hero-angle-alpha hero-angle-beta icon-rss-square icon-instagram icon-rss icon-facebook icon-facebook-square icon-facebook-official icon-twitter icon-twitter-square icon-google-plus icon-google-plus-square icon-linkedin icon-linkedin-square icon-pinterest icon-pinterest-square icon-youtube icon-youtube-square icon-youtube-play icon-search icon-gift icon-graduation-cap icon-home icon-bank icon-envelope icon-envelope-square Cabrini Logo Cabrini Logo icon-chevron-right icon-chevron-left category academics category athletics category just for fun category service and mission category living on campus category profiles category advice category activities and events Cabrini University logo with crest
Return Home

Cabrini News

Cabrini Opens Black History Month 2023 with Celebration of African American Art, Culture, and Liberation

Posted on 2/2/2023 4:19:38 PM

Cabrini University began its Black History Month celebration Wednesday, February 1, as the campus community gathered inside Bruckmann Memorial Chapel to share African American poetry, prose, prayers, and music. Hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, the kickoff event centered on the question “What Does Liberation Mean to You?” and spotlighted the voices of students in Cabrini’s Black Student Union and Poetry Club.

“In the shortest month of the year, it’s very difficult to celebrate all of the accomplishments and the legacy of African American people,” said Lailah Dunbar, Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. “As we celebrate Black History Month here at Cabrini University, we invite your hearts, we invite your minds, we invite your bodies, to be vulnerable, to be authentic, and to be completely open so that you can hear part of the legacy of our country that is not often told. We invite you to listen as we tell it now.”

Following a West African libation ritual which honored ancestors by pouring water into soil, and the performance of Negro Spiritual, “O Freedom,” by Perry Brisbon, Vocal Instructor and Choir Director, Cabrini students stood to have their voices heard.

Geraldine Brown (ʼ23), a Psychology student, delivered Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” before Criminology major Charelesetta Kowou (ʼ23) performed an a cappella rendition of Beyonce’s “Freedom.” Black Student Union President Armani Parker (ʼ23) shared a poem she wrote during the unrest of summer 2020, and Tiffani Bundy (ʼ23) performed “Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman” by Sonia Sanchez.


The program threaded African Americans’ struggle for liberation from the past through to the present. Angela N. Campbell, PhD, Vice President, Mission, DEI, and Student Engagement, and Chief Mission Officer, shared a story her grandmother had passed down from an enslaved woman. The story “collapsed time,” Campbell said.

“I understand myself now as the product of the dream of liberation that many could not realize, but we today can move forward,” Campbell added. “I am the hope and the dream of the slave. Those of you who are here, you are liberation.”

Educational and inspirational experiences continue throughout the month of February, on campus and beyond. In addition to seminars and showcases designed to honor Black culture and history, students will have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC, on Saturday, February 11, to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A full listing of events and activities is below.

Wednesday, February 8


Iadarola Lecture Hall

Common Hour

How Do We Get Free? Part 1

Join us for a conversation with Ronald W. Whitaker II, EdD, Director, Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement, and Assistant Professor, Education; and Lailah Dunbar, Director, ODEIB, who will discuss the socio-spiritual foundation and future of equity, justice, and liberation.

Friday, February 10


BE-Lounge (area between the ODEIB and SEaL)

Blackout Poetry

Join us to compose your own poetry and decorate/design your pages inspired by famous African American authors, essayists, and poets.

Saturday, February 11


Trip to the National Museums, Washington, DC

Schedule time to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Bus is leaving from Founder’s Parking Lot at 9am

Tickets, $10. For more information, contact Raina Johnson at rj7003@cabrini.edu

Wednesday, February 15


BE-Lounge (area between the ODEIB and SEaL)

BE-Lounge Table Talk - Are Black Students Free to Be Themselves on College Campuses?

Join the Black Student Union for a conversation about what it means to be a Black student at a Predominantly White Institution.

Thursday, February 16


Grace Hall Atrium

Melanin Within

Join the Black Student Union for a showcase of Black excellence. Explore the artistry of student designers, stylists, and entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, February 21


Widener Lecture Hall

Screening and discussion of the Academy Award Winning Documentary, I Am Not Your Negro

Join us for a screening and discussion of the film about James Baldwin, one of the most prolific thinkers of the 20th century.

Wednesday, February 22


Grace Hall Multipurpose Room

How Do We Get Free? Part 2

Join Ronald W. Whitaker II, EdD, Director, Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement, and Assistant Professor, Education, for the second workshop exploring the ongoing struggles, challenges, and consequences of Black Liberation.

Thursday, February 23


Grace Hall Atrium

BSU Fashion Show: Drip or Drown!

Tickets: $5 for visitors, $3 for Cabrini students

For more information, please contact Malik Washington at mw10798@cabrini.edu.