Black History Month

Purdue University Northwest is celebrating Black History Month 2021 with a range of special events, including creative performers, socially-distant and virtual activities, and thought-provoking discussions reflecting on the contributions of Black people to U.S. history.

Feb. 1 to 28

Black History Art Contest

Create and submit your artwork paying tribute to the power, grace and versatility embodied in Black history. Students will vote on their favorites, with the winners receiving Amazon gift cards!

  • $100 for first place
  • $50 for second place
  • $25 for third place

After the contest is complete, submitted artwork will be auctioned off to support PNW’s scholarship fund.

Submit your entry to

Feb. 1 to 28

Support Black, Buy Black

Sponsored by Student Government Association, Sisters with a Purpose and Black Student Union

Special promotions and offerings to PNW students for Black-owned businesses will be featured throughout the month.

Feb. 8 to 28

Black History Month Flag Display

PNW students are invited to place a flag, provided by the university, in the display at both campuses. The locations are Founders Plaza on the Hammond Campus and Fountain Plaza between the Library-Student-Faculty (LSF) Building and Technology Building on the Westville Campus. Students can pick up a flag for placement, and a keychain, inside Calumet Falls (Hammond) and the LSF entrance (Westville).

Feb. 12, 19 and 26 (3 p.m.)

Black Purdue Watch Party

Drawing upon numerous sources, including books on Purdue, newspaper archives, yearbooks and nearly 25 hours of personal interviews with Black alumni, this documentary begins at a time when Black students were denied campus food and housing, were barred from campus social life and banned from college sports. It records the subsequent decades of struggle, the on-campus protests in the 1960s and the steady progress over the years that accorded Black students equal rights.

Join Via Zoom

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (5 to 7 p.m.)

Building Community Through the Arts: Black History Month Poetry Slam

All are invited to enjoy our annual poetry slam this year featuring top artists from across the nation: Falú (New York), Austin Antoine (California), E’mon Lauren (Chicago) and Calvin “madeS.O.N.” (Miami). Artists will answer viewer questions. Be part of the audience and take part in the live voting. Help decide who will take the crown! YCA official DJ Ca$h Era serves as emcee. Join in the fun on our Facebook live event.

Join The Event

Thursday, Feb. 25 (6 p.m.)

The History of Black Music

Join DJ Trice for a DJ set and virtual lesson exploring the history of Black music!


Friday, Feb. 26 (9:15 a.m.)

The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity

Maceo Rainey, director of TRIO Educational Talent Search on PNW’s Westville Campus, will provide the keynote presentation for Lee High School’s Black History Month Celebration.

Join the Presentation

Friday, Feb. 26 (5 p.m.)

Black and Brilliant Academic Bowl

PNW students will show their knowledge – and pride – in Black history during this virtual academic competition.

Register Your Team

Saturday, Feb. 27 (9 a.m.)

Black Lives Matter Car Parade

Let’s celebrate Black History Month with a car parade on PNW’s Hammond campus. Student Life will provide car decorations and free t-shirts. Line-up begins at 8:30 a.m. at 169th Street Parking Garage. Please sign your car up by February 23.

Register for the Event

Past Events

Thursday, Feb. 4 (12:30 p.m.)

PNW Race, Racism, Anti-Racism Series: Health Equity and Communities of Color

As part of the faculty-led lecture series on “Race, Racism, Anti-Racism,” PNW Associate Professor of English Karen Bishop-Morris hosts a panel of health experts on World Cancer Day, who present and assess the disparities in breast cancer care and treatment for women of color.

Speakers include

  • Tranece Artis, Executive Director, Laini Fluellen Charities
  • Shari McKinley, Engagement Supervisor, ACCESS Community Health
  • Rachel Nagengast, Cancer Education Program Specialist

Friday, Feb. 5 (5 p.m.)

Virtual Painter – Evan Struck

Join live as artist Evan Struck creates a painting for PNW celebrating Black History Month! Ask questions and put in requests for what you would like to see. Participants will receive a wristband and flag, and the resulting painting will be displayed in Founder’s Plaza.

Watch the Video

Wednesday, Feb. 10 (6 p.m.)

Black-ish Watch Party and Discussion

PNW students can join via Zoom for a virtual watch party and discussion of “Hope” (season two, episode 16) from the series “Black-ish.” In this episode, the Johnson family discusses race issues while watching news coverage of a grand jury considering the indictment of a White police officer accused of killing a Black teen.

Wednesday, Feb. 17 (11 a.m.)

SPB Black History Month Kahoot! Night

It’s time to celebrate Black History Month! Let’s test your knowledge on Black Culture. Join the Student Programming Board in a Kahoot! Night and have a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Thursday, Feb. 18 (6 p.m.)

Petty Poetry with Ashlee Haze

A virtual workshop with poet Ashlee Haze during which PNW students can learn how to write petty poetry. This art form is a tool for expressing emotions in a healthy format and processing anger, grief, jealousy and bitterness through poetry.