Celebration of Black History

This month BSU will be hosting a series of events to celebrate Black History.


This month BSU will be hosting a series of events to celebrate Black History.

ERIN MCRAE, Staff Writer

The UNI Black Student Union (BSU) will launch a Black culture celebration to kick off the new semester. The BSU has a history of holding events that draw in large crowds of students to discuss important cultural issues in the Black community. After celebrating its 50-year anniversary earlier this fall, the organization is preparing for another semester of providing quality events for UNI students. 

“The Black Student Unions’ goals for this semester is to ensure that every student on this campus feels welcomed by the BSU,” BSU Co-President Lexi Gause, a junior studying social work said. “We host several events throughout the year on campus for students to attend and have bi-weekly meetings with our members. This semester we have a lot of exciting events to honor Black History Month, followed by several events after the month of February including study tables, guest speakers, and game nights.”

For BSU Secretary Anna Stevens, the student organization has been a positive outlet. “I got involved last year when I transferred to UNI. I worked in the CME, like I do now, and heard about the group from my friends,” Stevens said. “I’ve learned a lot, had lots of fun and made several friends through it.”

On Feb. 1, the BSU will host a Kick-Off Celebration to launch Black History Month at Maucker Union from 6-9 pm. The event will include a live DJ, laser tag, mini-golf, and plenty of food. 

The Soul Food dinner will be held on Feb. 4 from 5 pm -9 pm at Threehouse ministries and will provide a meal filled with familiar favorites.

On Feb 9, there will be a poetry slam in the CME classroom from 6-8 pm. Students can share original works with fellow students or just come and listen. “It’s a beautiful evening of poets sharing their truth within their written pieces. Some are about their struggles, some about their positives,” Stevens said. “It’s a balance of both and last year was a good way to learn about what some people may go through in life. There will be judges and prizes given out as well.”

The BSU will also offer candy grams on Valentine’s day, giving students the opportunity to send a small teddy bear, Hershey’s Kisses, and a personalized note to a special someone. 

On Feb. 22, the BSU will have an immersive experience available in Lang Hall called the “Tunnel of Oppression”, where classrooms on the ground floor of Lang will display different photos and artifacts that showcase oppression in the Black community. “We aim to inform attendees of the ways Black Americans have been oppressed here. It can be pretty heavy, but it’s important information to learn,” Stevens said.

On Feb. 25 there will be a skate party in the WRC from 6-9 pm, where students can dress as a favorite hero or villain and compete to win prizes. 

On Feb 28, the BSU will be hosting a showing of the movie “Just Mercy” in KAB 111 at 7:30 pm. This popular film is a legal drama that follows the story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s quest to bring justice to wrongly accused Black Americans. 

To finish the month, there will be a Toast for Change on March 3 in the Gallagher Bluedorn from 6-8 pm. Attendees are encouraged to “dress to impress”. 

Gause is hopeful that these events will prove meaningful for the community at UNI. “Within these events we want to acknowledge Black history by creating a safe space where individuals of all backgrounds and cultures are able to join the Black community in celebrating the evolution of Black Excellence,” Gause said. “We hope for a fulfilling month of gratitude, appreciation, and recognition of the Black culture and community.”

Students interested in getting involved with the Black Student Union can reach out to [email protected], stop by the Center for Multicultural Education for more information, or attend any upcoming event being held.