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Black Student Center to Turn 5 During Black Excellence Month

Black Excellence MonthIn the United States, February is Black History Month. 

At Cal State San Marcos, it’s Black Excellence Month.  

For John W. Rawlins III, director of the Black Student Center, the difference is more than semantics. It signifies that Black history should be recognized all year long, while February is reserved for a celebration of Black excellence and achievements.  

And this year represents an important occasion for celebration, as the Black Student Center marks the fifth anniversary of its opening in 2017.  

The theme of this Black Excellence Month is “We Are Here: The Power of Voice and Visibility.” 

Here are some ways in which CSUSM and the Black Student Center will celebrate the month. 


Black Excellence Month Virtual Opening Ceremony 

Feb. 1, noon, Zoom event

Our celebration begins with words of welcome and reflections from members of the campus community. Zoom link here


Civic Documentary Watch Party: ‘Good Trouble’ 

Feb. 8, 5 p.m., USU Amphitheater   

Engage in good trouble through civic action! Watch the movie “John Lewis: Good Trouble” with the CSUSM community. Create your own civic action swag and learn how to take action on and off campus by connecting with student and local civic organizations. This dynamic event is open to all and is meant to inspire civic action. Join us for an evening of live music, performances, a short movie and a call for civic action leading up to César Chávez Day of Service. Learn more about the event and RSVP here


Black Excellence Resource Fair 

Feb. 10, noon, USU Arcade

The Black Excellence Resource Fair is a formal introduction of the many resources and initiatives available to the Black student community. It will allow students, faculty and staff to network and establish connections with the Black clubs, organizations and initiatives at CSUSM.   


Lead Like Beyoncé 

Feb. 15, noon, Zoom event   

Learn to lead with passion like Beyoncé as you channel your inner diva and learn skills to become an effective leader. Join the Black Student Center and Tukwut Leadership Circle to explore various leadership styles, characteristics and traits, and create your own leadership philosophy inspired by the Queen Bey herself! Zoom link here


BSU Black Hair Show 

Feb. 15, 6 p.m., USU Ballroom

The Black Hair Show is a perfect opportunity for stylists to come out and educate other members of the Black community on techniques of creating hair styles for various Black hair types. Stylists will provide different hair product suggestions that the audience can use on natural or protective hair styles. This event is a great way to promote Black excellence and a reminder that all Black hair is exceptional and beautiful in its own way. 


Discussion on Blackfishing  

Feb. 16, 1 p.m., Black Student Center (also virtual) 

We love to celebrate our own beauty. Some people are comfortable in their own skin while others may choose to alter their appearance with makeup and plastic surgery. But when our appearance resembles too much of someone else, where do we draw the line? How do we contribute to cultural appropriation? Join the BSC and Gender Equity Center in a discussion about blackfishing in pop culture and learn about its unfortunate roots in the history of blackface. Black is beautiful. Help us uplift the beauty and culture of Black men and women in an effort to discourage the prevalence of blackfishing. Zoom link here.  


In My Own Words: What My Black Excellence Looks Like 

Feb. 17, noon, Black Student Center   

Join us for a discussion about the diverse ways we all celebrate Black Excellence Month. This event will be a panel in which Black-identifying individuals with diverse backgrounds and other intersecting identities talk about how they celebrate and the significance of Black Excellence Month to them.  


Circle of Sisters and Brotherhood Alliance Collaboration  

Feb. 24, noon, Black Student Center

Join the Circle of Sisters and Brotherhood Alliance groups in a healthy conversation on Black love and how these groups show up for and support one another.  


BSC Fifth Anniversary Celebration/Symposium 

Feb. 26, 10 a.m., USU Ballroom

The BSC is turning 5! Join us as we celebrate with the CSUSM community and experience the unveiling of the much-anticipated Black Student Center Oral History Project.  

Media Contact

Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist

bhiro@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7306