CATSJ and CWRU to Host Series of Events in Celebration of Black History Month

Image of logo labeled with text Collective Action, in white, and text Toward Social Justice, in orange, against royal blue background
Image of text in uppercase which reads collective action, in blue, and towards social justice, in yellow

During Black History Month, we are encouraged to explore the richness and complexity of the African American experience.

Installation 1: Race and Policing at Doubting Thomas Art Gallery (856 Jefferson Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113)

February 9 – 24, 2018. Opening February 9, 2018 6:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gallery open Saturdays from 2:00 pm–6:00 pm during the month of February

For this year’s Black History Month, Doubting Thomas Gallery will house an installation that takes a deeper look at one social issue that some would argue has plagued the black community since the era of slavery. This issue has been expressed through outraged voices to demand accountability from local police departments and the federal government. This issue has also been defined by boisterous calls to maintain certain imperatives and protections for officers engaged in the dangerous field of policing.

The piece, Installation 1: Race and Policing, presents 50 silhouettes on tar paper that represent 50 unarmed African-Americans who were killed by police in 2017. The data is provided by The organization gathers and shares crowdsourced data to track people who are killed by police officers. The Department of Justice does not officially track this data, nor does any other federal agency. The life-sized pieces allow visitors to occupy the same space for reflection and reverence. Visual artist James Jenkins contributes mixed media pieces that speak to the spirit of the installation. Collective Action Towards Social Justice members collaborated and produced the silhouettes, and originally ran the installation at a social justice art event at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Bazaar | Black Excellence: Then and Now!

Tuesday, February 22 & Thursday, February 27, Noble Commons 11am-4pm
Collective Action Towards Social Justice at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is celebrating Black excellence by hosting a bazaar that features Black-owned businesses in the Greater Cleveland Area here in the Noble Commons.

A Celebration Dinner. Black History Month: Then and Now! 4pm-6pm, Noble Commons
Wednesday, February 28

The Mandel School will be celebrating Black History with a special reception featuring soul food from local black-owned restaurant Hot Sauce Williams, music, an open-mic, and a festive atmosphere. Feel free to wear clothing to symbolize your Black heritage or pride, such as traditional garb or the colors of an HBCU.

CWRU Events:

Confronting Structural Racism: What is my Role?

Representatives from the Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIPCuyahoga) initiative as well as the AmeRicans’ Conceptions of Health Equity Study, will lead an interactive discussion about concrete solutions to take action against structural racism and health inequity. Hosted by the School of Medicine and the Social Justice Institute, “Confronting Structural Racism: What is my Role?” will take place Wednesday, Feb. 21, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Robbins Building, Room E301.

The discussion panel will be composed of:

  • Heidi Gullett from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the CWRU School of Medicine and co-chair of HIPCuyahoga
  • Gregory L. Brown, the executive director of Policybridge and co-chair of HIPCuyahoga
  • Marilyn Burns, a community advocate
  • Colleen C. Walsh from the School of Health Sciences at Cleveland State University
  • Sarah S. Willen from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut

Attendees should bring a lunch, but drinks and dessert will be provided.

Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Competition: Reception and Celebration

Hear from the winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Competition at a reception Friday, Feb. 24, from 4 to 6 pm in Kelvin Smith Library.

This year, the competition was open to different forms of expression, including poetry, short story, art and photography. Faculty, staff and students from Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College submitted their works, showing the diversity of thought and creativity within the community.

The first place winners will receive $300 and a copy of Dr. King’s last book, Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?

Second place winners will receive a $50 gift certificate. Honorable mention recipients will have their work displayed and are invited to read and discuss their work at the reception.

Refreshments will be served.

As we celebrate Black History Month this year by engaging with the joy, beauty and strength of Pan-African culture, take a moment to visit an event!