Arcadia University Celebrates Black History Month with Read-in, Round Table Talk, Oratorical Contest

By Daniel DiPrinzio | January 27, 2022
Arcadia Celebrates Black History Month

Arcadia University celebrates Black History Month this February with a variety of events and programming open to the University community, as well as spotlighting our Black community through their stories, quotes, and highlights. 

Tuesday, Feb. 1: The Annual African American Read-in: Protest Speeches—Arcadia and community members will read protest speeches or highlight other forms of literary protest from African American activists at the Read-in. To participate, email Ebony Scott at by end of day on Monday, Jan. 31. From noon to 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, Feb. 9: Arcadia Alumni Round Table Talk on Black Joy—This virtual event will discuss and embrace the authenticity and fullness of Black Joy. Together with esteemed panelists, participants will explore the universal power of hope, love, and resilience and why it is more important than ever to choose, find, and celebrate Black Joy. Through a Q&A session, participants will have the opportunity to uncover what Black Joy means to them and share the moments they have personally experienced Black Joy. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All alumni, students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. Please register by Feb. 8.


  • Maya Johnson, M.S., LPC, assistant director of Counseling/Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Arcadia University
  • Alex O. Otieno, MPH, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and assistant professor, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Arcadia University


  • David Euwings ’06 and Sonya Gaskins ’02, co-presidents of the Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University (BAAAU)  

Thursday, Feb. 10: Black History Trivia Night, sponsored by the Black Awareness Society.
Did you know that the Daniel Hall Williams was the first cardiologist to perform open heart surgery and founded the first interracial hospital? Join us and learn more fun facts about the contributions African Americans made to the world. Prizes and refreshments included.
Grey Towers Castle, 6 p.m. 

Thursday, Feb. 17: Black Mind Matters
Join Maya Johnson, the inaugural Assistant Director of Counseling/Diversity and Inclusion and the Black Awareness Society in a discourse on black mental health and wellness in the midst of a pandemic. This engaging and interactive workshop will provide self-care strategies for  managing the stress of living in this current time. Refreshments will be provided.
Grey Towers Castle Mirror Room, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 22: BAAAU Preview Travel Student Send Off—The Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University (BAAAU) will host a virtual gathering for Phoenix, Laisa, and Myles, the three students from the Class of 2025 who are traveling abroad for their Preview experience thanks to support from the BAAAU Preview Travel Support Fund. Black alumni and students who studied abroad are invited to join and share their tips, stories, and best wishes for a successful study abroad experience. Email Esther Wieman, Director of Alumni Engagement and Programming, at to register.
From 6 to 7 p.m.
The BAAAU Preview Travel Support Fund ensures full participation in Arcadia’s distinctively popular Preview program, specifically among low-income Black students.
Thursday, Feb. 24: Arcadia University Community Partners Oratorical Contest: Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 
Students from Cheltenham High School, Parkway NorthWest High School and Rowen Elementary school will participate in the oratorical contest. Winners will deliver their speeches live. More details will be shared with the University community shortly.

Join Zoom event starting at 5 p.m.

Arcadia Black History Month Spotlights. Throughout the month of February, the Division of University Advancement will spotlight Arcadia’s Black community by posting stories, quotes, and highlights of black alumni, faculty, staff, and students. We invite you to submit your Arcadia Black History Month Spotlight and follow @ArcadiaAlumni on Facebook and Instagram to share in the celebration. 

Arcadia Athletics 

At all home games throughout the month, Arcadia Athletics will play “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the official song of the NAACP that harbors significant meaning in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. A pamphlet with the lyrics and a statement about the month from the athletic department can be found here

In the context of Black History Month, the athletic department staff will also go through multiple trainings centered around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Celebrating Black History Month invites everyone to recognize that African Americans are major architects in the building and of America and its institutions, legislation, education, inventions and the world,” said Dr. Angela S. McNeil, assistant vice president of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Arcadia University. “It’s critically important to prevent the erasure of African American history.”  

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.