UW-Madison events celebrate Black History Month

BHM logoThe 2016 UW-Madison Black History Month celebration will kick off on Sunday, Jan. 31, with a theatrical performance titled “We the 350: Stories of Poverty, Racism, and Incarceration in Wisconsin” in the Play Circle Theater of Memorial Union at 7 p.m.

Picked by the 2016 student planning committee, the theme of this year’s month long celebration is “In Living Color: An Exploration of Blackness & Intersectionality” focusing on Blackness and the Diaspora, Blackness and Sex (Gender, Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity), Blackness and Class, and Performing Blackness.” The annual theme is chosen by the student organizers of Black History Month.

Throughout February, a series of free events will observe Black History Month. For more information on each of these events, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/1665461650390139/

“We have worked very hard to establish a coherent set of programs, activities, performances, and lectures tying back to the theme and we sincerely hope you will be able to attend at least one or more events,” said Karla Foster, a Pathways to Educational Achievement advisor in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement.

Activist, public theologian, writer and speaker Rahiel Tesfamariam.  The founder and publisher of Urban Cusp and a former Washington Post columnist will speak on "The Role of the Black Millennial and the Black Church in the New Civil Rights Movement"  at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 in the Symphony Room of Gordon Commons, 770 West Dayton Street. Rahiel-Tesfamariam
Activist, public theologian, writer and speaker Rahiel Tesfamariam. The founder and publisher of Urban Cusp and a former Washington Post columnist will speak on “The Role of the Black Millennial and the Black Church in the New Civil Rights Movement” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 in the Symphony Room of Gordon Commons, 770 West Dayton Street. Rahiel-Tesfamariam

This year’s keynote speaker will be activist, public theologian, writer and speaker Rahiel Tesfamariam. The founder and publisher of Urban Cusp and a former Washington Post columnist will speak on “The Role of the Black Millennial and the Black Church in the New Civil Rights Movement”  at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 in the Symphony Room of Gordon Commons, 770 West Dayton Street.

Tesfamariam holds degrees from Stanford University and Yale Divinity School, where she was the inaugural William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Scholar for Peace and Justice. Prior to attending Yale, she served as the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of The Washington Informer, at age 23. She went on to work as a community organizer for anti-violence youth initiatives before launching Urban Cusp in 2011.

She has traveled the world on various delegations and humanitarian projects and has spoken at prestigious universities and historic churches throughout the nation. As a leading generational voice, she has been featured in countless media outlets and is the recipient of several distinguished national awards. Tesfamariam is also a contributing author to the NIV Bible for Women by Zondervan and Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith.

Responding to the 2014 Ferguson non-indictment decision, Tesfamariam  led a national Black Friday economic boycott supported by dozens of celebrities called #NotOneDime. She has been listed in The Root 100, featured in Ebony and Revolt TV amongst “Leaders of the New School” and was one of six women Essence Magazine named “The New Civil Rights Leaders.” Black Girls Rock honored Tesfamariam in 2013, saluting “her tireless dedication to global issues, community activism and youth advocacy.”

Overall, the month-long celebration will offer more than two dozen events and activities, including the 2016 Black History Month Kickoff Event performance of WE THE 350: Stories of Poverty, Racism, and Incarceration in Wisconsin on Sunday, Jan. 31at 7 p.m. in the Play Circle Theater of Memorial Union.  The performance explores the ways that state structures rely on intersections between race and class, along with many other intersections, to maintain racially disparate arrest and incarceration rates in Wisconsin.  Written & directed by UW Alum T. Banks and Sara McKinnon, it is presented in collaboration with WUD Performing Arts Committee.


Other Black History Month events include:

Black O’Clock – Day of Solidarity

Monday, February 1st All Day, Everywhere

Please wear all black in solidarity with Black students at UW-Madison and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Join the social media campaign with the hashtag #BlackOclock


Leadership in the New Economy (LINE): Student Personal Development Symposium

Tuesday, February 2, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Varsity Hall, Union South

The LINE (Leadership in the New Economy) Event will address Developing Your All-Around Best Self, and will focus on the topic of Mindfulness, featuring motivational speaker Wilson Okello, Dave Metler, Lisa Baker and Armando Hernandez on mindfulness, meditation and other centering and mind-directed skills. Corporations will be present to discuss internships and other opportunities, too! Register today at https://lineevent.splashthat.com/#. Or go to #LINE2016.


