Black History Month Events Set

Jan 25, 2022

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey highlights a series of events planned by California, Clarion and Edinboro universities.

black history month

A virtual address by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey will open Black History Month at Cal U on Feb. 3, kicking off a series of events highlighting the legacies, accomplishments and struggles of African Americans throughout history.

Gainey was sworn in on Jan. 2 as the 61st mayor of Pittsburgh, making history as the city’s first-ever Black mayor. His 90-minute talk, “The Story of Civic Engagement,” is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Zoom.

“We are thrilled to have Mayor Gainey kick off our 2022 Black History Month celebration,” said Sheleta Camarda-Webb, Cal U’s interim chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer. “The opportunity to hear his story of moving through the ranks as a civic leader may inspire each of us to actively engage within our communities through voting and other measures to use our voice.”

Cal U has teamed up with Clarion and Edinboro universities to curate an extensive schedule of presentations and activities that honor the culture and contributions of African Americans worldwide.

Highlights of the joint programming include:

Diversity Dialogue
5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31
Location: Online – Edinboro University’s YouTube

Part of Edinboro’s ongoing “Diversity Dialogues” series – which tackles converging issues surrounding race, politics and economics – the discussion will feature POC artists Danielle and Roland Slade and civic leader Autumn Parker.

About the participants:

  • Roland Slade is a video collage artist, cultural critic and art house instructor.
  • Danielle Slade is a hair artist and master stylist at So Fancy Hair Salon.
  • Autumn Parker is career advisor at Allegheny College, ERIWE co-founder and community leader.

The Slades' collaborative artwork, "Texture Evolution," is on display as a part of the “LINE” show at Edinboro's Bruce Gallery in Doucette Hall through Feb. 4. 

Our Stories…Illustrated – Paint & Chip
6-9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7.

Location: Cal U – TBD (Carter Hall multipurpose room or the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Center)

The event will feature local artist Jeff Jenkins. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact

“The Souls of Clayhatchee: A Southern Tale”
6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14
Location: Online – Zoom link

A virtual reading of the Anthony Todd Carlisle novel and discussion featuring author Dr. Anthony Carlisle, associate professor of Culture, Media and Performance at Cal U.

Professors of Color in the Ivory Tower
Noon Wednesday, Feb. 16
Location: Online – Zoom link

A virtual Red Table Talk Discussion facilitated by Dr. Michelle Torregano, associate professor and PreK graduate coordinator at Cal U. Faculty participants include Dr. Adrienne Dixon, assistant professor, Counseling, School Psychology and Special Education (Edinboro); Dr. Kevon Bruce, assistant professor, Counseling, School Psychology and Special Education (Edinboro); and Dr. Darla Timbo, assistant professor, Psychology (Cal U).

Akeem Olaj
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17.
Location: Edinboro University – Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Scot Cinema

Olaj is spoken-word artist whose poetry focuses on family dynamics, public health, politics, domestic violence and LGBTQ issues. The event is sponsored by Edinboro University Programming Board.

“Harriet Tubman”
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20 

3 p.m. - Screening of 2019 biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons

5 p.m. - Group discussion

6 p.m. - Soul Food Sunday Dinner

Location: Clarion University – Suites on Main North movie theater

The film screening, discussion and dinner are sponsored by Little Leaders of Clarion and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education.

The History of Soul Food: Lunch & Learn
Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Location: Cal U – Gold Rush

Attendees will learn about and sample soul food, a term used for ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans in the Southern U.S. The event is sponsored by AVI Dining and Catering Services. 

Have You Ever Seen the Crowd Goin’ Apesh*t?: Art, Pop Culture and Artistic Challenge to Power
6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23.
Location: Online – Zoom link coming soon

A Bruce Gallery screening of Beyoncé and Jay–Z’s 2018 music video, “Apeshit,” (filmed inside the Louvre in Paris), followed by a panel discussion featuring Edinboro faculty members Dr. Rhonda Matthews (Political Science), Dr. Charlotte Wellman (Art History) and Lisa Austin (Studio Art and director of Bruce Gallery) and Dr. Ginger Jacobson, associate director of behavioral research at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. 

Character Narratives: Creating a Black Film
7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23
Location: Clarion University – Hart Chapel 

Award-winning writer/film director Hezreel Robertson of Pittsburgh has written and produced several short films. His filming style hails from German expressionist and has been described as voyeuristic. Robertson’s internationally recognized short film, “Forlorning,” has received seven Mokkho Film Festival selections and five festival awards. He is producing several short films and two feature films. The event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education, Leadership Institute and NAACP. 

Black History Month Trivia
7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28
Location: Edinboro University – Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Multipurpose Room

The student trivia event is sponsored by Edinboro University Programming Board.

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Joseph Laythe Awards Ceremony
3 p.m. Thursday, March 3
Location: Edinboro University – Van Houten North Dining Hall

Black History Month Charity Walk
Feb. 1 – 28

Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro students are asked to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by walking for a charity that is important to their story. To participate:

  1. Create a Charity Miles account, select a charity of your choice and walk throughout the month of February.
  2. Encourage family and friends to donate to your selected charity.
  3. Send a screenshot of your Charity Miles app to by March 1.

Prizes will be awarded to the top four students on each campus. Winners will be announced on March 3.

California, Clarion and Edinboro universities are proud to join the nation in celebrating the culture and rich traditions of our diverse communities. To learn more about Black History Month programming or the institutions’ diversity initiatives, contact Dr. Terrence Mitchell, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or visit, and