Orange Coast College’s Student Equity Office is partnering with multiple groups to help students celebrate Black History Month virtually this year.
Student Equity has partnered with the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)/Umoja, the International Multicultural Committee, and the OCC Multicultural Center to present a series of asynchronous and live Zoom events beginning this week. Social issues, music, art, resources and history will be discussed with the goal of sharing knowledge and culture of Black history.
“I think it’s really important to continue these kinds of diversity and cultural awareness events even while we are virtual,” said Connie Oh, OCC Student Equity Specialist. “Even though we are in a pandemic and we’re all home, it’s really important to feel the sense of community and connection with the rest of the campus especially for issues of diversity, equity, and culture. Those kinds of issues don't go away just because we are at home.”
The Zoom events will be held on Feb. 10, 17 and 24.
On Feb. 10, “Black Financial Literacy” features speaker Bobby McDonald of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County and will cover the success of Black businesses that founded “Black Wall Street.”
On Feb. 17, “Music of the African Diaspora” with speaker Dr. McCurdy provides context to the history of music as a tool by enslaved Africans and later to protest social injustice.
On Feb. 24, “The Fifth Element and the Black Radical Tradition” with speaker Ronald C. McCurdy will discuss hip-hop and concepts of the Black Radical Tradition.
For asynchronous content, there is a poster contest called “Art in Social Justice: Civil Rights to #BlackLivesMatter” that is taking submissions until Feb. 23. Submissions will appear on Padlet and be featured on OCC’s Student Equity Instagram. Winners will be announced Feb. 26.
OCC's Equity YouTube channel also has a featured playlist intended to educate and inspire. The channel features music and speeches.
On social media, there are two main events that OCC’s Student Equity Instagram account will be doing in weekly posts. Every Tuesday, “Hidden Figures of Black History” focuses on Black historical figures that most may never have learned in K-12 education. Posts will highlight and celebrate lesser known figures and their contributions to Black history. On Thursdays, the same account will feature “Exploring Black History Through Food” that shares recipes and history for food of the African Diaspora. Participants are encouraged to try the recipes and have their creations featured on the Instagram account.
According to Oh, the events were planned based on information gathered from students, faculty and staff from previous years to help make this virtual program be just as successful.
The full line-up of events can be found on the Orange Coast College’s Black History Month Celebrations 2021 page.