February is Black History Month, but the Johns Hopkins Office of Multicultural Affairs has launched a new initiative to ensure that the celebration of African-American heritage transcends the confines of the month.
The effort, called Heritage365, is a unified approach to celebrating African-American, LatinX, Asian-Pacific, and Indigenous cultures year-round. Kwame Phillips, OMA's assistant director for programming, said the idea was piloted in the beginning of the academic year and aims to promote yearlong engagement and affirmation for the student body. This shift, he said, helps challenge "traditional" norms and ideologies about identity.
"We believe that our cultural heritage and history are relevant throughout the year, beyond the month in which the nation recognizes it," Phillips said. "We cannot possibly learn everything about a particular heritage within a month."
Each heritage month will continue to be honored with signature events, such as the Black Heritage Celebration Opening Ceremony featuring poets Aja Monet and Dominique Christina that took place Friday. But the underlying spirit of Heritage365 means that February will not only be dedicated to celebrating Black History Month. OMA will also observe other prominent cultural celebrations, such as the Lunar New Year festival on Feb. 16, or Dil Se, a cultural performance organized by members of the South Asian Students of Hopkins.
Visit OMA's calendar to stay up-to-date on Heritage365 events, and check out a round-up of different cultural celebrations below.
Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. | Shriver Hall
This intercollegiate showcase of South Asian talent includes Bhangra, Classical, Raas, and South Asian a cappella teams from around the country.
Mumu Fresh: Art as Activism
Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. | Diversity and Inclusion lounge
Grammy-nominated recording artist Maimouna Youssef, whose stage name is Mumu Fresh, will explore how each person can use their own creative voice to facilitate social change.
Chinese Student Association Lunar New Year Festival
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. | Glass Pavilion
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with your friends and Hopkins family.
Black Heritage Celebration Showcase
Friday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. | Shriver Hall
The showcase brings together the community and the historically black fraternities and sororities on campus for an evening of singing, dancing, stepping, and strolling in a celebration of Black culture and heritage.
Black Heritage Celebratory Keynote Address and Reception
Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. | Charles Commons Banquet Room
The keynote address will be presented by speaker Wendy Osefo. A professor of education at Hopkins, Osefo is also a contributor at The Hill and CEO of The 1954 Equity Project. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, The Steve Harvey Show, Fox News, ABC, Fox Business, and the BBC.
OMA Pop-Up Movie Screening: BlacKkKlansman
Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. | Diversity and Inclusion Lounge
OMA hosts this screening of the Spike Lee bio-pic, which tells the story of Ron Stallworth, a retired black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.