Students aim to raise black history awareness

Heather Trujillo

Multicultural organizations around campus have set up a series of events this month to help spread awareness and educate about the African-American community.

The African-American Students Association, B.L.A.C.K and the Social Justice Leadership Center have been working since the middle of the fall semester planning and arranging events corresponding with Black History Month.

The holiday, which dates back to 1926, was originally Negro History Week. In 1976, the Afro-Americans for the Study of Afro-American Life helped establish the monthlong celebration to honor the members of the black community who had influenced change.

“”Any time we can educate about any type of community, it is important to do so,”” said Jennifer Hoefle, senior coordinator of the Social Justice Leadership Center.

The events are spread out throughout the month and include discussion panels and other interactive events. Topics to be discussed include black stereotypes as well as the social and economic positions of African-Americans over the years and at present.

A block party scheduled for Feb. 29 culminates the series. It will include comedians from the Black Entertainment Television network performing to raise awareness of how diseases such as HIV, AIDS and lupus affect the black community.

“”There are some really great films,”” Hoefle said. “”There are also more social events like the open mic or the block party at the end of the month. It all depends on what you are looking for.””

Most of the events were planned by student organizations, she said.

“”The events are all student-run,”” Hoefle said. “”When students organize the events, usually more students tend to come, so we’re hoping for a good turnout at the events.””

A full list of events can be found at the Social Justice Leadership Web site, www.union.arizona.edu/csil/sjlc/index.php.