News Detail


Black History Month events continue

SUNY Cortland's celebration of Black History Month (BHM) continues throughout February with a series of events that include historical and cultural lectures, panel presentations, a Wheel of Fortune-style competition focused on Black history, a formal masquerade ball, and a review of literature featuring a Black Sherlock Holmes.

For the remainder of February, BHM campus events will be posted online on the Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office webpage. Events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted. Event changes may occur throughout the month so please check back for the most up-to-date information.

The remaining BHM events include:

  • Wheel of Fortune: Black History Edition. Join the Black Student Union for a chance to showcase your knowledge of Black history and win a prize on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The activity takes place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 301.
  • NYSUT Implicit Bias Workshop: “Sticks and Stones.” Participants are invited to learn how to promote social unity and increase cultural awareness in school and community by attending this inaugural New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) workshop for members and local affiliates on Wednesday, 21. The event, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room, fulfills the New York State Department of Education training grant requirements for the Many Threads, One Fabric (MTOF) NYSUT-led implicit bias training for public school educators.
  • Black Politics in the Contemporary Moment. The course Black Political Thought got its first impetus from Black Lives Matter emerging in 2014. Participants in the seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 21, will learn why developing the course was important, how students are engaging it and why it matters. The presentation, led by Mechthild “Mecke” Nagel, professor of philosophy, will discuss overall intellectual engagement of Black politics for Gen Z and beyond from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium.
  • Over-Policed and Under-Protected: Intra-Racial Violence and the Hyper-Policing in the Black Community. Marcus Bell, SUNY Cortland Diversity Faculty Fellow of sociology/anthropology, among other topics, will provide a sociological review of the literature on both intra-racial violence among African Americans, and the long, tortured history of race, crime and policing in the United States during the talk on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Bell will discuss the need for critical race methodology (CRM), a research methodology that explicitly treats the thoughts, experiences and words of marginalized communities as actual data, making their lives the primary focal point of overall research design. The lecture runs from 5 to 6 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 301-303.
  • Cross-racial Solidarity in Critical Times. A panel of SUNY Cortland faculty members — Avanti Mukherjee, Steven Maher and Nikolay Karkov — will discuss the promises and perils of cross-racial solidarity on our campus and beyond in an interactive and relatively informal format during the presentation on Thursday, Feb. 22.The speakers will address what cross-racial and anti-racist solidarity looks like for them, on the basis of their politics and lived experience, taking into account both the local, national and global context of multiple and overlapping crises. The hour-and-a-half long event begins at 4:30 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium.
  • Race, Gender and Belonging in the Intercollegiate Athletic Workplace. Deidre Pierson, associate director of athletics at Hamilton College, will speak about the issues and challenges facing Black women working in intercollegiate athletics, on Thursday, Feb. 22. Pierson will discuss how our white male students can be better allies and work to create more inclusive workspaces in the future. The lecture takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.
  • Black and Boujee: Masquerade Ball. Join the Black Student Union at the annual Black and Boujee event, which this year is themed on a masquerade ball, Friday, Feb. 23. There are prizes for the best-dressed outfits and masquerade masks will be provided. Tickets are $5 to the event in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, which runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.
  • Film Screening: Finding the Money. The movie showing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, in Sperry Center, Room 105, follows Stephanie Kelton on a journey through the controversial Modern Money Theory or “MMT”. “Finding the Money” demonstrates public money’s power to not only revive but to realize ambitions for social justice and full employment by flipping our understanding of the national debt – and the nature of money – upside down. Coordinated by Benjamin Wilson, chair of the SUNY Cortland Economics Department, it’s a must-see for all those interested in social and environmental justice.
  • Finding African American Representation in Modern Organic Chemistry — A Personal Reflection. Diversity Faculty Fellow in chemistry Julius Green will review his personal journey to find a place in the competitive chemical industry as he pursues a quest to find connections between modern chemistry and the African Diaspora in a talk on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Green will speak from noon until 1 p.m in Old Main Colloquium.
  • African American Sport and Civil Rights. Kinesiology Department faculty member Susan Rayl asserts that sport provides the perfect venue for teaching students about the history of African Americans and their struggle for equality and civil rights. Her talk, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, will discuss African Americans since the Civil War who not only distinguished themselves as athletes in a legally segregated society, but also challenged the status quo and eventually broke through the color line when it came to equality for African Americans on and off the field of play. The lecture will run from 12:40 to 1:30 p.m. in Park Center Hall of Fame Room.
  • Exploring Intersectionality through the Lived Experiences of African American Women in South Korea. SUNY Cortland Kinesiology Professor Yomee Lee will discuss a recent study that explored the lived experiences of African Women living in South Korea. Despite the rising number of international people residing in South Korea, few studies examine the lived experiences of racialized and minoritized people in this country. By employing qualitative research methods, this study aims to break the silence of African women whose rich experiences as racialized others are shaped by the intersection of their multiple identities. The talk takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Corey Union, Room 301-303.
  • Uplifting Voices: The Profound Impact and Importance of Black Sororities at PWIs. Tracy Hudson, Diversity Faculty Fellow and assistant professor of physical education, will focus on the pivotal role of Black sororities within Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) in her lecture Wednesday, Feb. 28. These sororities, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (ZPB), and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (SGRho), serve as agents of change, shaping an empowered collegiate experience amid challenges of diversity and inclusivity. Hudson will begin at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Fireplace Lounge.
  • Africana Studies Department: Artistic Groups. This event from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in Brown Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 28 will highlight the diverse performance-based offerings — Africana Dance Group, Gospel Choir and the Blues Ensemble — that emanate from the traditions of people of African descent. The presentation was coordinated by Michael Tillotson, professor of Africana studies, and Bruce Mattingly, dean of arts and sciences.
  • Challenge Accepted: Overcoming Bias, Prejudice, and Racism One Day at a Time. The Anti-Racism Task Force Multimedia Subcommittee will present a sandwich seminar discussion surrounding the 21 Day Anti-Racism Challenge, on Thursday, Feb. 29. The panel presentation will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium. Since its release in January 2021, more than 700 faculty, staff and alumni have participated in the challenge, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Past participants will share their perspective and the panel will discuss what might be next with past participants, new ones and those who are on the fence.
  • Netflix’s Cleopatra and Afrocentric Claims on Ancient Egypt. Beniam Awash, assistant professor of sociology at SUNY Oneonta, will dissect Netflix’s second season of the African Queens series, which focused on Cleopatra and featured a Black British actress in the role. Why are American-centric ideas of race projected onto antiquity and how should we approach the peoples and cultures of ancient Egypt? What are Afrocentric claims about ancient Egypt? Awash will dive into the controversy from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29 in the Old Main Colloquium.
  • The Sherlock Holmes You Never Knew: Black American Adaptations, Then and Now. Audiences worldwide recognize Sherlock Holmes as the archetypal founding father of all great (white) fictional detectives. What they don’t know is that, almost from his very inception, there has been an important yet mostly unknown counter tradition of Black American Sherlock Holmes characters reaching back as far as 1903. Join SUNY Cortland Provost Ann McClellan, who’s authored a book on the topic, on Thursday, Feb. 29, for a fascinating — and sometimes troubling — media history of Black Sherlock Holmes adaptations across genres as wide-ranging as Broadway musicals and silent film to American jazz, graphic novels, dystopian fiction and fan fiction. She will speak from 6 to 7 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium.

