An award-winning slam poet from Atlanta, a celebration of Lunar New Year, a travelling African-American cultural anthology, a soul food luncheon and an American crime drama film are highlights of the February calendar for Edinboro University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Edinboro’s catalyst for civility, respect and student success, the center aims to expand traditional Black History Month programs to feature more cultures on campus.
“Not only are we exploring the art, music and food of African-American and Asian cultures, but we are also discovering the passion of these individuals and the sacrifices that many groups endured to lead us to today,” said Pertrina Marrero, director of Edinboro’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “Although our celebration only lasts a month, these contributions are evident in our daily lives throughout our experience at Edinboro.”
February’s programming calendar kicks off Friday, with international slam poet star Ashlee Haze bringing her poetry to the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Cyber Café at 7 p.m. Haze earned the nickname “Big 30” due to her consistent perfect scores at poetry slams. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the University Programming Board.
Haze has been a crucial component of the Atlanta Poetry circuit over the last decade and recently appeared on a PBS News Hour documentary about a meeting with rapper Missy Elliott. Additionally, she is a 3-time Queen of the South Poetry Slam Champion and a 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist.
All cultures that celebrate the Feb. 5 Lunar New Year will be represented during a special celebration at 5:30 p.m. in the Pogue Center’s Multipurpose Room.
Traditionally a modern festival in Asian countries, Edinboro will highlight Chinese culture with chopsticks lessons, Chinese letter writing and a modern Chinese dragon dance.
Often referred to as the “Spring Festival,” the Lunar New Year includes the internationally celebrated Lantern Festival. This year, Chinese culture celebrates the Year of the Pig.
A collection of rare and authentic artifacts from generations of African-American families will be on display Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Van Houten North Dining Hall. The official True Black History Museum was originally established to preserve Black history and educate society on the contributions of Black culture to mankind.
Featuring more than 150 artifacts, the collection spans from the 18th Century through today and includes highlights from the Mid-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the original Jim Crow laws, Civil Rights, Black Power movement and modern day.
Lunch will be served on Feb. 22 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Learning Commons – the second floor conference room in the Baron-Forness Library. In addition to delicious food prepared by Edinboro personnel, presenters will dig into the Harlem Renaissance to explore the intellectual, social and artistic explosion of the 1920s in New York City.
Lasting through the mid-1930s, the Harlem Renaissance focused on African-American literature, music, stage performances and art, including Claude McKay, Alain LeRoy Locke, Aaron Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Zora Neale Hurston, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker and W. E. B. Du Bois.
Finally, Edinboro wraps up the month with two screenings of the 2018 American crime drama “The Hate U Give,” based on the 2017 novel by Angie Thomas. Screenings are scheduled for 5 and 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Pogue Student Center’s Scot Cinema.
Starring Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby, the film switches between the poor inner city where Starr Carter lives and the rich, white school she attends.
After Carter witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer, both of these worlds collide and she must find her voice.
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information about programming in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Edinboro University, visit www.edinboro.edu/diversity.
February Calendar of Events – Center for Diversity and Inclusion
Feb. 1: Ashlee Haze, 7 p.m., Pogue Student Center Cyber Café
Feb. 5: Lunar New Year, 5:30 p.m., Pogue Student Center Multipurpose Room
Feb. 15: True Black History Museum, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Van Houten North Dining Hall
Feb. 22: Soul Food Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Learning Commons, Baron-Forness Library
Feb. 23: “The Hate U Give,” 5 & 8 p.m., Pogue Student Center Scot Cinema
With photo: Award-winning slam poet Ashlee Haze brings her craft to Edinboro’s Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Cyber Café at 7 p.m. on Friday.