Black History Month events kick off at Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- February 1 marks the start of Black History Month and Fresno State is celebrating and honoring African American heritage.

Several different in-person and virtual events are scheduled throughout this month to celebrate diversity and create connections among students, faculty, staff, and the community.

That includes a traveling museum that will be open to the public on February 23 along with different discussions and presentations on campus.

One leader of those upcoming talks says shining a light on black history is essential for students to feel included and supported.

"Our students desire a place of belonging, a place on campus where they can be themselves and not have to worry about anything, they don't have to code-switch or downplay who they are," says Brianna White Coordinator of the African American Services and Program at Fresno State.

Through the obstacles the pandemic has posed these last couple of years, Brianna White has found a way to make this Black History Month special and educational. Every week events like Barbershop Talks, Sistah to Sistah talks, and holding Conversations that Matter take place to celebrate African American Community and history.

One student leader says not only is AFAM, or African American Programs and Services pivotal, The Harambee room, which means "All Pull Together' in Swahili, has also helped her find a place in a large campus where out of 25,000 students only 3.5% identify as black.

Marisa Williams, Student Coordinator for the African American Services and Programs at Fresno State says, "It makes me feel safe, it eases my mind. When I have anxiety, I can come in here, take a deep breath and feel much better about my day and whatever is on my mind that day. So I am eternally grateful for AFAM."

Both women mentioned they are proud of their heritage and the work they do to offer education on Black History.

Fresno State AFAM will offer many more events this month and celebrating diversity and culture doesn't stop there. They will continue to host events throughout the year.

For details on future events through this Black History Month, you can click here or follow @ccgcafam on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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