Cal Poly’s Black Student Union (BSU) and Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC) are teaming up with multiple organizations on campus and in the San Luis Obispo community to host an array of events in February in honor of Black History Month.
Some of the events students can look forward to in February include an open mic night and a poetry slam open to the entire campus and SLO community on Feb. 25, a roll-bounce skate party on Feb. 11 in Santa Maria and Black History Month (BHM) spirit week from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24.
The co-president of the Black Student Union, Nailah DuBose, said that these events are important because they showcase and celebrate Black culture.
The student body at Cal Poly is the least diverse in the entire California State University system. Cal Poly also enrolls the smallest percentage of Black students out of all CSU and UCs, according to Cal Matters.
“Cal Poly has diversity and inclusion initiatives, but showcasing Poly’s diversity by celebrating Black History Month will encourage BIPOC students to come [to the university] because it shows that they will come to a place that supports and celebrates their culture,” DuBose said.
In an effort to display that culture, the BSU and BAEC are painting the Poly “P” green, yellow and red for Black History Month.
DuBose is particularly excited about “The Vibe: Open Mic Night and Poetry Slam,” where BSU is working in collaboration with Black Lives Matter Community Action SLO, and R.A.C.E Matters SLO, a non-profit that aims to amplify Black voices and racial justice.
The Black Academic Excellence center will hold its first annual Black History Month Kick-Off event in the UU Plaza on Friday, Feb. 3 to showcase Black-owned businesses and on and off-campus resources for Black students.
On Feb. 16, there will be a State of Blackness event where students, staff and faculty can come to discuss the Black experience at Cal Poly.
Two events will also be held in the Chumash Auditorium, one focused on sisterhood and another on Black male-identifying student experiences.
February is the shortest month of the year. DuBose said Cal Poly students should continue to celebrate Black culture beyond February by “supporting Black-owned businesses, supporting the Black Student Union on campus and continuing to educate [themselves] about Black history.”
Those who wish to know more about the Black Student Union’s BHM events can follow them on Instagram @calpolybsu.