Celebrating Black health and wellness

A team of Tigers came together to organize a full month of programming supporting this year’s Black History Month theme.

charcoal art of Black individuals

Art for this year's celebration was done by junior N'ya Fritz. Fritz is from Kansas City, Missouri.

Jan. 31, 2022
Contact: Deidra Ashley,
ashleyde@missouri.edu

Throughout the month of February, faculty, staff and students from across campus, along with community leaders, will explore Black culture and Black history during a celebration of Black History Month. The theme for this year’s series of film screenings, lectures, panel discussions and other events is “Black Health and Wellness.”

“Throughout the month, we’re looking at issues that affect Black health and wellness — from the medical contributions of people of African descent, to issues that affect these populations,” said Admire Mseba, assistant professor of history and Black studies and chair of the 2022 MU Black History Month Committee. “Black History Month allows us to not only have important discussions in the classroom but to take those out into the community. I hope people take advantage of these free events and come out with a greater understanding of and perspective of not just the experiences of people of African ancestry all over the world, but their contributions to human flourishing.”

A complete list of events, including livestream details, can be found online. Some highlights of the month include:

  • Paul Butler explores criminal justice and race — 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.
  • Community zine-making event — 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
  • Black health equals Black wealth: A conversation on fitness with Jerrell Jackson — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18
  • Exhibit talk: Exploring Black health and wellness through historical images — 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22

This year’s keynote speaker will be announced soon. Watch the event website for details.

Art for this year’s celebration was designed by junior N'ya Fritz. Fritz, a secondary education – English major and Black studies minor, used charcoal to create the two pieces featured in this year’s events. “I was inspired to create these pieces to demonstrate the diversity within the Black community,” she said. “I wanted to show that Black people come in a variety of identities, not being able to be conformed into the mundane boxes that society would like us to fit in. These pieces reflect Black History Month because they showcase the pride, creativity and uniqueness that comes with our Blackness.”

Multiple committees began meeting last fall to organize and plan the month’s more than 20 events. “We have something for everyone, and I am thankful to all of the people who pull together to make the program work,” Mseba said. “It’s immensely important for Mizzou to create these opportunities and celebrate the issues of Black people.”

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