Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

Several Black people stand smiling together. Black History Month 2022 - Black Joy

Welcome to the Black History Month webpage! We thank you for joining us in another year of celebrating the lives, success, struggles and beauty of the Black and Afro-descended peoples from around the globe.  

The theme for this year's Black History Month is: BLACK JOY! For our students on the BHM Planning Committee: “Black Joy means focusing on the successes and accomplishments of Black people of all backgrounds. Despite the hardships we’ve faced and are still facing, we continue to rise. We are leaders, scientists, doctors, innovators, entertainers, and so much more. Black Joy is capturing the triumphs of our people and celebrating them despite us living in a world that was built on the oppression of our skin. Black Joy is beating the odds continuously in a world that was not made for us. We celebrate Black Joy because nobody has us, like we have each other; therefore we must rise and show the world what we can do. Black Joy shows that as Black people, despite the centuries of trauma we have experienced, we are proud to be who we are. No matter where we come from or what we identify as, we are one and we are happy to be Black.”

Please join us throughout the month of February as we delve into the theme of Black Joy! As you will find in the events below, our communities on campus have prepared dynamic, immersive and meaningful programs for all to attend, with a myriad of in-person, hybrid and virtual options.


BHM Save the Date Square 


Eilen Southern and The Music of Black Americans: A Celebratory Round Table

January 21, 2022 / 10:00–11:30 a.m.


Register on Sessions:

Eileen Southern (1920–2002) is one of the most influential figures in Black music scholarship. This roundtable discussion, featuring professors from across the entire University of Michigan, aims to introduce faculty and students to Southern’s work and discuss its importance for contemporary music studies.

Coordinated by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance


Black History Month Opening Ceremony

February 1, 2022 / 3:00–5:00 p.m.


Register on Sessions:

Happy Black History Month! Please join us for the Opening Ceremony as we begin a month full of wonderful programs and events, all of which will focus on the joyous experiences, successes and contributions of Afro-descended peoples from around the world. The Opening Ceremony will be live-streamed to ensure that we’re able to provide an immersive experience for all participants.  We have an exciting program filled with spoken word performances; vocal music; and U-M’s very own Dr. Naomi André, who will be delivering our keynote address. We look forward to convening in community with you all!

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee, Co-sponsored by the LSA Student Government


Guess that Black Engineer 

February 3, 2022 / 6:00–8:00 p.m.

In-person: Anderson D, Michigan Union

Register on Sessions:​

Despite our people not getting the opportunities they deserved, they still managed to engineer inventions that we still use today (i.e. home security system, the 3-light traffic system, automatic elevator doors, etc.). This event is geared towards educating our community about our own advancements and crediting our people, as they are often discredited.

Coordinated by National Society of Black Engineers


Dance Workshop: Detroit Ballroom and Bachata 

February 4, 2022 / 6:00 PM–7:30 p.m.

Hybrid: Michigan League, Vandenberg Room / Virtual

Register on Sessions for the in-person event:

Register on Sessions for the virtual event:

These workshops will have two parts. Part one will be a workshop of Detroit Ballroom (35 mins) and Bachata (35 mins) with 20 mins of free dancing. Part two will be a workshop of  Kizomba (35mins) and Detroit Hustle (35 mins) with 20 mins of free dancing at the end.  

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee


Anti-Racism Teach-in

February 8, 2022 / 6:00 PM–7:30 p.m.


Register on Sessions:

Racial justice begins with anti-racism. Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes so that power is redistributed and shared equitably (University of Calgary). This peer-led teach-in will engage analytical frameworks for examining systemic cultural, social, economic, and political forces in the community along with individual reflection. Our hope is to raise critical consciousness, understand the opportunity for actions, and how our resources can be distributed. This Teach-In will be facilitated by Dillon Alexandro Cathro. 

Coordinated by MESA 


Black Love Mass Meeting

February 10, 2022 / 6:00–8:00 p.m. 

