College of DuPage kicks off Black History Month celebration

College of DuPage students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community, danced to the sounds of the Afrikan Dance & Music Institute during the college's Black History Month opening celebration.

The celebration featured remarks from COD Interim President Dr. Brian Caputo, a presentation of colors by the West Aurora High School JROTC and a rousing performance by the COD Chamber Singers, led by COD Choral Music Director Lee Kesselman. View photos from the celebration.

Throughout February, the college offers an array of activities including film screenings, visiting speakers and artists and panel discussions.

• Stop by the photo exhibit "The Movement that Influenced American Culture" through March 15 in the Student Resource Center, lower level walkway. Explore and learn as you engage in images and captions from past to present day stories of African American's during the great migration period and the impact this had on America's history.

• On Monday, Feb. 11, WDCB Station Manager Daniel Bindert explores "From the Plowhand Blues to the Cadillac Assembly Line," a look at the journey from the rural south to the big city in blues, jazz and R&B music. The "Black Migration through Music" will be presented from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Resource Center, Room 2032.

• The College of DuPage Entrepreneurship Club (CODEC) will offer "From Black Migration to Black Businesses and Beyond" from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 12 and 26, in the Student Services Center, Room 2201. If you have remotely thought about starting your own business, these sessions will benefit you greatly! During this month, CODEC and advisor Dr. Peter James will explore aspects of how the black migration inspired businesses in the black communities and utilize that dialogue as inspiration for anyone seeking to start a business.

• Guest speaker Dr. Fredrick Douglas Dixon will discuss "Migrations From Then to Now" from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Health and Science Center, Room 1234. Historian, educator, community activist and lifelong resident of Chicago, Dixon will add to the current mainstream discourse regarding the dominant narratives surrounding the phenomenon of American and Black migrations. He will explore America's origin, progression, and current social conditions utilizing a historical lens from a distinctive Black framework to provide pathways that will ignite a diverse collection of conversations amongst the College of DuPage students, administrators, faculty, staff and its broader community.

• The "Global Flicks" film series will continue with "The African Doctor" at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the MAC Playhouse. It is free and open to the public. In the film, Seyolo Zantoko, a recent medical graduate of Congolese descent in France, struggles to integrate in a rural village, but winds up one of the most respected doctors in the region.

• The Black Student Alliance Club will host a student panel discussion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday Feb. 21, at the Student Services Center Room 1200. It is open to the entire COD community. The BSA will lead a lively interactive discussion for faculty, staff and students as they examine the perspectives of Black history, the Pan African experience, student success, and contemporary life as a black college student in a diverse society.

• Submittals are due Friday, Feb. 22, for the "Expressions" competition, part of Black History Month. Guided by a quote from an African American, students are invited to submit an essay, a story, a piece of art or music, a poem, or any other form of expression. Top three submittals will be awarded and their selections will be featured at the Black History Month closing ceremony.

• The College of DuPage Africa and Africa Diaspora Committee will host an "Ivory Coast Discussion" from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. For more than three decades after its independence from France, Ivory Coast was known for its religious and ethnic harmony, as well as its well-developed economy. The Western African country was hailed as a model of stability. Learn about the impact of this country, its history and relevance to migration in America.

The closing ceremony will offer "A Taste of History," featuring Indika Reggae Band, from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in the cafeteria. The reception in the SRC Cafeteria will feature awards, food, artifacts and documents that celebrate the rich and diverse culture of blacks in America. Special guest Indika Reggae Band returns to perform live music.

To view the full schedule of Black History Month events, visit

Later in the spring, the first College of DuPage Hip Hop Summit will be held Monday, April 29 to Thursday, May 2. This inaugural exploration of learning will explore the intersections of Hip-Hop culture, social justice and societal issues related to race, ethnicity, and class. It will feature artists, authors, wellness workshops, and musical performances for students, faculty and staff. The summit will also provide professional development opportunities for faculty to engage with interdisciplinary hip-hop scholars and infuse their curriculum.

For questions, contact David Swope, COD Manager of Student Diversity and Inclusion, at (630) 942-2136 or

College of DuPage students join members of the Afrikan Dance & Music Institute in dance at the college's Black History Month opening celebration Feb. 4. Courtesy of Press Photography Network/Special to College of DuPage
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