SHU Celebrates Black History Month

The Sacred Heart University Community Theater and the Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE) are promoting and celebrating Black History Month with a series of movie screenings and other educational programs.

Throughout the whole month of February, both the theater and the OIE have scheduled events, as well as movie screenings, with the focus of educating students on and celebrating Black History Month.

Robert Johnson, the Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs in the OIE, explained why students should attend the events run by the Multicultural Center. “People and students can get the chance to learn about things that they do not experience on a daily basis, and that is important.”

On Feb. 1, the Multicultural Center (MC) had their ‘Black History Month Kickoff Event’ where attendees played a game of Black History Month Trivia. “Everyone is learning about Black History while trying to win a Stanley Cup,” said Johnson. “We try to make it fun.”

Senior Nicole Sperling, president of Gender Sexuality Alliance has been attending the MC’s events every year during her time at Sacred Heart. “I am most looking forward to the ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ event,” said Sperling. “It helps me, and others learn about microaggressions that non-black folk might not realize is harmful or disrespectful towards Black people.”

The ‘No You Can’t Touch My Hair’ event with the MC took place on Tuesday, Feb. 6 in

the Edgerton Atrium. “The goal was to get students started on the journey of understanding that

everybody doesn’t live in a world that they live in,” Johnson said.

The MC is also hosting a Black Love Gala on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. located in the Guest House on West Campus. “Everyone should come with the intention of providing healing, love, and forgiveness,” Johnson said. “That’s what Black Love Day is about.”

Sperling feels that she has learned a lot from attending these events run by the MC. “Through my

years at SHU and attending the various events revolving around Black history, I have learned how to support and raise the voices of my peers,” said Sperling. “Through these events, students can learn about the lasting legacies and how to support the efforts of Black History Month.”

The OIE and MC are partnering with the Sacred Heart Community Theater to celebrate Black History Month. Matthew Oestreicher, the Executive Director of SHU Community Theater, explained the importance behind this collaboration.

“It’s largely about representation and visibility,” Oestreicher said. “Besides the facts that these

are great films by any standard, our goal is to establish an environment where everyone, no matter their background, can find representation on screen.”

Films such as, “Get Out,” “Crooklyn,” “Dream Girls,” and “Moonlight” will be shown

throughout the month. “We are delighted to partner with the Office for Inclusive Excellence and the Multicultural Center to present great films that tell important stories,” said Oestreicher.

Celebrating Black History Month is important. It is a time where everyone can focus their

attention on the contributions of African Americans. According to Front Range Community College, Black History Month started as a week until President Gerald Ford proclaimed February to be a month of celebration.

“Through our dedication to inclusivity, we aspire to inspire meaningful conversations, help build understanding and play a part in building a community that is more fair-minded and compassionate,” said Oestreicher.

For more information on Black History Month celebrations and screenings, visit

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