Kirsten Pai Buick, Professor of Art History and interim director of Africana Studies at The University of New Mexico, will be the main speaker at this year’s Africana Studies Black History Month (Virtual) Kickoff Brunch on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 10:30 a.m. Buick billed the event as “A Virtual Brunch with the Director.”

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Kirsten Pai Buick, interim Director of Africana Studies

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The brunch is free but donations to African American Student Services are encouraged.

UNM President Garnett Stokes and Interim Dean of UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Center for High Technology Materials Arash Mafi will present opening remarks and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Sociology Assata Zerai will make comments.

Buick will speak about the history of the Africana Studies program and why the brunch is important. The brunch is sponsored by the UNM Africana Studies program in partnership with the African American Student Services.

Africana Studies has been a mainstay in the UNM community for 50 years as a shining example of the university’s commitment to diversity, gender equity, and social and ethnic justice. The goal of the Brunch is to announce the beginning of community celebrations and reflections in anticipation of Black History Month. The Brunch supports the academic and public service missions of UNM by enabling the university to offer a range of activities and provide an academic perspective that would otherwise be excluded.

Buick noted that the uncertainties of COVID have limited the brunch event this year but hopes to bring special guest speaker Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Dirty South exhibition, for the annual UNM Langston Hughes event in the fall.