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Student summit to highlight NMSU’s Black History Month

New Mexico State University’s Black Student Association and Black Programs will celebrate Black History Month with 13 events throughout the month of February.

New Mexico State University's Black by Southwest Student Summit 2018 is a three- day event that begins Friday Feb. 16 with a fellowship and ends Sunday, Feb. 18, with Orisha Olympics Games. Tickets are free, but are limited to the first 150 people. (Courtesy photo: Black Student Association)
Flyers listing events of Black History month and the 2018 Black by Southwest Student Summit
New Mexico State University's Black History Month 2018 begins Thursday, Feb. 1, with an Underground Railroad cultural exhibit and wraps up Monday Feb. 26 with a Blackout Party. (Courtesy photo: Black Student Association)

One of the biggest events being held during the month is the Black by Southwest Student Summit. The summit is Feb. 16-18 following the theme of “Yesterday’s Promise, Tomorrow’s Vision.”

Meligha Garfield, president of NMSU’s Black Student Association, said this year’s conference theme is meant to open the eyes of young adults to tackle and focus on the problems that are currently happening around them.

“The summit will encourage young people to understand that we are no longer the future, we are the present and we should be thinking about now and the and issues on hand because the future is now our little brothers and sisters,” Garfield said. “I’ve noticed that we, as young adults don’t watch the news as much as people used to. We’re updated on what’s happening, but we are ever so much more in a bubble with social media. We need to understand that as a whole and as a country, there are many things happening around the world and around us.”

The three days of the summit will feature a black-tie, red carpet premiere of Marvel’s “Black Panther” followed by a day of leadership sessions. Sessions will include a talk by Professor Charles Becknell of the University of New Mexico who will discuss how to incorporate Africana studies into the university system and reclaiming black studies in predominantly white colleges. Other discussions will include black feminism, diversity and inclusion, African studies, professional development, and mental health among African-Americans.

“Mental health is very prominent in the African-American community, but we just don’t handle the issue in the right way and we kind of down play it by saying ‘Hey, I’m OK.’ when asked how we are doing when we’re not OK. So, we’re going to address the issue of mental health in hopes of changing that,” Garfield said.

Tickets are free, but attendance is limited to the first 150 people who register. To register for the event and for a full list of summit events visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-by-southwest-student-summit-2018-tickets-39241220547

Darnicia Holt, head of public relations for the Black Student Association, said the theme of the student summit will tie into different events that will be held throughout the month.

“At the beginning of the month we are going to be talking about different parts of the African
diasporas and taking the time to not only learn about our past and all the things that we’ve been able to overcome, but using all of that knowledge for our own strength and history,” Holt said. “We want to be able to fuel ourselves and launch ourselves forward into not only our own futures, but how we continue to grow and develop and continue to overcome whatever the circumstance may be.”

Following is a list of the Black History events being held in February:

Thursday, Feb. 1 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Underground Railroad cultural exhibit
Theme: African Diaspora
Corbett Center Aggie Underground

Friday, Feb. 2 (7 p.m.)
Kavi Ade
A writer, activist, arts educator, and nationally recognized spoken word poet.
Corbett Center Auditorium

Wednesday, Feb. 7 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Panel discussion on black family TV sitcoms
Corbett Center Auditorium

Friday, Feb. 9 (5 to 9:30 p.m.)
“Let’s Talk About It”
Discussion on the black father dynamic followed by a private screening of the movie “Fences.”
Garcia Annex, Room 135

Saturday, Feb. 10 (12 to 6 p.m.)
Black Family Reunion
Garcia Center Backyard

Tuesday, Feb. 13 (5 to 8 p.m.)
Black Love Day
Corbett Center Aggie Lounge

Friday Feb. 16, to Sunday Feb. 18
Black by Southwest Student Summit
Please contact NMSU Black Programs for details

Monday, Feb. 19, to Wednesday Feb. 21
Visit Las Cruces public schools
Please contact Black Association for more details

Friday, Feb. 23 (6 to 10 p.m.)
Cotton Club: Speakeasy
Corbett Center Aggie Underground

Saturday, Feb. 24 (6 p.m.)
Afro-Heritage Appreciation Dinner
Call Black Student Association to RSVP
West Ballroom Corbett

Monday, Feb. 26 (9 to 2 p.m.)
Black Day of Silence
Corbett Center Aggie Lounge

Monday, Feb 26 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
End of Black History Month blackout party
Garcia Annex, Room 135

Tuesday, Feb. 27 (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
March on NMSU
International Mall

Tuesday, Feb. 27 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Blackout Vigil
Corbett Center Stage

For more information, please call Black Programs at NMSU at 575-646-4208.