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Black History Month begins with film screening at Harold Washington College

By Ebony Ellis
Staff Reporter

With Black History Month already underway, faculty and students are wondering when Black History Month will be celebrated here at HWC. Student Activities Director Angela Guernica has released a Black History Month Schedule here at HWC.

“I have been here for four semesters. I have not really seen anything as far as events. I would like to see just something where students can interact at Black History Month,” said HWC student Billy Clark. “It should be throughout the year and not just February; maybe a presentation or an art contest.” 

Another student suggested that courses can promote celebration.

“I would be interested in taking an African American History or African American Literature class here at Harold Washington as a good opportunity to receive a different perspective,” said Quinton Cajigas.

Asif Wilson, Director of Academic Support Services, offered insight into why creating events for Black History Month at HWC is important to him.

“It is important to me because of the general history of the school. The school was originally named ‘Loop Junior College,’ and after the passing of our first African-American mayor Harold Washington, the school was named after him,” said Wilson. “It became a place where local people with local needs can receive an education. We need to know our history, reclaim it, so that the youth can rewrite it.” 

Wilson gave a glimpse of a film screening that will be hosted on Feb. 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Room 102. The film screening “Stay Woke: Black Lives Matter Movement” will involve a student panel and Professor David Stovall from University of Illinois at Chicago.

Alongside the film screening, there will be an African American HIV Awareness event courtesy of the Wellness Center.

Professor Jacob Wilkenfeld from the English Department and Olatoyosi Akinrotimi, the Wellness Center Coordinator, said that SGA and the Wellness Center are planning many events.

“Compared to previous celebrations, the events planned this month are unique and promise to be educative and engaging. They are also free," said Akinrotimi.

"The team brainstormed ideas together and decided on the feasible ones we can host on our campus at no cost to students and other members of the HWC community. Some of the events on the calendar happen regularly already e.g the Healthy Student Market, SNAP/Health Insurance sign-up, HIV screenings and the resource fair,” he said.

Other events include NAACP South Side Chapter President Presentation on Feb. 16 from 12pm to 2p.m., Room 102 and Mayor Harold Washington Trivia on Feb. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Room 204.

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