Black History Month at CSU includes virtual talk with Trayvon Martin’s mother

Sybrina Fulton

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, whose death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida sparked a national movement questioning the role of guns and policing in America, will speak virtually at CSU on Feb. 10.

Colorado State University is celebrating Black History Month in February with dozens of experiences focusing on the culture, history and traditions that are unique to the African American experience.

The monthlong celebration will feature a virtual keynote talk on Feb. 10 from Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, whose death in 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida sparked a national movement questioning the role of guns and policing in America.

Additional events at CSU include group discussions and film screenings that organizers say are designed to connect a range of communities through art and culture. This year’s theme is titled “Uniting the Diaspora.”

“We have students from all over the world, and we want to see them unite and see themselves as one,” said Duan Ruff, director of CSU’s Black/African American Cultural Center. “From there, we can connect to the greater University and start to connect to the entire human diaspora.”

Black History Months kicks off on Friday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Theatre, with live performances, featuring students portraying “living statues” of important Black historical figures such as activist Fred Hampton and others.

Students in costumes will pose as statues of the historical figures and then come to life to share interesting information about the person that they are portraying. The kickoff event will feature other attractions as well as refreshments.

Keynote speakers

Nicole Lynn Lewis
Author Nicole Lynn Lewis will speak at CSU on Feb. 21.

Fulton will give her virtual keynote talk on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Lory Student Center – Grand Ballroom C-D.

Since her son’s death a decade ago, Fulton has dedicated her life to transforming family tragedy into social change. In 2014, she established Circle of Mothers, a nonprofit designed to connect mothers who have lost children or family members to gun violence for healing, empowerment and fellowship.

Fulton also co-authored a book with Tracy Martin — Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin — which shares the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement that awoke a nation’s conscience.

In addition to Fulton’s talk, author and social entrepreneur Nicole Lynn Lewis will give a keynote on Monday, Feb. 21, at noon in the Lory Student Center Grey Rock Room.

Lewis will share her story of how as a teen she put herself through the College of William & Mary with her three-month-old daughter in tow. Today, she works to change the statistic that less than 2% of teen mothers will earn their degrees before age 30.

Lewis recounted her experiences in the book Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families.

Ruff explained that this year’s keynote speakers and events underscore the importance of culture and the role it plays in uniting people.

“The diversity of culture makes us stronger,” Ruff said. “It allows us to be one, and it creates strength.”

Art and film experiences

Uniting The DiasporaOn Feb. 2, the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art will unveil an art exhibition showcasing the work of renowned Black artists.

Lynn Boland, director and chief curator of the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, will offer guided tours and share his knowledge of the history of the Black art pieces.

Following the exhibition, there will be an exclusive showing of Sam Pollard’s “Black Art: In the Absence of Light,” a 2021 documentary on Black artists and their contributions to the art world.

The events are sponsored by the Black/African American Cultural Center, ACT Human Rights Film Festival and the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art. More information on attending these events can be found at actfilmfest.colostate.edu/black-history-month-film-art.

There also will be screenings of the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” on Feb. 17 at The Lyric as well as the film based on the Nella Larsen novel Passing on Feb. 9 at the B/AACC office.

Additionally, there will be talks throughout the month at the B/AACC office focusing on culture, history and health, among other topics.

Adrian Jones, B/AACC student development and retention coordinator, who played a key role in organizing many of the experiences with Ruff, explained that the events are designed for community building as well as something deeper.

“Black History Month is more than just this month in terms of continued opportunity for learning,” Jones said. “I hope that people continue to be one and continue to take part in opportunities to learn and grow.”

Black History Month calendar

For the latest information about Black History Month Programs at CSU, visit baacc.colostate.edu/programs/cultural-programs/black-history-month-programs.

Friday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.
Black History Month Kick-Off
Lory Student Center Theatre
Virtual access will be provided closer to the event.

Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 4 p.m.
Real Talk: ABC: “Appreciating Black Culture”
B/AACC Office – Lory Student Center 335

Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m.
Black artists exhibition
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art — 1400 Remington St.

Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m.
Movie screening: “Black Art: In the Absence of Light”
Behavioral Sciences Building A101

Thursday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m.
Being Black & Holistic Health: “Nutrition”
Lory Student Center 328/330

Thursday, Feb. 3, at 5-8 p.m.
Throwback Event by RamEvents
Lory Student Center Ramskeller

Friday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m.
Black Faculty/Staff Mixer
Office of Inclusive Excellence at 645 S. Shields St.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m.
Real Talk: “Art as Activism”
B/AACC Office – Lory Student Center 335

Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m.
Black Student Alliance – Sex for Chocolate
Lory Student Center 328/330

Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.
Movie screening: “Passing”
Lory Student Center 335 – B/AACC Office

Thursday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m.
Being Black & Holistic Health: “Passions”
Lory Student Center 324

Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m.
Keynote: Sybrina Fulton
Lory Student Center – Grand Ballroom C-D
Fulton is appearing virtually

Thursday, Feb. 10, and Friday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Aspen Grille Luncheon
Lory Student Center – Aspen Grille

Friday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m.
United Men of Color: Valentine’s Dinner
Lory Student Center 335 (Invitation Only)

Monday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m.
Black Student Alliance & United Men of Color: Roses for Black Love
Lory Student Center Flea Market

Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m.
Real Talk: “Passing”
B/AACC Office – Lory Student Center 335

Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m.
Soca Mash-Up – Dance Class
Lory Student Center 386

Thursday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m.
Being Black & Series: “Being Black & Holistic Health: Spirituality”
Lory Student Center 324

Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.
Movie screening:Respect”
The Lyric at 1209 N. College Ave.

Friday, Feb. 18, at noon
Thirst for Knowledge: Student Activism
Lory Student Center 328/330 (Must RSVP to attend)

Saturday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m.
United Women of Color: Gal-entines Brunch (invitation only)
Lory Student Center 335

Sunday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m.
United Women of Color: The Hair Show
Lory Student Center Theatre

Monday, Feb. 21, at noon
Keynote: Nicole Lynn Lewis
Lory Student Center – Grey Rock Room

Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
Real Talk: “Uniting the Diaspora”
In collaboration with African’s United
B/AACC Office – Lory Student Center 335

Wednesday, Feb. 23, at noon
A Conversation Around Haiti with Dr. Ernesto Sagas, in partnership with El Centro
Lory Student Center – Grey Rock Room

Thursday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m.
Being Black & Holistic Health: “Aspirations”
Lory Student Center 226/228

Friday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.
Kick B/AACC – Black History Trivia
Lory Student Center 335

Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8 a.m.
From Denver to Dearfield: Colorado Black History Tour
More details around the day of agenda and to sign up coming soon