On Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., to kick off Black History Month, a few campus organizations put up booths to discuss upcoming events this February. The kickoff event, put together by the African American Diaspora Studies Office, the Office of Intercultural Engagement and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, had food and various booths set up to represent cultural organizations on campus with the purpose of encouraging students join in the upcoming events for Black History Month.
The first booth at the event featured the Office of Intercultural Engagement (OIE). The OIE creates programs to bring students together, educate them and raise a broader awareness for subjects related to different cultures and identities. The goal of the OIE is inclusion, diversity and equity.
The OIE has a variety of programs and activities that they host. Along with the Black History programming, they have programs like the CommUNITY Dialogue series, which is a monthly series for students to build relationships across differences while they discuss certain topics. They held a CommUNITY Dialogue on Tuesday, entitled: “Am I Black Enough?”
The next booth at the kickoff was the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is a council on campus of the Greek sororities and fraternities which are predominately African-American. NPHC also had a booth set up to educate students on notable African American figures they may not have known were a part of a Greek organization.
Reatter Neal, a UNCG student and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha’s, gave insight regarding the booth’s theme. “[In the booth] we have a cup pong set up, and on the backside of [cups] are pictures of celebrities. So, we have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the cup, and so once someone gets the ball in, they guess which organization they are a part of. [King] is a part of Alpha Phi Alpha,” said Neal.
The final booth at the kickoff event was the African American Diaspora Studies office, otherwise known as (AADS). The AADS department at UNCG is the interdisciplinary study of African Americans and Africans in Diaspora.
“AADS involves culture and experience of not only African Americans here in America but Africans in the diaspora. So what [the major] does, it gets all those cultures and it teaches you about yourself, and how these things affect you, despite your nationality, despite your ethnicity,” said Khalia Carter, a UNCG senior and AADS major.
As with many non-traditional majors, students who are interested in AADS may ask themselves what they can do with the major after they graduate college. AADS has a broad variety of careers it can set you up for. “People are judges. People are lawyers, People are mathematicians. People are scholars, philosophers, etc. [People] go very far being in AADS so there’s no limit,” said Carter.
AADS is also involved in many upcoming events this Black History Month. An important event coming up on Feb. 22 is the Conference on African American & African Diasporic Cultures & Experience (CACE). CACE is a yearly conference surrounding Black culture featuring presentations and performances throughout the month from students, faculty and alumni from various universities. This year’s theme is, “Shared Place and Fate: Coming Together to Transform Tomorrow.”
One exciting event at this year’s CACE is a literary cafe that will feature spoken word performances surrounding this year’s theme. On Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m., there will be writing workshop held in preparation for the literary cafe. More information on this year’s CACE can be found at aads.uncg.edu.