To mark Black History Month in February, the African American Student Services at The University of New Mexico has slated a series of events.

Tuesday, Feb. 1 ̶ Pan African Flag Raising Ceremony–AASS will celebrate the first day of Black History Month with the traditional flag raising ceremony. Entertainment and light refreshments will be offered in front of Scholes Hall at noon. 

Brandi Stone
Brandi Stone

The Pan-African flag is a symbol of Black liberation and every year AASS kicks off its Black History Month at UNM with raising the flag at Scholes Hall.

The flag, adopted in 1920, features the familiar red, black and green bands and each color has symbolic meaning. Red stands for blood shed by Africans who died in their fight for liberation and the shared blood of the African people. Black represents black people and, according to the Universal Negro Catechism, “the noble and distinguished race to which we belong.” Green is a symbol of growth and the natural fertility and “luxuriant vegetation” of Africa.

“The flag raising ceremony is special because students lead the march from our office to Scholes Hall, students share the meaning of the flag colors, and students raise the flag as a symbol that Black History Month has officially begun at UNM,” explained Brandi Stone, AASS director.

Monday, Feb. 7

National Black HIV/ Aids Awareness Day Testing  ̶  Join AASS and Truman Health Services as they honor the Black folk impacted by HIV/ Aids. Free confidential testing will be available in the SUB from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Sexy, Safe, and Black  ̶  Join SHAC, Planned Parenthood, Self Serve Toys, and AASS as they offer information on how to be 'Sexy, Safe, and Black' in the AASS lounge 4-6 p.m. 

Friday, Feb. 11 ̶ It Takes a Village Luncheon ̶ Join AASS for a meal and lecture with distinguished UNM alumnus Don Trahan in the Honors College forum at noon. 

Trahan is a certified diversity executive, licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, approved clinical supervisor, associate professor at the University of Southern California, and international consultant, Stone noted. He holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of New Mexico. His research agenda adheres to eliminating historical systematic and strategic barriers that disenfranchise marginalized communities. As a research-driven scholar-practitioner, he uses industry best practices ̶ such as multicultural counseling, trauma-informed practices in education, and social restorative justice ̶ to advocate for and educate families in urban and rural communities.

Moreover, he has a demonstrated history of evaluating assessments for cultural sensitivity with children in K-12 settings, with an emphasis on the application of such tools with individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. His scholarly work has led to the publication of several peer-reviewed articles that focus on culturally responsive pedagogy, nationwide conference presentations, and international speaking engagements. He is recognized as a top global leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion change management. 
Trahan is a devoted advocate of social justice and educational equity, and he dedicates a significant amount of time to mentoring and community-based activities. Additionally, he is an active member of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. 

Monday, Feb. 14 ̶ Black Love in Film ̶ This Valentine's day students and guests will watch and discuss Black Love movies all day in the AASS lounge. 

Tuesday, Feb. 15 ̶ Black Enough: What’s Your Street Race? ̶ UNM Professor of Sociology Nancy Lopez will discuss what it means to be communally racialized in the AASS lounge at 2pm. 

Wednesday, Feb. 16 ̶ Black History Month Basketball Game ̶ AASS will be celebrate Black History Month with the Lobo women's basketball team on Love and Basketball/African American Heritage Night. Come see the Black Greek step show at half time. 

Thursday, Feb. 17 ̶ Uplifting Ourselves at Stone Age Climbing Gym ̶ AASS will have free rock climbing available for students us at the Stone Age Climbing Gym at 7 p.m. 

Friday, Feb. 18 ̶ Lorde-Morrison Self Care Station ̶ Join the AASS staff as we celebrate the great thinkers Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison's birthdays in the AASS Lounge from 2-5 p.m. making essential oil de-stress sets and listening to their work. 

Thursday, Feb. 24 ̶ Our Black is Beautiful ̶ UNM Law Professor Sonia Gipson Rankin will discuss how race, ethnicity, and nationality express different validly beautiful facets of Blackness in the AASS lounge at 3 p.m. 

Friday, Feb. 25 ̶ Black Grad Mixer ̶ Enjoy good food and good folks with other Black graduate students at 50/50 Coffee House & Pub from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

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