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UC San Diego Recognizes 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Movement with 2014 Black History Month History Celebration

The University of California, San Diego will honor the history and accomplishments of African-Americans during the university’s annual celebration of Black History Month. The theme for 2014 is “Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights­­: The journey is not complete, we can and must do more.”

“UC San Diego’s commemoration of Black History Month is about celebration, education and inspiration,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “This year’s focus on the Civil Rights Movement allows us to reflect on one of most defining eras in American history and showcases how individuals can come together to stand against oppression and enact change.”

Many of the Black History Month events at UC San Diego integrate personal histories of triumph through art, discussion and performance. These events include an exhibit on Josephine Baker and her influence on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, a screening of “The Butler,” a lecture on Nelson Mandela and his role in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, culminating with the annual the Black History Month Scholarship Brunch, which raises funds for student scholarships and recognizes student academic achievement.

“Celebrating Black History Month is a UC San Diego tradition in which the entire campus can participate,” said Carol Padden, UC San Diego’s interim vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “This year’s events will both celebrate the histories and struggles of individuals who contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and show today’s generation how to fight for social equality.”

Pamela Fruge, chair of the Black History Month Planning Committee added, “This year reminds us that it is important to connect with and understand that there is much more work to be done to effect equality for all Americans.”

Highlighted events for UC San Diego’s 2014 Black History Month celebration include the following; a full list of events and details can be found at blackhistorymonth.ucsd.edu.

  • Black History Month Opener, Noon, Jan. 31, Price Center Plaza: UC San Diego students, faculty, staff and members of the community will gather together to celebrate the achievements, struggles and persistence of people of African descent through spoken-word poetry and musical performances.
  • Black History Month’s “Night with Athletics,” 5 p.m., Jan. 31, Green Room, RIMAC Arena: The public is invited to cheer the campus’s basketball teams to victory as the Triton Women and Men take on Cal Poly Pomona. Complimentary food and beverages will be served. Families are welcomed to attend.
  • Lytle Benefit Concert: Eastbound Home Featuring Nathan East, '78, 3 p.m., Feb. 1, Conrad Prebys Concert Hall: The 18th Annual Lytle Benefit Concert will fund endowed scholarships at UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College. This year’s event will feature world-renowned and Grammy nominated bass guitarist, Nathan East, ’78.
  • Jazz in Paris: How African-Americans Shaped and Influenced the Paris Jazz Scene, Noon, Feb. 3,  UC San Diego International Center Lounge: Cecil Lytle, the world- renowned pianist and former provost of  Marshall College, will explore the interconnections among Americans, Jazz, the Black Diaspora and the Paris Jazz scene.
  • Midterm Movie Marathon, 9 a.m., Feb. 6, Black Resource Center: Students are invited to kickback and de-stress to have a laugh during mid-terms. The films include African-American themed movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s. They will be on continuous play in the Black Resource Center conference room. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. This event is targeted to students, but open to all.  
  • Lecture: “Nelson Mandela and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, 3:30 p.m., Feb. 6, Social Science Building 101: This lecture covers Nelson Mandela’s role as a leader of the African National Congress (ANC) and humanitarianism as well as his accomplishments as the first post-apartheid president of South Africa.
  • Hollywood Speaks to the Civil Rights Movement: 3:30 p.m., Feb. 13, Social Sciences Building 101: A medley of music from the Civil Rights Movement will be followed by a screening of “Boycott,” the 2001 biopic on Martin Luther King, Jr. and will be accompanied by a lecture and commentary. Admission is free.
  • Marching Forward/Rolling Back: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Noon, Feb. 13, UC San Diego Library/Biomedical Library Building Events Room: Fifty years ago the landmark Civil Rights Act promised to transform America. The UC San Diego Library presents a scholarly panel discussion on the legacy of that act and the state of civil rights today. Admission is free.
  • Black Staff Association Gospel and Soul Food Luncheon, Noon, Feb. 25, Multi-Purpose Room: Please join the Black Staff Association at the Multi-Purpose Room for a special luncheon featuring a hearty meal to warm your soul including a main entrée, side dishes, dessert and a cold beverage. Attendees can enjoy local gospel entertainment while dining, socializing and participating in opportunity drawings.
  • Black History Month Scholarship Brunch, 10:30 a.m., Feb. 22, Price Center West Ballrooms: This scholarship fundraiser includes soul food jazz brunch with keynote speaker Angela Davis. There will be recognition of student scholars and a silent auction. Tickets may be purchased at the UC San Diego Box Office or by phone at (858)534-TIXS.
  • “The Butler” Screening, 6 p.m. Feb. 25, Price Center Theatre: Attendees can view the remarkable story of an African-American White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents over 30 years and was a first-hand witness to the Civil Rights Movement. The 2013 film features Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and Lenny Kravitz. Admission is free.

Black History Month is celebrated annually in the U.S. and Canada during the month of February. These events offer donors the occasion to make a difference with several giving opportunities.

Diversity giving at UC San Diego is focused on securing private philanthropic support for initiatives that enhance the campus and welcome a diverse community. To learn more or to give, go to bhmscholarship.ucsd.edu.