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2018 African American History Month

African Americans in Times of War
Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand”- Colin Powell

Friday Feb. 2

7 p.m.
Gaige Auditorium
Feature Film: “Do the Right Thing”

This Spike Lee film looks at life in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn on a hot summer Sunday. What begins as a simple customer complaint eventually disintegrates into violence as heat and frustration seemingly bring out the worst in everyone. Food and drinks provided.

Sponsored by Student Activities and Harambee

Sunday, Feb. 4

1:30 - 4 p.m.
Providence Public Library 225 Washington St.
23rd Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading

The powerful works of Langston Hughes are read aloud by members of the community. This event also features the Daniel Ian Smith Jazz Trio.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

2 p.m.
Gaige Hall Auditorium, Room 100

Feature Film: “Do the Right Thing” (2nd screening)

Sponsored by Student Activities and Harambee

Monday, Feb. 5 

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom

Blood Drive

Roll up your sleeve and save a life! This blood drive commemorates Dr. Charles Drew, the African American inventor of the modern blood-banking process. Dr. Drew attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, received his first doctorate in medicine in 1933, taught surgery at Howard University Medical School and became the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medical Science degree from Columbia University.

Sponsored by the Unity Center

6 - 9 p.m.
Student Union 307
The Beauty in Me

This event will educate students at Rhode Island College about African American hair, its impact on American culture, and finding beauty and worth within ourselves.

Sponsored by Harambee​

Tuesday, Feb. 6

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom

Blood Drive
Second Day

The Rhode Island Blood Center is the only source of blood products for Rhode Island’s hospitals and relies solely on volunteer donations. Roll up your sleeve and save a life!

Sponsored by the Unity Center

6 - 9 p.m.
Gaige 200
Meet Your Talent

This panel discussion is hosted by Harambee and features representatives from local businesses who will explore the dynamics of partnerships, corporations, and nonprofit enterprises. This event encourages and allows students to network and expand their knowledge of the business sector. Students will be able to ask the panelists questions about their experiences owning and operating a business. This event is geared toward students with a passion for entrepreneurship.

Sponsored by Harambee

Wednesday, Feb. 7

6 - 9 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom

Boys to Men

This event focuses on the college experiences of first generation male students underrepresented in higher education. The discussion will be facilitated in conjunction with the URI student organization, Brothers of a New Direction (BOND) and will explore pressing topics including maintaining healthy relationships, mentorship, time management, and other guidelines to a successful college career. The event will provide young men with a safe space for open dialogue.

Sponsored by Harambee

Thursday, Feb. 8

6 - 9 p.m.
Gaige 200

A Different World

This open discussion will provide students with information about migration, ethnocentrism, and intersectionality. Speakers include Marco McWilliams Brown University Swearer Center and founder of the Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) Black Studies Program, Abraham Henderson, Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-violence and Dean of Students at the Paul Cuffee Charter School, and Elizabeth Pfeiffer, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies advisory board member. Light refreshment will be served.​

Sponsored by Harambee

Saturday, Feb. 10

7:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Alger Hall 110

NEXT STEPS: A Place-Based Approach to Teaching Black History in Rhode Island Classrooms

This symposium, explores Rhode Island’s African American History with prominent members of the local community through discussion of resources and strategies to a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to teaching the history of African Americans in Rhode Island. As a follow up to the 2016 “First Steps” conference, this seminar features two keynote speakers:

  • Nancy Bercaw, former curator of the Slavery and Freedom Exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture and current chair of the National American History Museum’s Political History Division.
  • Patricia Edwards, professor of language and literacy at Michigan State University, who will speak on her book “Change is Gonna Come.”

This program is supported by a legislative grant from the Rhode Island House of Representatives and is open to the public.
General admission $15
RIC students with an ID $5
Registration is required online at:​

Sponsored by the Delta Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators (DKG) Epsilon Chapter, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development and the Rhode Island Historical Society

Monday, Feb. 12

6:30 p.m.
Gaige Hall Auditorium, Room 100

Ilyasah Shabazz
Black History Month Featured Speaker

The accomplished activist and daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz speaks about the powerful legacy of her father and shares the wisdom, courage and compassion she learned from her mother. Ilyasah Shabazz is the author of “X: A Novel,” which won a 2016 NAACP Image Award, and the 2003 coming of age memoir, “Growing Up X.” A book giveaway and signing is included - limited quantities.

Sponsored by Harambee and the Division for Student Success

Wednesday, Feb. 14

11:30 ​a.m. - 2 p.m.
Alger Hall 110

Feature Film: “Mudbound”

In this 2017 Netflix original, two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war. This film is nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Mary J. Blige) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Food and beverage will be provided and discussion about the film will follow the screening.

Sponsored by the Unity Center

12:30 - 2 p.m.
Gaige Hall 005

Film: “13th”

In this film, acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. Issues revolving around the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution are explored through the perspectives and expertise of “The New Jim Crow” author Michelle Alexander, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and others.

Sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Program

Monday, Feb. 19

6:30 - 9 p.m.
Student Union Café
Black History Month Trivia Game

Contestants, randomly selected from the audience, must be Rhode Island College students. All contestants receive a Black History Month hoodie. Cash prizes include: first $100, second $50 and third $25. Familiarity with African American History Month programming could mean a better chance of winning!

Sponsored by the Unity Center and Student Activities

Monday, Feb. 26

Hoodie Day​

On February 26, 2012 an unarmed, seventeen year old, Trayvon Martin, was killed by George Zimmerman while walking home in the gated community where his father lived. He wore a hooded sweatshirt. Rather than blame his assailant, many vilified his clothing.  Today, the hoodie is symbolic of racial injustice and worn in communities around the nation to remember the life of Trayvon Martin and the injustice surrounding his death.

​Stop by the Student Union Lobby to learn more about Trayvon Martin’s legacy. 

Sponsored by Unity Center and Student Activities​​​​​​​​​

Wednesday, Feb. 28

12:30 - 2 p.m.
Gaige Hall 005
Black Power Mix Tape 1967 - 1975

This documentary is based on16mm footage shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US attracted by stories of unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement, the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews.

Sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Program​​

Page last updated: February 14, 2018