AME Church.

The film “The Hate U Give” will also be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at The Hub at 7 p.m. Based on the bestselling book, this film explores the world of a 16-year-old girl that is shattered after she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend.

A signature event of the University’s Black History Month lineup, the Celebration Gospel Choir will perform at a Gospel Concert on Friday, Feb. 15, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC), Room 144 at 3:30 p.m. This community choir regularly performs throughout the North State and will take the stage on the CSU, Chico campus for the third consecutive year in honor of Black History Month.

“We see gospel music as a uniter,” said Celebration Gospel Choir Director Robert Morton, who also works in the University’s equal opportunity and dispute resolution department. “Our choir is very diverse and we think it’s a cool feature of who we are.”

Also on Friday, Feb. 15, Black Comedy Movie Night will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in BMU, Room 203 (film TBD). The third annual Black Ball takes place on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Chico Women’s Club. Single tickets are $20 each and $35 for two tickets, and dinner is included.

Styled after the popular MTV show “Wild ‘n Out,” a Hip-Hop Lip Sync Battle happens on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in PAC, Room 134. And wrapping up the month’s events, the We Matter Candlelight Vigil takes place at 6 p.m. in Trinity Commons.

“The goal for the Candlelight Vigil is to pay respect for the lives lost in the black community due to police brutality,” said Grace Ngwa from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Sponsors of this year’s Black History Month events include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Chico State Black Faculty and Staff Association; The Hub; Black Student Union; and Just Unity Sistas (justUS), an organization for black women on the CSU, Chico campus.

Those who require an accommodation in order to attend any of the Black History Month events or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.