Emory & Henry College Honors Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Emory & Henry College is sponsoring events throughout the month of February.
Carleigh Blaylock, the special projects coordinator for the Office of DEI, is in charge of planning the events for Black History Month, as well as making sure the events run smoothly.
“We are offering a variety of events that will cover topics such as the history of Emory & Henry College in relation to Black history & liberation, policing, segregation, The Crown Act, racism and Christianity, and the future of the freedom movement,” says Blaylock.
“Our goal is to highlight how pervasive white supremacy is and what we can do as individuals, as a community and institution to combat that pervasiveness wherever we find it,” she continues.
Kassi Armendo, a senior at Emory & Henry College, is impressed by the range of topics being discussed during the Black History Month events.
“The school is branching out to topics that are new for a lot of people,” Armendo says. “People need to be more educated on topics they are not as familiar with.”
The events started with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s “Black History Month Lecture” on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
The last event of the celebration is Dr. Jim Dawsey’s lecture, “Rethinking the Roots of Equality and Racism in Christianity: Windows to the Slide Toward Racism.” This event takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Blaylock recommends that students, especially, attend Dr. Isaiah McKinnon’s “Justice, Peace & Police Brutality: The Truth Behind Good Policing” on Monday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
“Policing is a topic that has been highly requested for us to talk about and we are excited to provide a platform for this important discussion,” says Blaylock.
Shelby Hughes, a sophomore at Emory & Henry College, is excited to attend Josh Von Castle’s lecture, “Built on a Footprint: A History of Emory & Henry From Slavery to Jim Crow,” which is happening Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
“There are things about the school’s past that nobody ever talks about,” said Hughes. “I think it’s important to openly talk about things that have happened on this campus but should not be happening anymore. The mistreatment of others based on race is not okay.”
Blaylock believes that all Emory & Henry students should be actively involved in honoring Black History Month.
“I would say that many of us do not receive adequate instruction around Black history as well as how racism and white supremacy impact the lives of people of color and our institutions,” Blaylock comments. “We have to take on the responsibility of educating ourselves,” she includes.
Emory & Henry College is partnering with many local organizations to provide events for students, including Southwest Virginia Community College, Jharkhand Education Project Council, and the Future Black Leaders Coalition.
“If we want to make real changes in our community, then it is important that we work with local partners in pursuit of those changes,” says Blaylock.
“It is important for students to understand these issues as they impact everyone: no matter what your major is, no matter what your future career will be, no matter where you are or where you will go – you will be faced with the effects of white supremacy and racism,” says Blaylock.
“We need to make sure we know how to combat and dismantle these effects where we find it.”
In total, Emory & Henry is hosting nine events throughout February. Students can check the “Black History Month 2021” Moodle page for the full listing of events.