Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

United Black World Month

The Student Life Multicultural Center, in collaboration with various departmental offices and student organizations, annually celebrates United Black World Month. United Black World Month, also known as Black History Month, is a month-long celebration of the diasporic experience. The month begins with a featured speaker and continues with panels, lectures, socials and other various programs.

Discover more about our keynote speaker, Bakari Sellers

Check out the 2019 United Black World Month calendar below

To get involved or for more information, please contact Katherine Betts at 



February 1
6 p.m.
The Ohio Union, Interfaith Room

This February, The MSA at Ohio State is excited to celebrate the roots of Islam in America through Muslim Black History Month: a month in recognition and appreciation to the contributions African American Muslims have made to society. In an era of rising Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia, the unique experience of being Black and Muslim often means discrimination from within the Muslim community as well as beyond. Through our different programming we hope to provoke meaningful dialogue and to highlight the stories of exceptional people in America who do not receive nearly enough acclamation, many of whom are of Muslim faith. Be sure to join us this Friday as we kick start this wonderful program with brother Rashid Mahdi as he speaks on “Universality in Islam”.

Salma Shire


Racism, Colorism and Stereotypes: Exploring the Black/Afro-Latinx Identity

February 6
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Tanya Rutner Hartman Room, Ohio Union

Join the Student Life Multicultural Center Latinx Student initiatives African/African-American Student initiatives, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in exploring the ties of Black and Latinx culture and identity. Often times, Black/Afro-Latinx individuals are ignored and rejected within our communities. Learn about the history of Black/Afro-Latinx and strategies in creating social change by uplifting this community. The event will feature Dr. Gisell Jeter-Bennett as speaker.

Dr. Gisell Jeter-Bennett is a new addition to the Office of Diversity, Outreach and Inclusion (DOI) in the College of Engineering at Ohio State. She recently worked as the Intercultural Special for Women Student Initiatives in the Student Life Multicultural Center at OSU. Dr. G occasionally teaches courses for the Department of African American and African Studies and advises several undergraduate student organizations- Society of Sisters and Ladies of Leadership. Whether she is organizing a program, teaching a course or hosting students in her office, it is Dr. G’s aim to foster an environment that strengthens students’ sense of belonging, self-efficacy and persistence. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and her Master’s and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbus with her husband Robert A. Bennett III and their three-year-old son, Amari.

Indra Leyva

Activism in NPHC: A Look to the Past, Present, and Future

February 6
4 p.m.
Interfaith Prayer Room - Ohio Union

Since 1906, fraternities and sororities in the National Pan-Hellenic Council have served as activists in the quest for social justice and the betterment of all people. Join current members from each of the Divine Nine organizations at Ohio State and staff from Sorority and Fraternity Life to learn about activism throughout the ages of NPHC. Using relevant context and an examination of NPHC's history, participants will learn how to apply new ways of thinking to the idea of sorority/fraternity so that our organizations can continue to develop the most engaged citizens of tomorrow.

Hunter Hartwig

Black Wallstreet

February 10
3 p.m.
MLK Hale Hall

This program will feature 15+ black owned business ranging from hair salons, fitness programs, food industries, and more all looking to gain exposure and tap into our Ohio State Community. Come out to learn more what happened to the historical Black Wallstreet in Tulsa Oklahoma while enjoying a selection of live music and the opportunity to give our dollars back to the black community.

Ginette Rhodes

Pursuing Equity and Inclusion within Environmental Organizations

February 12
10 a.m.
Ohio State 4-H Center Auditorium

Our natural resources are strengthened through diversity, our organizations and partnerships, too, demonstrate strength through diversity and inclusion. Many environmental NGOs, foundations, governmental agencies and academic departments have barriers to developing cultures inclusive of diversity. Please join Marcelo Bonta and a team of regional partners for our two-day program in February 2019 as we advance our environmental movement through organizational and individual strategy and change.

Sponsors: School of Environment and Natural Resources
Joe Campbell 

Black-Jewish Dialogue at Ohio State - What's Next?

February 12
7 p.m.
Hale Center, Room 110B 

Black-Jewish Dialogue at Ohio State has gotten a jumpstart in the past 18 months, with OSU Hillel starting a successful fellowship with nearly 30 participants, and a partnership between Hillel, the ZBT fraternity, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP on campus held a successful dialogue earlier this semester. Two summers ago, Rabbi Ilan Schwartz and Dr. Todd Suddeth read and discussed a book about Blacks and Jews, based on dialogue between Cornell West and Michael Lerner. Todd and Ilan will share their experiences reading and learning together with students, in order to show that the dialogue must continue not just among students, but also among professionals and lay leaders.

