Purdue University Northwest announces Black History Month schedule of events

February 5, 2022

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will commemorate Black History Month with a variety of events planned for the PNW community throughout February. A series of lectures, skate parties, gatherings and art displays are among the scheduled activities.  

The month-long celebration gets underway with the Black History Month Kick-Off on February 8 in the Multicultural Lounge on the Hammond campus. The open-house style reception will feature food, music, games and giveaways. Parlay Grill & Catering, a local Black-owned business, will provide refreshments.

PNW student Dwayne Hunter, former president of the Black Student Union, will bring his ThrillAmaze mobile family entertainment company to both the Hammond and Westville campuses. Hunter, a business major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, will get the “Roll Bounce” Skate Parties rolling with laser tag and a portable skate rink. 

Faculty members from PNW’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences will be presenting two thought-provoking lectures with discussions on racism and civic responsibilities and color-blindness and contemporary racism. The lectures are part of PNW’s successful educational series “Race, Racism, Anti-racism”

William Godwin, councilperson for the 1st District of Gary and president of the Gary Common Council, will provide the keynote speech at the Black Excellence Brunch on February 18. The event is open to open to PNW students, faculty, staff and esteemed allies. 

Throughout the month of February, PNW students and faculty members are invited to share their original pieces of art celebrating Black history. The artwork will be displayed on both the Hammond and Westville campuses. 

Specialty t-shirts for this year’s Black History Month, designed by Rockland Page of ROCKaBLOCK, a local Black-owned business, will be available at all events while supplies last. 

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, honors the achievements, rich culture and history of African Americans and recognizes the important contributions and of Black individuals in society. The current month-long observance began in 1926 as a week-long event sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). During the 1960s, the week-long observance grew into a month-long celebration on many college campuses. Since 1976, the month of February has been officially designated as Black History Month.

Visit www.pnw.edu/black-history to view the latest schedule of events.

PNW’s Black History Month Schedule of Events

Black History Month Art Display

February 1-28

Students and faculty are invited to submit artwork, in any media, that celebrates Black history. The artwork will be displayed in the Multicultural Lounge, Room 108 in the Classroom Office Building, on the Hammond campus and in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the Westville campus.

Black History Month Kick-Off

Noon to 2 p.m., February 8

 Multicultural Lounge, Room 108 in the Classroom Office Building

Celebrate open-house style with music, tabling and food provide by Parlay Grill & Catering.

“Roll Bounce” Skate Parties

  • Westville: 1 to 4 p.m., February 15, James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex.
  • Hammond: 4 to 8 p.m., February 23, Hammond Armory at 2530 173rd St.

Celebrate with friends “Roll Bounce” style with roller-skating and laser tag. The ThrillAmaze laser tag and portable skate rink are provided by Dwayne Hunter, former president of the Black Student Union and current student at PNW. 

Black Excellence Brunch

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., February 18

Alumni Hall on the Hammond campus

A catered brunch for PNW students, faculty, staff and esteemed allies. The keynote speech will be delivered by William Godwin, councilperson for the 1st District of Gary and president of the Gary Common Council. 

SGA Black History Month Bash

6 p.m. to midnight., February 19

Student Union Library Building Concourse and Calumet Falls

Sponsored by the PNW Student Government Association, enjoy tabling, pizza, music and  dancing. 

Lecture and Discussion -Race, Racism, Anti-Racism and Civic Responsibilities: Candid Conversations with Tim Wise

Hybrid In-person and Zoom

  • Westville: 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., February 22, James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex
  • Hammond: 3:30 p.m.- 5:45 p.m., February 23, The Y Jean Chambers Auditorium in the Student Union Library Building

Wise, a prominent anti-racist educator and writer, will examine DEI (Diversity, Equity  and Inclusion) efforts in educational, government and/or corporate settings, and how those efforts either support real change or perpetuate institutional inequity. A mix and mingle event will follow the Hammond lecture on the third floor of the Student Union Library Building.

Lecture and Discussion – Racism, Being Color Blind and Beauty

12:30 to 1:45 p.m., March 1

Synchronous Zoom

Meiko Yamada, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology at Purdue University Fort Wayne and Deepa Majumdar, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at PNW, will discuss how color-blindness is a new challenge today and how to tackle contemporary racism. Often, our power-laden view of physical beauty (which lies in the eye of the beholder) expresses racism. Majumdar will use Plato to speak of the ascent away from subjective beauty towards one that prioritizes beauty of character.