February is Black History Month, and The University of New Mexico is joining with institutions across the country to honor and celebrate the many contributions African-Americans bring to its campus, and the national and international community.
UNM’s African American Student Services (AASS) kicked off the month-long celebration with a flag raising ceremony, adding the Pan African flag to the U.S. and New Mexico flags flying in front of Scholes Hall. Brandi Stone, interim director of African American Student Services and Special Advisor to the President on African American Affairs, says it’s important to student moral to have time set aside to celebrate our diverse culture.
“Often times at The University when you’re one of 100 in a classroom, you’re looking for a place and a space that represents you,” Stone said. “So, having a month where we can highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of black student leadership and staff and faculty contributions is very unifying.”
Representatives from the President’s office, Student Affairs, ASUNM, Office of Advising Strategies, Men of Color Initiative and numerous student groups attended the ceremony. Student leaders took turns sharing facts about Black History Month and the Pan African flag, and the ceremony concluded with student members of Brothers Leading and Cultivating Knowledge (BLACK) and Powerful Movement of Educated Sisters (PMES) raising the flag.
Stone says the majority of programming on the Black History Month calendar this year is student-led programming, which was an intentional change from past years in order to engage more students across campus.
“It’s really important that we highlight the present accomplishments of our student leaders,” Stone said. “We have representatives out here from academics and leadership involvement and even student athletes. We’re excited to highlight them this month.”
The schedule of events is available on the AASS website.