(BLOOMINGTON) – Members of the public are invited to a free kick-off event for the City of Bloomington’s 2019 Black History Month celebration January 31 at City Hall (401 N. Morton Street). The event begins with a reception in City Hall Atrium at 5:30 p.m., with the program beginning in Council Chambers at 6:30 p.m.
The theme of this year’s Black History Month celebration is “Reclaiming Our Time.” Over the course of the month’s events, community members are invited to reflect on the ways historical wrongs are being corrected, and the spaces that have been created to celebrate Black culture, history, and community.
The kick-off event will feature a conversation between Judge Valeri Haughton of the Monroe Circuit Court and Dr. Dionne Danns, Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity at Indiana University. The leaders will share personal reflections on their professional paths and the challenges they have endured along the way as women of color. The event will also feature a performance by Marcus Simmons of the Negro National Anthem and a duet performance by Jasmine Dennie and Troy Thomas of the contemporary anthem Sing Out, March On.
Additional Black History Month events include the Bloomington Black Strategic Alliance’s second annual State of the Black Community address February 12 at Council Chambers. The event begins with a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., after which representatives from a coalition of organizations will provide perspectives on education, economics, housing, and the criminal justice system as they relate the Black community.
Young people will be honored at a ceremony on February 27 for the winners of the 2019 Black History Month Essay Contest at Fairview Elementary School at 6 p.m.
Finally, the annual Black History Month Gala will be held on Saturday, March 2 at the Hilton Garden Inn. The event will feature dining, dancing and a recognition of the 2019 Living Legend recipients, along with the Commission on the Status of Black Males’ Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow recipients. The reception and silent auction will begin at 6:00 p.m., with the program at 7:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale on January 31 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, at https://bctboxoffice.org/event/black-history-month-gala/ or by phone at 812-323-3020.
For a full listing of Black History Month events in the community, visit bloomington.in.gov/bhm.