Multicultural Student Services hosts Black History Luncheon


Photo Credit: (MGN Online)

Soundharjya Babu, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP – Multicultural Student Services hosted their annual Black History Month luncheon on Feb. 28 to celebrate the past, present and future of African-American culture.

The luncheon featured various performers who shared their talents and tied in inspirational messages to the audience.

Grace Faye opened up the event as the first performer and inspired people with her powerful voice.

Bryce Chisom also sang for the audience and shared her thoughts on why black history is important to celebrate.

“It’s important because our people can get the recognition and respect they deserve,” said Chisom. “African-American students on campus know that they have a safe space and know that they’re being recognized.”

Having recognition and having everyone’s voices matter is a common theme during the luncheon. Performer Micah Thompson’s spoken word poetry encouraged people to speak up because their voices count.

Additionally, Savannah Francois’ song highlighted the importance of staying strong and having hope. Black History Month is especially important to her because it reminds people that they can stay strong despite the barriers.

“A lot of people say every day is black history month and I really believe that,” said Francois. “Regardless of anything that happens to you, you’re strong, you still have a dream, and you still hope that people believe in the same things you do.”

The event ran from noon to 1:30 p.m., and featured the Theodore Jones Excellence Award and Keynote Address speaker, Mark Weir.

Theodore Jones was the first president of the Black Student Union, established 48 years ago. The Excellence Award was named after him in honor of his impact on the Black Student Union.

“The Black Student Union was created so that they can have a hub where they are considered the minority,” said Fred Hodges, director of Multicultural Student Services.

Motivational speaker Mark Weir, who is also the founder and chief educational officer of LEADS (Leadership: Exploring and Developing Success), shares his insight on the qualities of a true leader.

“I’m not afraid to be vulnerable,” said Weir. “What you see is what you get. And I only know how to bring my authentic self.”

Growing up with his mother’s side of the family discriminating against African-Americans, Weir was embarrassed to share his experience with others, until he realized that he could use his story to help others.

“The experience that I thought was so bad had the opportunity to help and reach out and serve another person,” he said.

The themes of leadership, confidence and appreciating African-American culture tied together in one luncheon with the performers and speakers.

Fred Hodges shares the reason events like these are important to the African American community.

“People can go back on their lineage and notice how much work that was put forth in order for us to be where we are now,” said Hodges. “You look back, just to see how far you’ve come and when looking back and seeing the progress … any progress is better than no progress at all. So it’s extremely important to honor our lineage.”

Other events were held throughout the month, including black history jeopardy, as well as open mic nights honoring composers and songwriters from the past.

“Our voices matter,” said Hodges. “Take time to be grateful for those who have paved the pay for us.”