February marked Black History Month, and UNMC had a number of events planned to celebrate and educate others about African-American culture.
Feb. 1: Kicking off UNMC's Black History Month observance was its signature event, Gospel Fest. Through music, poetry and dance, Gospel Fest features a lineup of local celebrity gospel artists. This year's program will featured:
- Big Wade and The Black Swan Theory;
- Recording artists Eric and Doriette Jordan;
- Local celebrity artist Edem Soul Music;
- Guest speakers Preston Love Jr. and Mother Parker Love; and others.
Feb. 3: Terri Sanders, publisher of the Omaha Star, presented on the History of the Omaha Star, Nebraska's only black owned newspaper.
Feb. 11: A "History of Health" Panel took place. This panel session, the first of two parts, will discuss the historical context of black communities in health care and how history informs present-day clinical care. It also will cover the relationships between black communities and the health care system in Omaha with a focus on research. Panelists include: Leah Cook, PhD, assistant professor, department of pathology and microbiology; Isaiah Crum, MD, UNMC graduate; and Jasmin Marcelin, MD, assistant professor, department of internal medicine.
Feb. 17: Dominique Morgan, an Omaha native and the national director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, presented "The Untapped Power of Blackness - Unpacking the Necessary Inclusion of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Folx in Black Community Building." Morgan is the recipient of the "Young, Black and Influential" Award for Advocacy, Omaha Chamber Young Professionals ChangeMaker Award, and the NAACP Freedom Fighter Award.
Feb. 18: The "History of Health" Panel Part 2 discussed present-day attitudes and beliefs surrounding health care and measures to take for the system to work for black communities focusing on education, access and representation. Panelists include: Amissabah Kanley, MD, pediatric specialist; Joelle Simpson, MD, medical director for emergency preparedness at Children's National; and Sheritta Strong, MD, UNMC director of inclusion and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry.
Feb. 24: Barry Thomas, owner of Thomas Business Services, spoke on "Nebraska's Black History Ties". This event focused on the examination of Omaha and Nebraska's rich and expansive African and African American history.