Rabbi Ilan Schwartz

Beyond Black Panther: Black Superheroes, Black Comics and Identity

February 12
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Alonso Family Room 

This engaging program will focus on the impact that Black comic book characters have on representations of Black people and culture. Additionally, the discussion will include the significance of identity in the writing and designing/illustrating of Black people in comic books. And, do you have to be "Black nerd" to appreciate comic books?

Todd Suddeth

Healthy Relationships in the Black community

February 14
6:30 p.m.
Location TBA

"Why Us" Human Trafficking Campaign and UBWM are teaming up to host an event to discuss healthy relationships. They'll be hosting a panel of black men and women discussing what a healthy relationship looks like to them and how to get rid of stigmas in the black community about relationships.

Shaye Murray

BMBAA Presents An Evening of Culture

February 15 
7 p.m.

Mason Hall-Rotunda 2nd Floor

Join BMBAA as they host an evening of culture with an African fashion show, dancing, Step Dancers, Drummers, enlightening Songs and Poems and delicious homemade ethnic food. End the night with DJ pumping some good music for some fun and dancing.

Mel Kostrick 

United Black World Month Keynote Address and Celebration: "Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones For Our Future"

February 19
5:45 p.m.
Ohio Union Performance Hall

The Student Life Multicultural Center and the United Black World Month Planning Committee are excited to present the UBWM featured keynote and celebration. This celebration will feature artistic expression through various forms of entertainment by local artists, a university-wide reception, and will include keynote speaker, Bakari Sellers. Attorney and Morehouse College Alumni. Sellers became the youngest politician in the country at age 22 when he represented South Carolina’s 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature from 2006-2014. He is currently lending his talents to CNN as a political commentator and will give keynote remarks entitled, "Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones for Our Future." As we explore the theme "Imagining Black Futures," this evening will help to build our capacity for how we see ourselves as a Black community participating in activism and civic engagement on and off campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Katherine Betts

Frybread and Sweet Potato Pie Foodways Social

February 21
6 p.m.

Instructional Kitchen, Ohio Union

Join American Indian/Indigenous Student Initiatives and African/African American Student Initiatives for a foodways social in celebration of United Black World Month. Attendees will learn about the cultural and historical elements of frybread and sweet potato pie as well as have the opportunity to make and taste their own dishes. Cooking stations are limited to the first 36 attendees.

Sponsors: SLMCC AISI Initiatives
Melissa Jacob

Controversy Uncovered

February 21
7 p.m.
MLK Lounge of Hale Hall

This event will feature a discussion on current topics in the media relating to politics, entertainment, and social media trends will pop up on a screen. Topics can range from the new documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly", and the government shutdown and how it is affecting the working class. When these questions pop up, students will be given 5-6 minutes to discuss with assigned groups and reconvene with the entire room and opinions will be shared. Every question will allow students to debate over topics in person instead of over social media.

Jahzeer Hibbert

2nd Annual Living Museum

February 23
7 p.m.
MLK Lounge of Hale Hall

This program features performances ranging from singing, dance, art, acting and spoken word all with the common agenda of honoring African American Legends both historically and contemporary. Students will emulate these legends by enacting them via a "living museum."

Ginette Rhodes


Happ E. SexTalk with Erica Butler

February 27
6 p.m.
Alonso Family Room

Join the Student Life Multicultural Center African/African-American Initiatives and Women Student Initiatives for an interactive workshop on sexual health, pleasure, relationships, and all things sex as part of United Black World Month. Facilitator Erica Butler, M.E.d. is the Founder and Sex Educator for Happ E. SexTalk, a company focused on challenging the media and cultural messages pertaining to female sexuality, body image, and sexual pleasure – specifically the historically negative and hypersexualized images of Black female sexuality.

Contact Madison Eagle ( for more details.


The Great Debate: China's Presence in Africa

February 28
7 p.m.
Hale Hall Room 110A

This program will feature a debate style format that will allow attendees to discuss the presence of China in Africa and what that means for the African continent today and in the future.


Akwi Anyangwe