UNMC marks Black History Month

January 26, 2021

Image with caption: The

The "Undesign the Redline" exhibit at The Union for Contemporary Art will be discussed on as part of UNMC's Black History Month observances.

February marks Black History Month, and UNMC has a number of events planned to celebrate and educate others about African-American culture.

Kicking off UNMC's Black History Month observance is its signature event, Gospel Fest. Through music, poetry and dance, Gospel Fest features a lineup of local celebrity gospel and spoken-word artists. Gospel Fest will take place on Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Soul food menus

There will be soul food offerings available for purchase in both the Nebraska and Clarkson Cafes throughout the month. For a list of dates and menu offerings see below.

Tuesday, Feb. 2
Pinto beans and rice
Sweet corn
Red Velvet cake

Wednesday, Feb. 10
Barbecue featherbones
Green beans & potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes
Mac & cheese
Pecan pie

Thursday, Feb. 18
Fried chicken
Collard greens with smoked turkey
Dirty mashed potatoes
Mac & cheese
Peach cobbler

Friday, Feb. 26
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Collard greens
Black eyed peas
Sweet potato pie

This year's program will feature:

  • 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.

Throughout the month, the UNMC community is encouraged to participate in as many events as scheduling allows, keeping track of the events attended by using the Black History Month Online Passport. Those who participate in four or more events and turn in their passport to Kelsey Scroggin via email by 5 p.m. Feb. 26 will be eligible to win a prize. Print the passport here.

Feb. 3: Terri Sanders, publisher of the Omaha Star, will present on the history of the Omaha Star, Nebraska's only black owned newspaper. Her presentation will be from noon-1 p.m., via Zoom.

Feb. 9: A Black History Month trivia challenge will be published in UNMC Today. The challenge will award prizes, donated by the UNMC Bookstore, the Munroe-Meyer Institute, the UNMC Department of Human Resources and the office of Student Life Inclusion and Diversity. Five people will be chosen at random from among those who answer all the questions correctly; there also will be a grand prize for the first person to respond with all of the correct answers. Submissions must be sent to Kelsey Scroggin via email no later than 5 pm on Feb. 15.

Feb. 11: A "History of Health" panel will take place via Zoom at noon. 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.

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The documentary "Black Men in White Coats" will be discussed on Feb. 11.

During the month, the UNMC community can expect to participate in a moderated discussion with Sheritta Strong, MD, and Shirley Delair, MD, regarding the documentary "Black Men in White Coats." This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large. Those interested will be provided access to watch the documentary prior to the discussion. Registration for this event will be limited to the first 300 and will be required once a date and time has been set. UNMC faculty, staff and students can expect to find more information in an upcoming UNMC Today Story and on ENGAGE. This event will be brought to you by the Office of Inclusion, Office of Equity and the College of Medicine.

Feb. 16: There will be a virtual tour and conversation regarding the "Undesign the Redline" exhibit at The Union for Contemporary Art. This abbreviated tour and community dialogue will offer a deep, critical and often challenging exploration of this important history and ways that it might be overcome. This virtual tour and discussion will take place from 10 a.m.-noon, via Zoom.

Feb. 17: Dominique Morgan, an Omaha native and the national director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, will present "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. Her presentation will be from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. via Zoom.


The Department of Human Resources thanks the following contributors and partners for their support:

  • Munroe-Meyer Institute;
  • UNMC Department of Strategic Communications;
  • UNMC Office of Equity and Diversity;
  • UNMC Student Life Inclusion and Diversity Office;
  • Graduates & Professionals Representing Achievement Diversity and Service (G.R.A.D.S.);
  • iEXCEL; and
  • Sodexo.

Feb. 18: Eric Ewing, executive director of The Great Plains Black History Museum, will provide a virtual tour and presentation of the museum. The Great Plains Black History Museum is dedicated to publicizing and preserving the achievements of the region's vibrant African-American heritage. This virtual presentation will take place from 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m., via Zoom. There will be a second presentation and tour of the museum on Feb. 26, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. via Zoom for those unable to attend on Feb. 18.

Feb. 18: The second part of the "History of Health" panel will take place at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Panelists will discuss 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, will speak on "Nebraska's Black History Ties," at 10 a.m. via Zoom. This event will be focused on the examination of Omaha and Nebraska's rich and expansive African and African American history.


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