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Black History Month gets underway at WCU

Black History Month gets underway at WCU

CULLOWHEE – A series of activities, exhibits and events are planned at Western Carolina University in recognition of February as Black History Month, including an inaugural scholarly discussion of diversity in Appalachia.

“Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month,” said Ricardo Nazario-Colón, the university’s chief diversity officer. “At WCU, we provide opportunities for our community to engage in conversation through a myriad of programs sponsored by student organizations, faculty and staff, and departments.”

Among the many events will be a free community webinar about race and ethnicity in the mountains on Monday, Feb. 7, beginning at 4 p.m. The panel includes Ben Steere, WCU director of Cherokee Studies; Sophia Enriquez, assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Duke University; Joe Trotter Jr., professor of history and social justice at Carnegie Mellon University; Neema Avashia, civics and ethnic studies teacher at Boston Public Schools; and Trey Adcock, director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

View the livestream on the Appalachian Studies Association Facebook page or register to attend via Zoom at

A virtual series presentation on the WCU website is “The Black Fantastic,” a project by the University Communications and Marketing team to highlight excellence among Black faculty and staff. This artistic and creative look at mentors and leaders on campus features their completing the phrase “I am proud of my success because …” 

WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center will feature “Ann Miller Woodford: The Artist as Storyteller” throughout the month as well, with in-person and video exhibit of paintings created by the noted Cherokee County author, artist and local historian.

To learn about additional events, visit WCU Engage

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