The Body is Not an Apology w/ Sonya Renee Taylor

Thursday, February 4th @ 6pm, MSC Lounge, Red Gym

In a culture that bombards us with unattainable images of body perfection based imaginary standards there seems to be a war on everything except the media’s war on us. This activity and participation based lecture uses popular education, performance poetry and media examples to introduce participants to the concepts of Body Terrorism and Radical Self Love. In collaboration with the MSC and Wittie-MLC.


Just Bust! Open Mic

Friday, February 5th Sign-Up 8:30pm, Open Mic 9pm, On Wisconsin Room, Red Gym

Join OMAI/First Wave for Madison’s longest running all-ages open mic. Including community performances, First Wave mini-spotlight, and special guest Lamon Manuel.



African Students Association Semester Kickoff

“Where is African Culture in Black History Month?”

Sunday, February 7th @ 2pm, Contact a member of ASA for location

Support ASA as we welcome new members, overview semester events, and engage in a healthy discussion.



Reel to Real Movie Night: Paris is Burning

Monday, February 8th @ 7pm, UW Madison Marquee Theater, Memorial Union

All Queer People of Color and their allies are welcome! Shot in the late 1980s, this film examines how a community of Black and Latino gay and transgender New Yorkers build sustenance, creativity, and family while exploring ballroom culture. A thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America. In collaboration with LGBT Campus Center Crossroads Initiative and WUD Film Committee.


Minority Owned Business and Networking Fair

Tuesday, February 9th @ 7:00pm-9:00pm

Symphony Room, Gordon Commons

Come network with minority business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs in the Madison community. Hear their take on the power of Black economics and the Black dollar and why they believe we as consumers, should buy and use services from minority owned business and professionals.



A Place at the Table Community Meal

Thursday, February 11th @ 6:30pm, MSC Lounge, Red Gym

A safe space where the MSC provides a free meal and activities on the second Thursday of the month.


Black Student Union: Black Knowledge Bowl

Friday, February 12th @ 7pm, On Wisconsin A&B, Red Gym

WBSU encourages you and 2 to 3 of your friends to participate in our 1st Annual Black Knowledge Bowl.  Come out and show us how lit your knowledge of Black History is.  Prizes will be given to the 1st & 2nd place teams.


The Conversation Mixtape: College Edition

Education, Privilege, and Social Class

Saturday, February 13th @ 2pm-5pm, Wine Down Wine Bar 118 S. State Street

Join us in discussions about education in the Black community and how it operates through privilege and social class and the disengagement between Black college students and the surrounding Black community vs. their own hometown communities. Hosted by HeyMiss Progress.


African Students Association: Annual Dating for Charity

Saturday, February 13th @ 6:30pm, Room B10, Ingraham Hall

African Students Association annual fundraiser benefiting commendable organizations in Africa devoted to enriching lives in disadvantaged communities.


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Week of Events

February 14th – 20th

Join the women of the Zeta Xi Core Chapter for a week of events relevant to issues surrounding Black America and students of color in the campus community.


Black History Month Keynote

Rahiel Tesfamariam

Thursday, February 18th @ 7pm, Overture Room, Gordon Commons

From nationwide protests in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s killing to resistance in support of Ferguson to New York’s “I Can’t Breathe” to the Baltimore Uprising to #NotOneDime, we are living in the age of social uprisings. Civilians are mobilizing worldwide to protest injustices of all kinds. Black millennials have been at the forefront of this movement-building, organizing through social media platforms and using 21st century resistance strategies. This has led to a shift in visibility and power from the Black Church, the old guard of the Civil Rights Movement. But if this is to be an intergenerational struggle for liberation, then both have a critical role to play in the New Civil Rights Movement. Tesfamariam explores the intersections of these roles is in this keynote.