In-person: Trotter Multicultural Center, Sankofa Lounge

Register on Sessions: 

The Black Love meeting will  be a casual discussion on the workings of Black Love and what that means and looks like to us as Black folk.

Coordinated by the Black Student Union


Dance Workshop: Detroit Hustle and Kizomba

February 11, 2022 / 6:00–7:30 p.m.

Hybrid: Michigan Union, Pendleton Room / Virtual

Register on Sessions for the in-person event:

Register on Sessionas for the virtual event:

These workshops will have two parts. Part one will be a workshop of Detroit Ballroom (35 mins) and Bachata (35 mins) with 20 mins of free dancing. Part two will be a workshop of  Kizomba (35 mins) and Detroit Hustle (35 mins) with 20 mins of free dancing at the end. 

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee


Wellness Workout with Mr. Grindtime

February 15, 2022 / 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Hybrid: Michigan Union, Anderson ABC / Virtual

Register on Sessions for the in-person event:

Register on Sessionas for the virtual event:

Join us as John Smith also known as Mr. Grindtime, comes to campus to with a workout and discussion to help improve your overall mental, physical, and emotional wellness. This event is a mixture of a disccussion and a workout class.

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee


Transcending Nightingale: Intentional Nursing Actions to Achieve Health Equity

February 17, 2022 / 12:00–1:00 p.m.


Register on Qualtrics:

Dr. Sheldon Frields has joked that he is a unicorn in the world of academic nursing because he still walks into spaces where he is the only male nurse of color. At Penn State, he is the only Black, Latinx male faculty member. In 2000, he was Penn Nursing's first Black male to graduate with a doctorate in nursing. Dr. Fields was also the first Black male nurse faculty member at the University of Rochester. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion at the Penn State College of Nursing and the First Vice President of the National Black Nurses Association. 

Guest Speaker: Dr. Sheldon Fields, Ph.D. RN, CRNP, FNP-BC, AACRN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN believes that diversity and inclusion are crucial to both the success of our society and the field of nursing. 

Moderated by: Dr. Patricia Tillman-Meakins, UMSN Faculty. 

Coordinated by University of Michigan School of Nursing

Co-sponsored by 

Center for Improving Patient and Populations Health

The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA)

African Studies Center

Department of African American Studies

UM-Flint Nursing

UM Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

UMSN Common Read Initiatives

The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation

Michigan Medicine Office for Health Equity and Inclusion


Discussion with Dr. Feranmi Okanlami: Race, Place and Ability

February 17, 2022 / 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Hybrid: Wolverine Room / Virtual

Register on Sessions for the virtual event:

Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, Director of Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services, will lead a discussion that centers on the intersection of Race, Ability and the process of finding one’s Place or sense of belonging. Through sharing his own personal experiences of living with disabilities and advocating for more robust and inclusive services for university students living with disabilities, Dr. Okanlami will push participants to think critically about what a truly inclusive and accessible university culture looks like, and will invite them to move away just from theorizing about change, toward enacting the changes they would like to see.

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee



Film Screening: Gone to the Village

February 17, 2022 / 6:00–7:00 p.m.

In-person: Michigan Union Courtyard

Register on Sessions:

“Gone to the Village is a unique and powerful documentary, beautifully filmed, of the elaborate funerary rites for the Queen Mother of the Asante in Ghana. Leading Asante scholar Kwasi Ampene directs and narrates with the authority, gaze and sensitivity of a true insider, with stunning footage of the rich cultural traditions of the Asante people. Filmed on location in Kumase during the funeral, we witness traditions that have stubbornly and proudly resisted the onslaught of colonial rule and globalization. Through the film, we learn about the history of the Asante as well as the central role of women in this matriarchal society. The scenes of dance, song, drumming, proverbs, and dress code are of exceptional and exquisite beauty, unprecedented in the African continent.”

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee



Guest Lecture: Gone to the Village Q&A w/ Dr. Kwasi Ampene

February 18, 2022 / 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Hybrid: Angell Hall Auditorium D / Virtual

Register on Sessions for the in-person event:

Register on Sessions for the virtual event:

Dr. Ampene will engage in a Q&A discussion with audience members, on the subject of his documentary Gone to the Village, and its relationship with this year’s theme for Black History Month: Black Joy.  

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee


Black History Month Gala

February 20, 2022 / 7:00–9:00 p.m.

In-person: Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union

Register on Sessions:

This event celebrates art, music, and Black culture on campus in a formal affair.  Students will have the opportunity to showcase their art, perform spoken word, and enjoy music on the dance floor. The goal is to bring the Black community together and celebrate the culture with good food, good music, and a great time.

Coordinated by the National Pan-Hellenic Council


QTBIPOC Togetherness Gathering for Black History Month 

February 21, 2022 / 6:00-7:30 p.m. 


Register at:

The Togetherness: QTBIPOC Gatherings are a collaboration between MESA and the Spectrum Center focusing on centering the experiences of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color through sharing meals, discussions, and creating connections with people in the QTBIPOC community at UM and in the surrounding areas.

This event’s host will be Raivynn Smith. Raivynn Smith is an Adult Services Librarian at the Durham County Library in Durham, NC. Born in Ohio, they have moved around quite a bit in pursuit of education and the perfect scoop of ice cream. They previously worked at the Spectrum Center, and would love to talk about doing anti-oppressive work and maintaining boundaries in libraries and higher education with whoever is interested! When not roaming the stacks, they enjoy reading (of course!), listening to almost every genre of music, going for hikes, baking, and hanging out with their partner and dog.

Learn more about future Togetherness events or applying to be a future host at:


Loving Day Dialogue with Mixed@Michigan

February 23, 2022 / 8:00–9:00 p.m.

In-person: Trotter Multicultural Center, Student Organization Lounge

Register on Sessions:

This coming June marks the 55th anniversary of the momentous court case of Loving v. Virginia in which interracial marriage was officially legalized by the U.S. supreme court. Here at Mixed@Michigan, we are a symbol of this ruling establishing the human right to love and we have found pride and acceptance in our mixed identities. Given that February is a month of both celebrating Black history and finding love, we will provide a space to discuss the experiences of our Black students at Mixed@Michigan and how they have found strength in their mixed identity in addition to discussing the nuanced issues that arise when navigating interracial relationships. We plan to reflect on the empowerment of mixed-race Black Americans in the decades following the Loving ruling and what it means to be proud of our identity. Lastly, we will flesh out problems with stereotypes, colorism, and exoticizing skin color when navigating relationships and how we can work towards further destigmatizing interracial relationships. We hope to have this conversation with a diverse group of people, regardless of ethnic or racial identification and food will be provided!

Coordinated by Mixed@Michigan


BHM Closing Ceremony

February 23, 2022 / 3:00–5:00 p.m.


Register on Sessions:

As wrap up programming for this year’s Black History Month, we want to send a special thank you to everyone who participated in and attended the wide variety events organized by students, staff, faculty, and our great Michigan community members. Black History Month is more than just one month: it is a day-in, day-out celebration of Afro-descended peoples from around the world. Similarly, Black Joy cannot, and should, not be encapsulated into just one month of programming.  All the same, we hope you were able to engage with this year’s programming as fully as possible.

Our Closing Ceremony will be vibrant with energy and, of course, a celebration of Black Joy. We will have dance ensemble performances; vocal music numbers; and to our great pleasure and honor, Professor Robin Wilson will be closing us out with an immersive and radical keynote presentation. We look forward to being in community with you all.

Coordinated by MESA and the BHM Planning Committee


Community Choice Meeting

February 24, 2022  /  6:00–8:00 p.m. 

In-person: Trotter Multicultural Center, Sankofa Lounge

Register on Sessions: 

During this event, members of the community will decide what topic or theme to focus on during conversation. Topics can range and vary in genre, scope, field, etc., and the community will come to unanimous consent on which area to discuss.

Coordinated by the Black Student Union

Black History Month Events