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UC San Diego Observes Black History Month

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Throughout the month of February, UC San Diego will celebrate Black History Month with a series of in-person and virtual events that recognize and commemorate the rich history, culture and contributions of African Americans. For 2023, which marks UC San Diego’s 21st annual Black History Month celebration, the university is highlighting the theme “Black Resistance, The Work Toward Freedom Continues.”

“UC San Diego’s commemoration of Black History Month is an important campus tradition that unites students, staff, faculty and alumni with opportunities for both celebration and education,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Here at the university and beyond, I encourage Tritons to come together to learn more about the challenges, achievements and impactful historical legacy of the Black community.”

Alongside February’s array of programs and workshops, the annual theme will be spotlighted during UC San Diego’s 21st Annual Black History Month Celebration and Scholarships Awards Ceremony. Author, activist, educator and historian Dr. Mary Frances Berry will serve as keynote speaker at the Feb. 25 event, which features a brunch, musical performances, opportunities for giving and more.

Black History Month at UC San Diego is a collaborative effort between various units and departments on campus, coordinated by the Black History Month Planning Committee. In addition to the scholarship brunch, Tritons will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful and inspiring events such as a panel on Black trailblazers in California’s music culture, a roundtable discussion featuring Black staff who have led in service of the University of California as well as a presentation featuring California’s Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber.

“Black history is American history, and the events throughout the month explore the experiences, contributions and long legacy of excellence, resilience and love that we have created,” said Pamela Fruge, chair of the Black History Month Planning Committee.

Reflecting on “Black Resistance”
In alignment with the national theme designated by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), UC San Diego’s 2023 theme centers on the continued fight against oppression and systemic racism as well as the push for racial equity and justice.

“Our 2023 theme is focused on acknowledging the ongoing fight against oppression and racism in all forms,” said Fruge, who serves as chief administrative officer for the UC San Diego Undergraduate Colleges Business Office. “At our culminating scholarship brunch event, Dr. Mary Frances Berry—an educator and longtime activist for civil rights and freedom—will share her expertise on where we go from here, as we watch many of those hard-won freedoms fall away.”

For more than four decades, Dr. Berry has been one of the most visible and respected activists in the cause of civil rights, gender equality and social justice. Serving as Chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, she led the charge for equal rights and liberties for all Americans over the course of four Presidential administrations. A trailblazer for women and African Americans alike, she also became the first woman to head a major research university as Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder.