DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College will celebrate Black History Month during the next couple of weeks with three special events following the theme of “Black History: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
All three events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and community members. Refreshments will be served.
Carla Boyd, who is DACC’s chief diversity officer and assistant vice president of student services, said the college’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ad hoc committee is the sponsor of the events.
The first event is “Yesterday: Black History in Our Community” that is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Bremer Conference Center.
Some of Danville’s most prominent residents will talk about their experience growing up and living in Danville prior to and during the Civil Rights Movement.
Guest speakers include retired Public Safety Director Carl Alexander and his wife, Janet, who retired from District 118; retired District 118 principal Alice Payne; and District 118 school board member Gladys Davis. Boyd said other speakers also have been invited.
“We will hear stories of old and about the experiences of these wonderful individuals,” Boyd said. “These are African Americans that everyone knows, growing up in a time when Black History wasn’t celebrated.
“They were growing up without civil rights and during violent times, and they will share their perspectives,” she said. “They will also speak about the things they’ve seen and their hopes for the future.”
Tinisha Shade-Spain, economic development director at Vermilion Advantage, will moderate the panel-style format of the event. A soul food sample-tasting prepared by Danville chef Mary Lewis will follow the presentation.
“Today: Evolution of Gospel” will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the Student Union in Lincoln Hall.
The public is invited to experience spiritual hymns, raps and more as they are taken on a journey through Black History with music.
“There will be singing and spoken word,” Boyd said.
Those participating include Kelsie Coleman, who is a published author of spoken word poems; DACC graphic design instructor Dwight Lucas Jr., who will play the saxophone; and DACC Admissions Office Specialist Stephen Scott, who will sing.
“We’re still asking a couple of folks if they’d like to participate,” Boyd said. “We also will open it up to the audience.”
Student performers are encouraged to participate, and refreshments will be served.
The third event, “Tomorrow: Black History and Its Future,” will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the Student Union in Lincoln Hall.
The event will look at the future through the eyes of Meade Park Elementary School students along with guest speaker Nicole Carter, a nursing instructor at DACC.
“We hope to share a video the Meade Park students made,” Boyd said, referring to a video they made last month highlighting the positives around Danville. “We hope to bring some of the kids over.”
Carter will speak on future opportunities and challenges in health care for African Americans. Refreshments will be served.