LMC takes on Black History Month

In a collaboration between the Office of Student Life, the Umoja Scholars Program, B.O.E.P., the Men Empowerpment Network (M.E.N.) and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Los Medanos College will be hosting a variety of events for Black History Month beginning Feb. 1 and ending March 7.

The library will be paying tribute to African American Veterans in their display case entitled “African Americans in Times of War.” The library invites students to participate by bringing photos of their African American relatives that fit the theme.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the MLK-Cesar Chavez Spring Food Pantry Drive sponsored by the Interclub Council. The drive will begin on February 5 to March 23, giving students plenty of time to make a donation.

LMC also made big moves by renting out Maya Cinemas for an early showing of the upcoming Marvel film, “Black Panther,” Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. The showing will be free to all LMC students, faculty and staff. To reserve a seat go to https://goo.gl/VZZPCz.

Umoja will be hosting a “Read In,” highlighting African-American authors at Foothill Elementary Feb. 15, 20 and 22.

Toward the end of the month, B.O.E.P and the M.E.N. program will be having a leadership workshop aimed toward empowering men of color. The workshop entitled “Skills that Tie into Success” will be on February 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in room L109.

And finally, Umoja will bring the events to a close with a Sisterhood Circle March 7 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in room L109.

Though many of the events take place in February, the ones that leak over into March emphasize that black history and ethnic history are subjects that cannot be contained within a single month.

Student Life Director Theresa Archaga said that big collaborations like these help to achieve that goal and “spread it throughout the year. Not just for African-Americans, but for other students, too.”

In the previous fall semester, Archaga helped put together events for the LatinX community, which only further reinforced her idea that ethnic history and culture are subjects that people should engage with all the time. In doing so, Archaga said, faculty and staff can “bring more of the world” to students who might not otherwise seek it out.

Brothers of Excellence Director Steven Freeman and M.E.N. Coordinator Marques McCoy also want to bring the idea of continuous growth to men of color on campus.

Speaking about their workshop “Skills that Tie into Success,” Freeman and McCoy emphasize the importance of critical thinking and the conscious effort it takes to grow into capable and confident men.

Laughing, Freeman said, “Men in general struggle with constructive criticism” but it’s a particular problem for men of color who are often “missing goals by not critically thinking.”

Critical thinking, according to Freeman and McCoy, entails taking the time to listen to critical advice and appropriately preparing oneself to succeed — something they go over in both of their programs for men of color and in their upcoming workshop.

The events in honor of Black History Month at LMC will be events of understanding, growth, and celebration. For more information about the events, keep an eye out for posters on campus, information on the LMC website, or contact any of the collaborators.