Ouachita Baptist University’s Multicultural Student Programs and Multicultural Organization Reaching Equality (MORE) student organization are hosting guest speakers, an art exhibit and other events on campus throughout the month of February in observance of Black History Month.
MORE seeks to foster student development through diversity and promoting cultural differences on Ouachita’s campus and in the community as a whole.
“The MORE leadership team began planning Black History Month events in the fall and are excited to celebrate African American culture with faculty, staff and students,” said Nicole Porchia, Ouachita’s director of Multicultural Student Programs.
“Black History is more than a recognition of past icons in black culture; it is an ongoing celebration of all achievements and positive contributions to society,” she continued. “It is also a recognition of the long and painful black experience in America and the triumphs that African Americans have overcome. Black History Month at Ouachita is a way of celebrating the achievements and legacy of people of color at Ouachita Baptist University and the cultures from which they come.”
“Black History Month is important at Ouachita for many reasons. For example, it reminds us of a Biblical perspective that celebrates the beauty of ‘every tribe, tongue and nation,’” said Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita. “Also, Ouachita has a higher percentage of multicultural students, especially black students, than any time in its history, and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue given the demographic changes in our region.”
The month’s guest speakers include Trillia Newbell, author of “United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity” and director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Ouachita alumni Dr. Lewis Shepherd and Vanilla Hannah; and Ouachita’s Dr. Danny Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Students and author of “From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race,” and Quantel Williams, resident director.
An art exhibit titled “Beloved Community” will be on display beginning Monday, Feb. 11, and will run through Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Hammons Gallery in Ouachita’s Mabee Fine Arts Center. The art exhibit will feature the Ouachita community’s response, in the form of artwork and written works, to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community.” This exhibit is free and open to the public.
Other campus events range from a poetry reading to a choir night. Below is the calendar of events, including locations and times:
Friday, Feb. 1
Library Black Author Spotlight Begins, Riley-Hickingbotham Library (Every day)
Soul Food Lunch, Ouachita Commons (11 a.m.)
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Noonday: Quantel Williams, Berry Chapel (Noon)
Monday, Feb. 11
“Beloved Community” Art Exhibit Begins, Hammons Gallery
A Conversation on Race: Danny Hays and Trillia Newbell, Young Auditorium (7 p.m.)
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Black History Month Chapel: “Love Your Neighbor” with Trillia Newbell, Jones Performing Arts Center (10 a.m.)
Wednesday, Feb. 13
Poetry Night, Evans Student Center (8 p.m.)
Friday, Feb. 15
Alumni Spotlight: Lewis Shepherd, Alumni Room (Noon)
Monday, Feb. 18
Alumni Spotlight: Vanilla Hannah, Young Auditorium (7 p.m.)
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Choir Night, Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church (7 p.m.)
Wednesday, Feb. 27
“Stomp the Yard” Historic Context of African American Sororities and Fraternities, Amphitheater (Noon)
Thursday, Feb. 28
90s Dance, Arkadelphia Rec Center (10 p.m.)
For more information, contact Nicole Porchia at (870) 245-5234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 11, 2019