This February marks the beginning of Black History Month across the U.S. Many activities are planned to celebrate the achievements of African descent nationally and right here at The University of New Mexico.

In anticipation of Black History Month, the Africana Studies program, in partnership with African American Student Services, hosts its 33rd annual Black History month kick-off brunch Saturday, Jan. 27,  with keynote speaker Corey D.B. Walker, vice president and dean of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology and Professor of Religion & Society at Virginia Union University. Walker will speak on the topic “The Challenge of Blackness: Africana Studies and the Fate of the University."

This year's theme for the brunch is “Reaffirming Black Studies for the 21st Century and Beyond.” The brunch will be held at the UNM Student Union Building—ballrooms A, B, and C, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to the Africana Studies program, “Walker provides an excellent opportunity to begin an open dialogue on the issues of race, social justice and ethnic studies in academia.”

Walker is the author of A Noble Fight: African-American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America. He is editor of the special issue of the journal Political Theology on “Theology and Democratic Futures” and associate editor of the award-winning SAGE Encyclopedia of Identity.

Prior to assuming his current position, Walker chaired the Africana Studies Department at Brown University and was the inaugural director of the Center for the Study of Local Knowledge established by the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, with support from the Ford Foundation, as the only research center in the country dedicated to new and innovative research related to the concept of local knowledge.

Tickets are $45 per person. For ticket sales and sponsorship information, contact Hazel Mendoza Jayme at 505.277.1926 or email at

A complete list of Black History Month events can be found on the AASS website