 Several events are ongoing throughout February.

  •  Antiracist Books for Teachers (and everyone else). The Memorial Library and the School of Education faculty joined efforts to present two book displays for teachers and everyone else. The library’s front lobby display features books dedicated to learning about race and racial justice. The first-floor Teaching Materials Center display features children’s picture books of, for and representing Black American and Black-Diasporic lives, histories and experiences.
  • 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge. Throughout February, campus community members are invited to take part in the online, interactive 21 Day Anti-Racism Challenge at First launched at SUNY Cortland in 2021, the challenge gives campus community members an opportunity to immerse themselves in Black history and culture with a daily theme and a list of several options for reading, listening or watching. To complete the challenge, individuals may choose at least one activity per day and are welcome to explore more.

    Co-sponsorships and funding for Black History Month were made possible by the President’s Office, Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office, SUNY Cortland Alumni Association, Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, Student Government Association, Black Student Union, Men of Value and Excellence, the Anti-Racism Taskforce Multi-Media Sub Committee, the Health Promotion Office, the Provost’s Office, Memorial Library, School of Education, New York State United Teachers, and the departments of physical education, English, health, communication disorders and sciences, literacy, philosophy, communication and media studies, sociology/anthropology, economics, sport management, chemistry and kinesiology.

    For more information, contact Charlotte Wade, assistant diversity officer, at 607-753-2975 or in Miller Building, Room 404A.