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Many ways to celebrate Black History Month in the Fox Cities

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month. After a year of racial justice protests and national reckoning with pervasive systemic racism it is clear that we must commit to a deeper understanding of Black History year-round, and we must make space for, and listen to, the voices of Black people in our community.

Carolyn Desrosiers

Throughout the year we’ll be posting some guest Loop posts authored by local Black and African-American leaders to lift up some of the incredible work taking place in our community right now along with historical context. We’ll also be highlighting local virtual events this month and learning opportunities we encourage all of our readers to take part in.

Free virtual events

Appleton Area School District Weekly Community Events:

  • Opening Celebration – Feb. 1 from 5 – 6 p.m. Register
  • Black Entrepreneurs – Feb. 8 from 5 – 6 p.m. Celebrate local entrepreneurs and black business owners’ stories of success and community impact. Register
  • Black Love in the Valley – Feb. 15 from 5 – 6 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the stories of partners who represent the meaning of Black love. Register
  • Black Student Union Panel – Feb. 22 from 5 – 6 p.m. Seniors will share their highs and lows of being a Black student in the AASD. Register

African Heritage Emerging Student Leaders Institute:

  • For High School Student Leaders – Feb. 10 9 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Culturally relevant learning experiences that empower Black students including exposure to college admission, career exploration, and identity development workshops. Register
  • For College Leaders – Feb. 11 4 – 9 p.m. Hands-on workshops on living and studying while Black with opportunities to meet with peers from surrounding colleges and network with Black professionals from the community. Register
  • For Educators – Feb. 3, 10 & 17, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. K-12 An evening of engaging workshops for K-12 educators focusing on strategies that critically engage Black/African American students. Register

Dr. Theodore Darden

Imagine Fox Cities:

  • Policing and Our Future – Thursday, Feb. 4 9-11 a.m., Feb. 18 9-11 a.m., March 4 1-3 p.m. A three-part series examining the history of policing, its current challenges, and strategies to create a future in which all in the Fox Cities feel they can rely on the men and women in blue. Featuring Professor of Justice Studies Dr. Theodore Darden. Register

Other ways to learn and engage

Take the United Way Fox Cities 21-Week Equity Pledge:

The 21-Week Equity Challenge is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community. The Challenge begins Monday, February 1, but you can join anytime. Each Monday for 21 weeks – through June 21, participants will receive an email with topics to explore to develop deeper interpersonal understandings, build a stronger awareness of current systems, and engage in opportunities to take action. Sign up

View the History Museum at the Castle’s Stone of Hope Exhibit Online:

Created in partnership with African Heritage Inc., “A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities” is an award-winning exhibit about Black history in the Fox Cities from the 1700s to the present. Since its opening in 2014 the exhibit traveled the Fox Cities for two years to various community organizations and schools and is currently available virtually here.

Visit the Trout Museum of Art’s new exhibit “Unraveled. Restructured. Revealed”:

Guest curated by Tyanna J. Buie, an African-American female artist this exhibit brings together over 60 contemporary artists from across Wisconsin, the country, and world exploring inclusion and diversity through art. Exhibit open Feb. 19- May 23. Details

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