Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Black History Month at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

A presentation at Grossmont College that links educating African-American boys and men to the Black Lives Matter movement and a celebration at Cuyamaca College honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are among the events planned in February for Black History Month. 

San Diego State University Professor J. Luke Wood’s presentation at 2 p.m. Feb. 7 at Griffin Gate on “Black Minds Matter: The Findings” centers on a free, online public course he coordinated that addresses the experiences and realities of black males in education. The class, which features guest lectures, speeches, and interviews with key leaders in the field, draws parallels between the Black Lives Matter movement and ways that black minds are engaged in the classroom.

The public course is an offshoot of the full course offered last fall to students in SDSU’s graduate program in education. The seven-part public course was recorded and is available for viewing on Youtube.

Cuyamaca College’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. & Malcolm X takes place 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb.2. The keynote speaker is Lalia Aziz, a board member with Pillars of the Community, a non-profit group grounded in the Islamic faith that helps those affected by the criminal justice system.

Its founder, Paul Khalid Alexande
r, found inspiration in the life and writings of Malcom X, and started Pillars of the Community seven years ago with an eye to helping the formerly incarcerated get back into the mainstream after they’ve been released.
Since then, the focus of the group has expanded to advocate on behalf of Southeast San Diego as a whole. Cuyamaca’s kickoff event for Black History Month will also include a spoken word performance by poet Edward Henderson and a step show by a San Diego State University fraternity.

Grossmont College’s Black History Month events are:

  • Feb. 1:  Black History Month kickoff from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Main Quad featuring African drums, dance performances and food.
  • Tuesday and Wednesdays through Feb. 28: “Jazz Kitchen with Soul Food Specials” featuring singers and musicians from the college’s Jazz Vocal Ensemble and Jazz Studies Department takes place Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6-28 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy student performances and soul food at the Griffin Grill.
  • Feb. 7:  “Black Minds Matter…The Findings”: A presentation by San Diego State University Professor J. Luke Wood on his course, “Black Minds Matter,” 2-3:45 p.m. Feb. 7 at Griffin Gate, Bldg. 60. Wood, one of the nation’s leading advocates for black students at community colleges, will be joined by African-American doctoral students who participated in the course.
  • Feb. 15: “Region 10 Poetry Slam Festival Competition.” Community colleges participating in the second annual event from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Bldg. 26, Room 220 include City, Southwestern, Mesa, Grossmont, Cuyamaca and MiraCosta.
  • Feb. 16: “Marvel Studios Black Panther Movie Night” at Grossmont Center’s Reading Cinemas 15. For more information, email
  • Feb. 20: “SDSU Black Sororities and Fraternities Showcase” from noon- 1 p.m. in the Main Quad. SDSU students will share their organizations’ rich history and perform step dancing.
  • Feb. 20, 21: “Len Davis: A Network of Familiarity” features an artist’s lecture from 2-3 p.m. Feb. 20 in Room 26-200, then a closing reception from 4-6 p.m. at the Hyde Art Gallery. On Feb. 21, an artist’s workshop will be held from 10 a.m.-noon in Room 24-274 led by Davis, an African-American artist who uses mixed media to include both finely detailed drawings and collaged elements.
  • Feb. 22: Lecture by Dr. Stacey Patton from 12:30-1:45 p.m. in Griffin Gate. Patton is an adoptee, child abuse survivor and former foster youth turned award-winning journalist, nationally recognized child advocate and assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Patton will focus on combating racial disparities in child abuses cases, criminal prosecutions for child abuse, foster care placements, and restorative justice efforts.
  • Feb. 26: “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Workshop” from 11 a.m.-noon at Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60. The workshop will be led by Helen Young, project director for the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Cuyamaca College’s Black History Month events are:
  • Feb. 2: “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Celebration” from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in I-207 – I-209 in the Student Center.
  • Feb. 5: “Black Student Union and Umoja Meet & Greet” from 11-30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Cross Cultural Center, I-128 in the Student Center.
  • Feb. 6: “Mental Health in the Black Community,” a guided discussion by Mayumi Douglass, a clinical mental health supervisor at the Health & Wellness Center, 1-2:30 p.m. in I207 in the Student Center.
  • Feb. 9: “College Hour – Black Excellence Panel” from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in I-208 and I-209 in the Student Center.
  • Feb. 12: “Brotha to Brotha” presented by Brandon Williams, a counselor and instructor who works with the college’s Umoja program and is the Black Student Union adviser, from 12:30-2 p.m., I-207 in the Student Center. Umoja is a program designed to assist African-American and other historically under-represented students wanting to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Williams’ presentation is designed to promote brotherhood among men, and to provide a safe space to have a dialogue surrounding issues they face.
  • Feb. 15: “The Pillars of the Community” is a non-profit group committed to embracing the diverse culture of Southeast San Diego. Dedicated to helping those affected by the criminal justice system, the group focuses on compassion, respect, and advocacy for the disenfranchised through education, organization and action. Representatives will speak from 1-2:30 p.m. in I-207 in the Student Center.
  • Wednesdays, Feb. 7-28: “Heritage Book Club, the New Jim Crow,” with guided discussion by sociology instructor Rachel Jacobs-Almeida at 2 p.m. in Room I-107 in the Student Center.
  • Feb. 26: “Black History Panel” presented by the history department from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Room I-107 in the Student Center.
All events are free and open to the public.               
Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive. Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in the community of Rancho San Diego. For more information about the colleges, go to

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