An illustration of a crowd of Black people facing different directions with a box on top of them that says \"Black History MONTH\"
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An overview of 2024 Black History Month events and activities at VCU

Shirlene Obuobi, M.D., a physician and cartoonist, will deliver this year’s VCU Libraries’ Black History Month Lecture, and the month’s speakers include VCU alum Jeffrey Blount, a novelist and veteran journalist.

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Black History Month at Virginia Commonwealth University this month will feature lectures, panels, bird watching and social events, among many other planned events and activities. 

Below is a sampling of the events being held this year. In addition, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at VCU offers more information about events and activities throughout the month at both and

Tuesday, Feb. 6

VCU Libraries’ Black History Month Lecture

7 p.m., James Branch Cabell Library Lecture Hall

Shirlene Obuobi, M.D., is a Ghanaian-American physician and cartoonist. The topic of her lecture will be “Narrative Medicine and Identity.” Obuobi is a third-year general cardiology fellow at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she also completed medical school and internal medicine residency. Her comics focus on the challenges of being a Ghanaian-American woman in medicine and the stresses and challenges of medical school. In person and on Zoom. Register.

Monday, Feb. 12

Extracting Their Places in History: A Survey of the History of the Black Experience in Dentistry in Virginia

Noon, Perkinson Hall Room 3121

Join local Virginia historian Elvatrice Parker Belsches as she brings to light her decades of research and passion unearthing the history of Virginia's Black dentists. In person and on Zoom.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

The Erotic: A Black & Queer Supper
4:15-6 p.m., Richmond Salons I/II, University Student Commons
Connect with Black and queer peers through a menu of introspective questions and Jamaican cuisine. Attendees will connect with one another over guided conversation, and thereby tap into Audre Lorde's concept of “the erotic,” which she describes as a source of joy, empowerment and knowledge. Registration info.

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Black 'n' Black Mixer
4:30-6 p.m., Commonwealth Ballrooms, University Student Commons
A mixer for Black faculty, staff and students and an opportunity to come together, mingle and make connections. Registration information.

Thursday, Feb. 15

Sweetly In Love with Thee Hotties
6-7:30 p.m., Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University Student Commons, Suite 215

A celebration of self-love, sisterhood and the beauty of love on Galentine's Day. Register.

Friday, Feb. 16

VCU NAACP Inaugural Charity Ball - A Night in Diaspora
6:30-9:30 p.m., Virginia Rooms A-D, University Student Commons
The theme of this inaugural charity ball is “A Night In Diaspora” to celebrate different cultures around the world represented at VCU. Money will be raised through ticket sales for the Central VA Legal Aid Society, which helps raise legal funds for those in need. Catered food, raffles, awards and a guest speaker, Sylvia Jones, director of advocacy of the Central VA Legal Aid Society. The ball dress code is formal or traditional clothing from one’s culture. 

Saturday, Feb. 17

Freedom through Flight: Honoring Black History through Birdwatching
7:30-10 a.m., Ancarrow's Landing

OMSA is collaborating with Black Avian Enthusiasts, a local organization whose mission is to create a safe space for Black people to bird watch and enjoy nature, on a bird walk through Ancarrow’s Landing featuring Richmond’s Slave Trail. Donté Jackson, a recent VCU graduate, and John Ditto, a local birdwatcher, member of Richmond Audubon Society and physician, will talk about the history of the Richmond Slave Trail and facilitate a conversation during the bird walk about reclaiming nature as a space for Black people. All are welcome to join. Light breakfast fare will be served. RSVP information.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

AfroLatinidad at VCU
Noon-12:50 p.m. | Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University Student Commons, Suite 215
An opportunity to be reminded of the complex, multilayered and diverse nature of the Black experience in the United States. Afro-Latine people, with their unique voices and perspectives, are an essential and vibrant group in the makeup of the Hispanic and Black American identity. Registration information.

Vibe Check
Noon-1:30 p.m., College of Health Professions, Room 1075
This mixer is intended to cultivate a safe space and community where students who identify as persons of color are able to discuss their own experiences, challenges and issues that they confront as health sciences students. Register.

EmpowerED: Discussion on Men of Color in Education
5:30-7 p.m., Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University Student Commons, Suite 215
An event that will celebrate and amplify the voices of men of color in the field of education. “EmpowerED” is a gathering dedicated to fostering dialogue, sharing experiences and exploring the unique contributions of men of color within the educational landscape. Registration.

Thursday, Feb. 22

Living Legacies Series: St. Philip School of Nursing
Noon-1 p.m., College of Health Professions Auditorium

Between 1920 and 1962, St. Philip Hospital served as MCV’s segregated hospital for Richmond’s Black community. In 1920, MCV also established the St. Philip School of Nursing to provide nursing training to Black women, who then provided nursing services to Black patients at the St. Philip Hospital. The MCV School of Nursing admitted its first Black student in 1957, and the St. Philip School graduated its final class of Black nursing students in 1962.  This Living Legacies event, moderated by Tori Tucker, Ph.D., features two St. Philip alums who will share their stories and experiences,  insider anecdotes and the importance of the history of St. Philip Hospital and School of Nursing for health care providers today. Register for in-person or virtual attendance.

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Living Legacies Series: Navigating Medicine with Philip Byrd, M.D.
Noon-1 p.m., MMEC Learning Theater

Learn about the journey of Philip Byrd, M.D., 1969 resident alum of the VCU School of Medicine. Through discussion moderated by medical student Sarah Martey,  Byrd will offer reflections on his journey, from the initial aspirations that ignited his passion for medicine to the rigorous training and pivotal moments that shaped his professional trajectory. An opportunity to honor Byrd's legacy and embrace the transformative power of shared experiences in shaping the future of health care. Register for in-person or virtual attendance.


Black and Abroad - Global Citizenship
5-7 p.m., SGA Senate Chambers, University Student Commons
A panel discussion exploring the nuances of global citizenship and international travel for Black students, followed by a social hour.

Book event for VCU alum Jeffrey Blount’s new novel 

7-8 p.m., James Branch Cabell Lecture Hall and on Zoom

VCU alum Jeffrey Blount is the award-winning author of three novels, and his new book, “Mr. Jimmy from Around the Way,” was published on Jan. 15. The event will be both in person and virtual. Blount’s wife, award-winning journalist and security analyst Jean Meserve, will moderate a discussion among the author and fellow award-winning journalists and VCU alums Dabney Cortina and Joe Cortina. Beyond Blount’s book, they’ll discuss creativity and the power of longtime connections. Blount is an Emmy award-winning television director and a 2016 inductee to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. During a 34-year career at NBC News, Jeffrey directed a decade of Meet The Press, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and major special events. He is the first African American to direct the Today Show. Register here.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Addressing Health Disparities by Utilizing Advocacy to Achieve Health Equity

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., VCU School of Nursing, Room 1011

Join the School of Nursing and the College of Health Professions for their joint Black History Month Lecture featuring Sheldon Fields, Ph.D., associate dean for equity and inclusion and research professor at Penn State School of Nursing and president and CEO of the National Black Nurses Association. In person and virtual. Register for the webinar broadcast.

Thursday, Feb. 29

Panel Discussion: "Outsiders are In: Paving the Way as a Black Creative"

6 p.m., Zoom

This panel discussion will feature VCU alumni who have made a significant impact in the creative space. Panelists come from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, but they all share a passion for creativity and a commitment to uplifting Black voices and perspectives. Alumni will share their personal journeys in the creative industry, discussing the challenges they faced and the strategies they employed to overcome them. They will also offer insights and advice for those looking to break into creative fields themselves. Register for the webinar.