History, future converge in 2017 MTSU Black Histor...

History, future converge in 2017 MTSU Black History Month events

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the cancellation of featured speaker Terrence J‘s scheduled Feb. 23 appearance.)

MTSU’s celebration of Black History Month is all about marching ahead while appreciating the marches of history.

“Empowering Future Leaders: Moving Forward while Reaching Back” is the theme of the 2017 Black History Month events, which will begin with the official kickoff from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Student Union’s first-floor atrium.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

The Black History Month Committee will cut a special cake and provide other refreshments while introducing the month’s agenda. 

A printable campus parking map is available at visitors attending daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

Mark Gwyn

Mark Gwyn

Featured items include the 21st annual Unity Luncheon, which is slated for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. MTSU alumnus Mark Gwyn, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director, will deliver the keynote address.

The luncheon honors unsung leaders who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of education, community service, civility advocacy, sports and black arts. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students or $250 for a table. Tickets may be purchased online at

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw, a scholar of African-American and Native American studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will speak at the Phi Alpha Theta initiation ceremony, which will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Room 160 of the College of Education building.

A reception with light refreshments will precede the ceremony. This event is co-sponsored by the MTSU Department of History and the African-American Studies Program.

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw

The winner of the 2017 John Pleas Award will be announced in a ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Room of the James Union Building.

The award is presented each year to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. It was established in 1997 to honor Dr. John Pleas, an MTSU professor emeritus of psychology.

With the exception of the Unity Luncheon, all events are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events, go to

For more information, contact Daniel Green, director of the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, at 615-898-5812 or

— Gina Logue (