AMES, Iowa — Celebrate Black History Month at Iowa State University with a variety of events.
The United States has celebrated Black History Month in February for more than four decades as a time to recognize and honor the achievements and contributions of African Americans.
Events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. Event sponsors are listed in parentheses. Check back often as this schedule is updated throughout the month.
Schedule of events
Throughout February, Parks Library: A book display featuring African American authors will be split between Parks Library’s Fireplace Reading Room and a mobile unit in the lobby. (University Library)
Every Saturday in February, 10:30-11 a.m., Ames Public Library storytime room: Celebrate Black History Month with special Saturday family fun events featuring guest readers sharing books by or about black people. (Ames Public Library, ISU Black Faculty and Staff Association)
Feb. 5, 7 p.m., 101 Carver Hall: Film screening and discussion of “Major!”, a documentary exploring the life of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a black transgender elder who has been fighting for the rights of transgender women of color for over 40 years. (The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success)
Feb. 9, 2-5 p.m., Ames Public Library auditorium: Screening of “The Hate U Give,” based on the popular book by Angie Thomas. (Ames Public Library, Ames branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; Feb. 15, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Memorial Union Sun Room: “The Vagina Monologues,” an award-winning play based on V-Day Founder, playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. Tickets are $10 for ISU students, $15 for the public; both increase $2 the day of the show. (Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity, The Society for the Advancement of Gender Equity, Student Union Board)
Feb. 16, 3-5 p.m., Ames Public Library auditorium: “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Ames attorney Tim Gartin will lead a community discussion of the implications of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The program will include a reading of the letter followed by a panel discussion with faith leaders. (Ames Public Library, Ames NAACP)
Feb. 18, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Stephens Auditorium: Performance of “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad,” part of the Youth Matinee Series. This stirring drama is an accurate and deeply moving musical history lesson and a classic tribute to the courageous American who freed herself and hundreds of others from slavery. Tickets start at $4. (Iowa State Center)
Feb. 20, 12:10 to 1 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall: Award-winning faculty series, “A Day in the Life of a Rural African Woman: Bringing global experiences into the classroom.” Dorothy Masinde, senior lecturer in horticulture and global resource systems, has 30 years of experience inspiring learners of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Participants in this workshop will discover how to bring real problems into classroom discussion for students who want to make a difference in the world. Register via Learn@ISU to attend in person or via Zoom to view on your own. (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching)
Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m., 198 Parks Library: Screening of “Souls of Black Girls,” an award-winning documentary by filmmaker Daphne Valerius. The film explores how media images of beauty undercut the self-esteem of African American women. (Multicultural Student Affairs, University Library)
Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall: ISU Jazz I presents: a lecture concert in jazz. Jim Bovinette, associate professor of music and theatre, leads the jazz ensemble, with guest orator Hollis Monroe. The concert will combine live jazz, spoken remarks and visual presentations to draw attention to the city of East St. Louis and its historical influence upon the Civil Rights Movement. Tickets: $5.
Feb. 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1414 Molecular Biology: Social justice summit, an opportunity for ISU undergraduate and graduate students to increase their awareness of inclusion issues and to develop action plans to help them in being agents of change on campus. (Student Activities Center, Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity, Multicultural Student Affairs, Department of Residence, Leadership and Service Center, Memorial Union)
Feb. 25, 12:15-12:45 p.m., Parks Library, Grant Wood foyer: Monday Monologues series, “Daily Dialogue: Truth,” a live storytelling event by the Iowa State Daily. Five students will share personal stories for Black History Month. (Iowa State Daily)
Feb. 27 (rescheduled from Feb. 20), 5-6 p.m., Multicultural Center: Racial battle fatigue workshop, focusing on how experiencing microaggressions regularly can impact the experience of students of color. Students are encouraged to attend to learn how to navigate and thrive in such environments. (Office of Multicultural Student Affairs)
Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m., Gateway Hotel and Conference Center: 19th annual Freedom Fund Banquet, with keynote speaker Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology at Grinnell College. Scott was a founding member of International Capacity Building Services, a cultural competency training team that specializes in facilitating both “unlearning isms” and human rights workshops. Tickets are $75. Registration deadline is Feb. 21. (Ames branch of the NAACP)
March 1, all day, Memorial Union: Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE), comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and beyond. Free, open to ISU students, faculty and staff. Register by 5 p.m. Feb. 27 (open to ISU students, faculty and staff). The Feb. 27 pre-conference is open to ISU faculty and staff.