Celebrate Black History Month with MSA

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and learn about black culture. Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) has organized a wide variety of fun events to encourage students to celebrate blackness and the whole self throughout the coming month.

Harambee, an annual Northwestern tradition, will kick off the month with a mixture of performances, music, and food. “Harambee” is a Swahili term meaning “all pull together,” an appropriate name for an event that celebrates the full diaspora of African culture by bringing together students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Sponsored by MSA and For Members Only (FMO), the black student alliance on campus, Harambee will be held on January 25 from 6:00-8:30 PM in the Louis Room of Norris. All members of the campus community are encouraged to attend this free event.

A week later, on Friday, February 1, students and staff are invited to come to the Black House from 5:30 to 7:30 PM for Community Night: Sip and Paint Edition. Participants will create a guided painting while enjoying non-alcoholic beverages. All necessary materials will be provided, in addition to pizza. Then on Sunday, February 3 from 1-3 PM, the Association of Black Leaders will host the Black Organization Showcase, a program highlighting Northwestern organizations serving the black student population. The showcase will take place in the Black House, and students interested in becoming more involved with these organizations are encouraged to attend.

After a couple years of running a catering business, local chef Kristen Harper is opening up Cleo’s Southern Cuisine in Chicago, but on February 18 from 5:30-7:30 PM, she’ll be serving Northwestern students from inside Sheil Catholic Center. While cooking classic soul foods, Harper will share her family story of how food affected her life.

This year, MSA has also included a number of programs promoting wellness among black students.  

  • Monday, February 4 from 2-4 PM, there will be a panel discussing mental health held in the Armadillo room of Norris.

  • Thursday, February 7, take care of your physical health by enjoying a free Afro-fusion zumba class in the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion at 6:45 PM and receive free HIV testing in the Black House from 11AM- 3PM.  

  • Monday, February 25 from 7:00-8:30 PM, learn about financial wellness by attending “Wealth is Health,” a workshop on financial literacy held in the Black House.  

February may be the shortest month of the year, but with so many interesting events, you won’t even notice until it’s already over.