Black History Month: UNMC has series of events planned

Kia Noelle Johnson, PhD

February marks Black History Month, and the med center has a number of events planned to celebrate and educate the campus community about African American culture.

Kicking off UNMC’s Black History Month observance is a Feb. 7 presentation with Kia Noelle Johnson, PhD, associate director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research Satellite in Atlanta and chair of the board of directors for the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing.

Johnson’s presentation will discuss the importance of providing culturally responsive care both in clinical settings or work environments. This session will provide attendees with information on cultural humility and its impact on service delivery and professional interactions. Join Dr. Johnson’s noon presentation via Zoom. This event is sponsored by the Munroe-Meyer Institute.

Soul food menus

Soul food will be available for purchase in both the Nebraska, Clarkson and Bellevue Cafes throughout the month.

Wednesday, Feb.1
Pinto beans and rice
Sweet corn
Cornbread muffins
Red velvet cake

Wednesday, Feb. 8
Shrimp Po Boys
Spicy fries with a cajun aioli
Sweet potato pie

Thursday, Feb. 16
Buttermilk fried chicken
Collard greens with smoked turkey
Dirty mashed potatoes
Mac and cheese
Cornbread muffins
Peach cobbler

Thursday, Feb. 23
Fried catfish
Green beans and potatoes
Black eyed peas
Cornbread muffins
Strawberry shortcake parfaits

Events and activities taking place throughout the month include:

Feb 6-24: Donate to a campuswide diaper and supply drive. Donations will go to A Mother’s Love and the Nebraska Diaper Bank. A list of donations and drop-off locations can be found here. This is a joint effort among the Emerging Professionals Program, the African American Black Alliance and the Nebraska Medicine Office of Community and Corporate Relations.

Feb 6: Tiffany Gamble, executive director of Emerging Ladies Academy and CEO of Gamble Tech Firm, along with David Pollock, founder of Code Black, will discuss the need for more African Americans in IT. The presentation, a collaboration with Swag Media & Magazine, will begin at 7 p.m., via YouTube.

Feb 8: Preston Love Jr., former University of Nebraska Cornhusker football player, Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame inductee and founder of 4Urban, will present “Recent Attempts to Turn Wine into Water.” Love will discuss the fullness and richness of Black history and the deep waters of racism and politics. Join the 1 p.m. presentation via Zoom.

Feb 13: A Black History Month trivia challenge will be published in UNMC Today. The challenge will award prizes, donated by the UNMC Office of Inclusion. Five people will be chosen at random from among those who answer all the questions correctly.

Feb. 13: Local media experts will discuss their experiences in representing African Americans in today’s media. Panelists include Terri D. Sanders, publisher of the Omaha Star Newspaper; William King, owner of Media King Communications; Monique Farmer, CEO and founder of Anvil Ready; Serese Cole, KMTV news anchor; and KETV reporters Waverle Monroe and Jonah Gilmore. The 7 p.m. discussion, available via YouTube, is in collaboration with Swag Media & Magazine.

Feb. 20: Listen to a panel discussion about Black and Black diaspora culture and how it is represented in Omaha. Panelists include Eric Ewing, executive director of the Great Plains Black History Museum; Jade Rodgers, historian and adjunct professor at Metropolitan Community College; and Charles Ahovissi, founder of African Culture Connection. The 3 p.m. presentation, available via YouTube, is in collaboration with Swag Media & Magazine.

Feb. 21: Join Justin Payne, award-winning composer, playwright, international vocalist and professor of Black studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, for a presentation on the relationship between African Americans and their influence on all musical genres. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of how cultural identity is communicated through music. This event is part of UNMC’s Re-Imagining U and sponsored by UNMC’s human resources. Join his 10 a.m. presentation via Zoom.

Feb 22: A Brave Space conversation on social determinants of health will take place at 3 p.m. via Zoom. This discussion will focus on the social and ethical impacts that social determinants of health have on the community. Attendees will engage on topics such as defining health equity, health disparities and health inequities; understanding impact of social determinants of health; exploring health status, behaviors and needs of residents of Omaha through a systemic and data-drive approach; and reflect on how health care providers can promote health equity in their practices.

Feb 25: A two-hour guided tour of North Omaha. On this tour, attendees will learn about the rich legacy of the area, the African American community and why North Omaha is a beacon of the past and important for the future. Pre-registration is required. This event is sponsored by the African American Black Alliance, UNMC Office of Inclusion and the Nebraska Medicine Inclusion and Diversity Office.


  1. Amy Steinauer says:

    Wow this is quite a lineup of events! I am excited to participate and learn. Thank you for the behind the scenes work that went into this.

  2. Brandon Harris says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for creating a healthy atmosphere in which culture can be celebrated!

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