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CSUSM Celebrates Black History Month, Opening of New Black Student Center

By Christine Vaughan

CSUSM celebrates Black History Month with a series of events featuring documentary films, spoken-word, a lively festival and the official grand opening of the university’s new Black Student Center.

The month-long celebration is sponsored in part by CSUSM’s Black Student Union, a cultural student organization that focuses on the voices of marginalized people groups—specifically black students. Together they aim to create a cohesive community where students can achieve academic excellence and resources to further their ability to be effective citizens in their communities.

Officially recognized by the U.S. government in 1976 as an expansion of Negro History Week, which began in 1926 in connection to the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, Black History Month is an annual remembrance of important people and significant achievements made by the African-American community in all aspects of American society.

Schedule of Events

Feb. 7: Black Monologues
7 p.m. | ARTS 111
Members of the Black Student Union will perform a monologue skit and recite poetry featuring acts of historic African-American icons, such as Harriet Tubman and Madam C.J. Walker, who have helped the advancement of black history and culture.

Feb. 13: Film Screening of “13th”
5 to 7:30 p.m. | Kellogg Reading Room 5400
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States in her documentary “13th” that focuses on the nation’s prison population & criminal justice system. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A panel discussion and is sponsored by the ASI Board of Directors in partnership with the Black Student Center.

Feb. 16: Black History Festival
Noon to 1 p.m. | Kellogg Plaza
This event will feature dance performances, music and other campus organizations showcasing African American figures. Free food will be available.

Feb. 14: Meet and Greet
Noon to 2:30 p.m. | USU 4200
The campus community is invited to a welcome reception to meet the founding Associate Director of the Black Student Center, Anthony Jett Sr. Jett holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona, and has six years of experience in higher education. Refreshments will be served.

Feb. 16: The Truth Behind Me Showcase
6 p.m. | USU Amphitheater

Feb. 21: Night of Recognition
7 p.m. | USU Ballroom
Join the Black Student Union in recognizing select faculty, staff and community members for their support to the organization and the advancement of African Americans. Attendance is free but space is limited. Visit the Black Student Center to reserve your seat.

Feb. 22: The Socially Just
6 to 7:30 p.m. | USU Ballroom
CSUSM alumnus, local artist and activist Nomis will perform on stage for a powerful evening of hip-hop and spoken word that entertains and brings awareness to social issues that plague our cultures both locally and globally, with a special emphasis on human trafficking. Reserve tickets at

Feb. 23: Grand Opening of the Black Student Center
10 to 11 a.m. | USU 4200
Join President Haynes and the campus community in celebrating the opening of the new Black Student Center. A short program will begin in the USU Amphitheater at 10 a.m. followed by an official ribbon cutting at the Black Student Center, located on the fourth floor of the USU’s East Pavilion near Jazzman’s Café.