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Black History Month at MTSU celebrates love, healt...

Black History Month at MTSU celebrates love, health, wellness, relationships

“Black Love: Health, Wellness, Relationships” is the theme of this year’s Black History Month celebration throughout February at MTSU.

4 hands unity luncheon graphicTo kick off the festivities, the Black History Month Committee will provide information about the month’s event lineup and provide refreshments, including cake, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center in Room 330 of the Student Union.

The featured events include “Dr. Jackie” Walters, a cast member of Bravo’s “Married to Medicine,” delivering the keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, in the second-floor ballroom of the Student Union.

Dr. Jackie Walters, Bravo's "Married to Medicine", 2022 Black History Month keynote speaker (Photo by Drea Nicole Photography)

Dr. Jackie Walters

Walters, an obstetrician-gynecologist and two-time breast cancer survivor, practices at Comprehensive Women’s OB/GYN, which has locations in Duluth and Dunwoody, Georgia. She earned bachelor’s degrees at Alcorn State University and the University of Mississippi and obtained her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

Among other highlights will be the “Reading the Black Experience” monthlong community reading project beginning Monday, Feb. 2; the Color the Runway Fashion Show from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Student Union; and the “Showtime at the Apollo” student talent content from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at Tucker Theatre, as well as a health and wellness panel, two movie series and other events.

See the full calendar of events and more event details at https://mtsu.edu/aahm/calendar.php.

Students show off their talent at the university’s third annual "Showtime at the Apollo" student talent contest held in February 2020 in celebration of Black History Month. (MTSU file photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)

Students show off their talent at the university’s third annual “Showtime at the Apollo” student talent contest held in February 2020 in celebration of Black History Month. (MTSU file photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)

• MTSU will present the John Pleas Faculty Award at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the James Union Building. This annual honor, which was established in 1997, goes to a Black faculty member at MTSU who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

Dr. John Pleas

Dr. John Pleas

• Five stellar members of the Black community will be appreciated for their lifetime accomplishments at the 26th annual Unity Luncheon at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union.

This year’s featured speaker will be Dr. Sekou Franklin, an associate professor in MTSU’s Department of Political Science and International Relations.

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Sekou Franklin

The event, which has been a staple of Black History Month since 1996, pays homage to “unsung heroes.” This year’s honorees are:

Elma McKnight, retired educator, Murfreesboro City Schools, recognized for service to education; Thomas Keith, MTSU alumnus, longtime track and field coach, recognized for excellence in sports; Carl E. Watkins, retired Murfreesboro police captain and youth volunteer, recognized as an advocate of civility; Melbra Simmons, media office coordinator for MTSU’s True Blue TV and committee member for the Tennessee Girls in STEM Conference, recognized for community service; and Robert Orr Jr., Murfreesboro artist, recognized for commitment to Black arts.

Unity Luncheon tickets are available online only until Thursday, Feb. 3, at $20 each for students and $35 for nonstudents. A table of eight is available for $280.

Tickets may be purchased at https://bit.ly/mtunity22.

All Black History Month events except the Unity Luncheon are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Daniel Green, director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, at 615-898-2831 or daniel.green@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

A portion of the crowd attending this year’s 24th annual MTSU Unity Luncheon in the Student Union Ballroom Thursday, Feb. 20, waits for the event to begin. MTSU and the community recognized six unsung heroes at the event. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

A portion of the crowd attending the 2020 MTSU Unity Luncheon in the Student Union Ballroom waits for the event to begin. MTSU and the community recognized six unsung heroes at the event. After going virtual in 2021 due to the pandemic, the 2022 event is set to return to campus on Feb. 10 in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU file photo by James Cessna)

Click the image for a larger, printable pdf version of the calendar.

Click the image for a larger, printable pdf version of the calendar.


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