Black and Noble: Black Figures in Islamic History

Thursday, February 18th @ 5pm, Ask a member for location details

Hanif J. Williams, will contextualize the lives and struggles in modern social justice movements on 2 prominent Black Muslims, Bilal (RA) and Malcolm X. With the largest Muslim community in America being the African American Muslim community, it is important to educate on these intersecting identities in the larger context of Islamic History.  Hosted by the Muslim Student Association. 


Body Positivity and Black Sexuality Paint Night

Saturday, February 20th @ 1pm-3pm, Wheel House Studios, Memorial Union

Creatively express what the intersection of body positivity and black sexuality means and looks like to you through a visual art workshop facilitated by Ashley Robertson. Space limited to first 30 people.



11th Annual Style & Grace: #BlackWomenMatter

The Intersection of Race and Gender

Sunday, February 21st @ 6pm-8pm, Varsity Hall I, Union South

Join the lovely ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for an evening full of art, speakers, and dinner.  The focus of this year’s event will be the intersection of race and gender. 


Steeping It Real

Tuesday, February 23rd @ 6pm, MSC Lounge, Red Gym

Participate in a dialogue on the upcoming documentary surrounding activism and its evolution in Madison, Forward: Anger Into Action.  Guest facilitated by Director Sheba McCants, the film and discussion looks to highlight issues, individuals, and what community leaders are doing to create change.   


Race Monologues: Identity in the Diaspora

Tuesday, February 23rd @ 7pm-9pm, The Studio Black Box, Sellery Hall

Directed by BHM committee members Ashley Thomas and Kiki Arthur, in collaboration with The Studio. The Race Monologues explore personal experiences of identity and race through oral performance and other contemporary mediums. Light refreshments provided. 


Moving Forward: Conversations on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Wednesday, February 24th @ 4pm-6pm, Gordon Commons


Join students, faculty members, and staff members in a campus-wide conversation about racial and ethnic diversity at UW-Madison. The event aims to provide a forum to discuss ways to improve racial climate on campus, as well as provide updates on what has been done to advance this issue since last year.For questions or to request accommodations contact argyle.wade@wisc.edu



Faculty of Color Reception

Thursday, February 25th @ 5pm-7pm, Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center


An annual event to celebrate and network with newly-hired and promoted faculty of color. Open to all university faculty and staff.



Fly Never Fades Fashion Show:

Black Fashion through the Times

Saturday, February 27th @ 6:30pm, Symphony Room, Gordon Commons

Join us as we celebrate one of the most influential aspect of our culture, fashion. Students will show how they perform different trends of boldness and extravagance through various eras in Black American History. Special performances by the Dairy Land Dancing Diamonds and ROOTZ.


Dancing through the Diaspora

Sunday, February 28th @ 6pm-8pm, Multipurpose Room, Student Activity Center

This physical celebration of music and rhythmic movement within the diaspora invites you to get active while enjoying the sounds of Blackness. From Hip-Hop to Soca to Traditional heavy drum beats, frisky energetic movement, high jumps, and rapid pulsations of the spine, UW Madison Alum Althea Miller will lead us on our journey.




Monday, February 26th @ 3:30pm-4:30 pm, H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall

Join Professor Chris Walker and friends in celebrating in a celebration of Black History Month. Come prepared to engage in and witness African and African-Caribbean dance, hip-hop, spoken word, poetry, drumming, chanting, singing, and more.


AASAS Candlelight Vigil & Libation Ceremony

Monday, February 29th @ 6pm-7pm, Top of Bascom Hill

The closing ceremony of UW-Madison Black History Month honoring the past, reflecting on the present, and looking toward the future. Warm beverages and candles provided.


Black Student Union: Talk to Me Tuesday

Black Lives Matter Movement w/in the Black Community

Tuesday, March 1st   @ 7pm-9pm, MSC Lounge, Red Gym

Come join WBSU and the Black History Month Planning Committee as we discuss the Black Lives Matter Movement and how it is represented within the Black Community.


UBUNTU: Black Student Discussion & Support Group

Thursday, March 3rd @ 6pm-7:30pm, MSC Classroom, Red Gym

A student support group for self-identified Black students gently facilitated by Black staff, Ubuntu works to create and maintain a safe space on campus for healing and processing concerning the Black Badger Experience.