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Student Life

Black History Month

2020 Events

Recurring
Black Holyoke: Uncovering the History of the Black Community in the Paper City
Portions of Exhibit on loan from the Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke
Library display cases

Scholar Erika Slocumb has embarked upon a project titled "Black Holyoke: Uncovering the History of the Black Community in the Paper City." The purpose of this project is to uncover the stories of the black community in Holyoke, from the time the area was settled in the 18th century to the present. Join us to uncover the problems, the joys, the pain, and the struggles black people in Holyoke faced in their daily lives. With this project, Slocumb aims to unearth the lives and stories of the black community in Holyoke in order to make that history available to the public through archival collections, talks, and exhibits. Please click here to learn more about the exhibit.

Feb. 4, 1 – 2 p.m.
TED Talk Tuesday: The Untapped Genius That Could Change Science for the Better
Center for Excellence (FR 265)

A screening of the 15-minute TED Talk "The Untapped Genius That Could Change Science for the Better" by Jedidah Isler discussing diversity in STEM, with a facilitated discussion to follow led by Adrienne Smith, interim dean of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math. All are welcome to attend.

About the TED Talk: Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares the story of how she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale – and her deep belief in the value of diversity to science and other STEM fields. "Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be," she says. "Hold fast to those dreams and let them carry you into a world you can't even imagine."  

About Adrienne Smith: Dr. Smith is HCC's interim dean of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). She served as an associate professor and coordinator of electronics technology for four years at Quinsigamond Community College, and, most recently, at Springfield Technical Community College, where she was dean of Engineering Technologies & Mathematics for 14 years. She holds a doctorate in education from UMass Amherst, a master's degree in engineering management, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Western New England University. Her particular area of interest is in increasing the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities in the area of STEM, and the focus of her doctoral research was on women in engineering.

Feb. 5, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Workshop: "What's the 19th Century Got to Do With Our Views on Race Today?"
Center for Excellence (FR 265)

In this workshop, participants will explore how 19th-century African-American literature can illuminate our present-day views on race. Presenter will provide short passages from African-American-authored texts such as Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chesnutt, summarize background context on these narratives, and facilitate a structured discussion. All are welcome to attend.

Feb. 11, 11 a.m.
Chat With Champions: Social Sciences
Campus Center Student Lounge (2nd floor)

Meet successful local diverse HCC alumni working in the community. Discussion topics will include: transferring from HCC to a four-year school, how they navigated a new campus, lessons learned along the way, and how they found their dream career. Opportunities for question and answer, and chatting over coffee and desserts.

Feb. 12, 9 - 10:30 a.m.
Workshop: "What's the 19th Century Got to Do With Our Views on Race Today?"
Center for Excellence (FR 265)

In this workshop, participants will explore how 19th-century African-American literature can illuminate our present-day views on race. Presenter will provide short passages from African-American-authored texts such as Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chesnutt, summarize background context on these narratives, and facilitate a structured discussion. All are welcome to attend.

Feb. 13, 5 – 8 p.m.
HCC Community Night: "Black Refractions" Exhibit
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton

HCC students, faculty, and staff will be given free admission to the Smith College Museum of Art on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 5 – 8 p.m. The featured exhibit "Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem" will be in the SCMA through April 12, 2020. Your must provide an HCC ID for free admission on Feb. 13. Non-HCC guests will be charged $4 for seniors, $5 for adults. (Please note that HCC students always have free admission with HCC I.D.)

Comprised of nearly 100 works in many media, "Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem" surveys close to a century of creative achievement by artists of African descent. To learn more about the exhibit and the Smith College Museum of Art, please click here.

Are you planning to attend this free event? Please fill out this online form so HCC can provide Smith College with an estimated number of attendees. Questions? Contact Lea Occhialini at locchialini@hcc.edu.

Feb. 18, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Workshop: "What's the 19th Century Got to Do With Our Views on Race Today?"
Center for Excellence (FR 265)

In this workshop, participants will explore how 19th-century African-American literature can illuminate our present-day views on race. Presenter will provide short passages from African-American-authored texts such as Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chesnutt, summarize background context on these narratives, and facilitate a structured discussion. All are welcome to attend.

Feb. 19, 10 – 11 a.m.
Performance: History of Black Gospel Music
FPA 137

The performance "The History of Black Gospel Music" features Evelyn Harris of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mary Witt of the O-Tones, and Ellen Cogen.

Feb. 19, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Screening: Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
Leslie Phillips Theater

In 1968, Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and in 1972 she became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States. She was the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the first woman to appear in a United States presidential debate, and the first chair of the the National Black Women's Political Caucus. Her motto and title of her autobiography, Unbossed & Unbought, illustrated her outspoken advocacy for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Shirley Chisholm also taught at Mount Holyoke College from 1983 to 1987, and delivered the 1984 Commencement speech at Holyoke Community College.

The documentary film Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed chronicles Chisholm's 1972 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was directed and produced by independent African-American filmmaker Shola Lynch and in 2006 won a Peabody Award. Please join us for the screening of this award-winning documentary and learn more about the life and work of Shirley Chisholm. Watch the trailer.

Feb. 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Black-Owned Business Showcase
Campus Center 2nd floor Lobby

Meet and greet local business-owners, peruse their products, and learn about the experience of black entrepreneurs.

Feb. 26, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Black Holyoke Oral History Project
HCC Library

Erika Slocumb, Project Scholar for the Black Holyoke Oral History Project (portions of which are on display in the HCC Library, on loan from the Wistariahurst Museum) will lead a panel discussion about the project with Holyoke community members featured in the work. HCC is honored to have Erika and guests visit and talk about her important work. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

Feb. 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Black Heritage Food Fest
Leslie Phillips Theater Lobby

This event will feature free food for HCC students and employees, cooked by local chefs who specialize in food from the Southern United States, Creole Coast, Caribbean, etc. There will be a suggested donation of $5 at the event, and all funds raised will go toward the creation of an annual award for an active student member of the HCC Black Student Alliance. All are welcome.