Simmons College celebrates Black History Month
Black Student Organization President Diane Franklin eulogizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968
In the fall of 1967, Simmons women formed the College's first Black Student Organization (BSO). Born out of the Simmons Civil Rights Club (SCRC), the BSO was founded on two basic principles: to maintain ties to the surrounding urban community, and to promote and protect the interests of Black students at Simmons. Sister members of the BSO felt Simmons was lacking a Black presence on campus.
Two years later, the BSO initiated change by bringing their Ten Demands before President William Park. Among these demands was a call for the increased recruitment of Black students, Black professors and staff members, and the creation of an African Studies Program. Thanks to the efforts of these courageous women, President Park accepted a condensed version of the 10 Demands, which was evidenced in the formation of an African Studies Department in 1970.
Since then, the BSO has undergone many changes, but its mission remains the same. Today's President of the Black Student Organization, Tatiana Johnson '12, talks about the importance of the BSO and celebrating Black History Month.
In honor of Black History Month, the Black Student Organization is hosting a wide range of events at Simmons College that embrace the theme "Redefinition."
Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cake Cutting & Calendar Give Away
Be sure to stop by the Fens for the annual cake cutting ceremony and grab a calendar of events happening around campus for Black History Month.
Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
C-103 lecture hall, Main College Building
Sister Circle: Power of our Presence
There will be a screening of "Power of Our Presence," a short film focused on the history and evolution of the Black Student Organization with a panel discussion to follow.
Saturday, Feb. 11, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Linda K. Paresky Conference Center
Love on Top (open to the public)
Take a trip back to the Harlem Renaissance with an atmosphere that allows for art and poetry. The event is open to the public and tickets cost $5. Performers include ;nationally acclaimed poetry group The Striver's Row, Berklee College of Music band D*I*G, and art from MassART students of color.
Friday, Feb. 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Kotzen Room, LeFavour Hall
The Miseducation of My Hair (open to the public)
A panel of experts including Simmons faculty, students, and professional hair stylist will facilitate a discussion about hair in the Black community, providing information to demystify the history, social messages, and stereotypes about various hair types. Dinner will be served.
Saturday, Feb. 18, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Quadside, Residence Campus
Late Night Classic Karaoke
As part of the Quadside Late Night, we will be playing and singing classic oldies.
Friday, Feb. 24, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Soul Food: Redefined
Bartol Hall will feature cultural dishes of the African diaspora to honor the culinary aspects of Black History.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
School of Management and Academic Building, M501-M502
Women in the Work Place
A panel discussion will be held on the representation women in the workforce and in various fields. We will discuss development of professionalism for long lasting career success.
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Lupus Awareness Day
Wear purple to support and raise awareness for those who battle Lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects women of childbearing age (15-44). Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop Lupus. The Black Student Organization will give out information cards about Lupus and will present information about Lupus at the Student Government Association meeting.
For more information about Simmons' Black History Month events and cosponsors, visit Simmons College Black History Month on Facebook.
For news, events, and information about Simmons' Black Student Organization, follow them on Twitter @SimmonsBSO