February was Black History Month and it was a busy one for faculty, staff and students on the Annandale Campus. The month started with a tour of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture organized by the Black Student Alliance on February 3.
A full motor coach left the Campus with students and administrators, including Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation (NVCCEF) Executive Director John Ruffino, Government and Community Affairs Director Dana Kauffman, Annandale Provost Pamela Hilbert and Annandale Dean of Students Ellen Fancher-Ruiz, and returned six hours later.
“It was an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge of the contributions and experiences of African-Americans in the United States,” NVCCEF Assistant Director Mary Bramley said after touring the museum.
This was followed by an Annandale Campus Lyceum Committee presentation on February 7 of Dr. Christopher Brooks of Virginia Commonwealth University discussing his award-winning book, titled “Roland Hayes: The Legacy of an American Tenor,” the first world-renowned African-American concert artist who had a 57-year international career as a composer and lyric tenor. This event was organized by English Professor Memuna Sillah.
The Black Student Alliance held a “Design a Protest Tee-Shirt” event on February 9 that they followed with two events on February 23. The first was a Black Lives Matter protest on the Upper Plaza of the Annandale Campus in the afternoon with Administration of Justice Professor George McMillan addressing the crowd on the issue of police violence.
The next event was the annual Soul Food Dinner with Dr. Wheeler Winstead of Howard University as the guest speaker under a theme this year of “Black Lives Matter Through Hip-Hop.” President Scott Ralls welcomed the guests, including Dr. Joann Credle, retention counselor, and Advising Specialist Maureen Lawson. Music Professor Herb Smith also performed on piano and flute as part of a jazz duo.
Earlier that day, the Annandale Campus Transfer Office, led by Education Program Advisor Felicia Blakeney, hosted the second annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transfer Showcase, which featured representatives of Howard University, Lincoln University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, the University of the District of Columbia and Virginia State University.
The celebration of Black History Month concluded on February 28 with an Annandale Campus Lyceum Committee presentation of readings of African-American literature by faculty members, including Languages and Literature Division Interim Dean Jennifer K. Daniels reading poems by Gwendolyn Brooks and Terrance Hayes and Liberal Arts Division Dean Burton Peretti reading from “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison.