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Black History Month February 2018

University of the Pacific's annual Black History Month celebration involves a number of activities that honor the history and heritage of African-Americans and the African Diaspora.

Acclaimed CNN political commentator, Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, and NPR political analyst Angela Rye is the keynote speaker for the 2018 Black History Month Celebration at University of the Pacific.  She will present a lecture at the Faye Spanos Concert Hall on Feb. 20, 2018, 7 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.  Everyone who attends the event must have a ticket. The tickets are free and available (limit 2 per person) at the DeRosa University Center on the Stockton campus. Pacific students must show a valid Pacific ID when picking up tickets. Please direct any questions about ticket availability, etc. to mpratt@pacific.edu

Named after scholar and activist Angela Davis, Rye is similarly outspoken and unapologetically candid with her commentary on the key civil rights issues that impact our communities. Rye learned the importance of advocacy through her family's political and community activism. Born and raised in Seattle, Rye earned her Bachelor's degree from University of Washington and her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law. Her career achievements include serving as the executive director and general counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for the 112th Congress. Prior to working for CBC, she served as senior advisor and counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson.   

Upon moving to the Nation's Capital, she co-founded IMPACT Strategies, a nonprofit organization that seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement and political involvement. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association and The Links, Inc.  

Rye strives to engage and empower leaders to leverage their positions of influence to build powerful coalitions and change the world together as global citizens. While she has strong opinions, she embraces opportunities to engage with those who have different views and backgrounds from her own. She hosts her own podcast, "On 1 with Angela Rye," where she discusses political, racial and pop culture questions of the day. In 2015, Rye earned a spot on Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40 Women to Watch." In 2017, she was named to the Root 100 list of "Most Influential African Americans." 

Other featured events for Black History Month

  • On Feb. 12, Paul Butler, professor of law and author of "Chokehold: Policing Black Men," will give a lecture in the DeRosa University Center Ballroom, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. 

  • A special presentation of the film, "Gina's Journey: The Life of William Grimes", will be screened on Feb. 21, 7 p.m. at the Janet Leigh Theatre. Immediately following the screening, there will be a post-film discussion with  producer Sean Durant, and the author and great-granddaughter of William Grimes, Regina Mason. Admission is free for Pacific students, $3/person for Pacific faculty, staff and alumni, $5/person for the general public. For more information, please contact mpratt@pacific.edu, 209.946.2899. 

  • The Annual Gospelfest will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at Quail Lakes Baptist Church, in Stockton.  The concert will feature rising star gospel artist Maranda Curtis with her full band, Stellar Award-winning singer/songwriter Cheryl Fortune and local artist Kristal Stallworth-Little. The concert will include standard and contemporary praise and worship songs in addition to a personal testimony from each artist. Tickets are $20-$25 each for the general public. Tickets can be purchased online at go.pacific.edu/gospelfest2018. Pacific students can access tickets for $10 each at the DeRosa University Center front desk. For more information about the concert or group pricing, please call 209.946.2899 or 209.946.7361. 

  • Pacific's Black Campus Ministries Student Club (BCM) is hosting its Annual Praise Dinner from 6 to 8 p.m on Sunday, Feb. 25, in the DeRosa University Center Ballroom. Tickets are $5 for Pacific students, $10 for the general public. For more information, contact Cleve Brown, BCM President, c_brown24@u.pacific.edu.

Off Campus events: In partnership with San Joaquin Delta College, several events are being provided at that campus at 5151 Pacific Ave. in Stockton. These events include presentations on violence prevention (Feb. 7), civil rights activism in education (Feb. 8), a play by TOASTCO (Feb. 13), the internationalization of Hip Hop Music (Feb. 22) and Steel Drums Concert (Feb. 22), health and wellness (Feb. 27) and The Annual Chicken & Waffle Give a Heart Fundraiser (Feb. 15). For more information about the events at San Joaquin Delta College, please contact James Forte (jforte@deltacollege.edu).  

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Pacific Black History Month Planning Committee Mission Statement
The Black History Month Committee will, through the usage of identified funds, collaborate within the University and local community to plan and execute a monthlong series of events and activities that support the overall goals of education and enrichment in relation to the contributions of peoples of African ancestry and culture to society past and present.

Origin of Black History Month
Known as the "Father of Black History," Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the celebration he called "Negro History Week" in 1926. Dr. Woodson selected the second week of February for the celebration because it fell between the birthdays of the famed orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the celebration expanded to include the entire month of February. Today, Black History Month is celebrated across the United States by people of all ethnic and social backgrounds. At Pacific, it is observed during a monthlong celebration in February organized by Pacific's Black History Month Planning Committee.