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Honoring Black history by shaping tomorrow's leaders


This month, across all of our campuses, we're engaged in celebrations of Black history and honoring the incredible contributions of our Black Indiana University students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

At IU Bloomington, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is partnering with the Archives of African American Music and Culture to host "The Black Church Mixtape: A Virtual Listening Party." Among the thought-provoking events at IUPUI is a discussion hosted by the Black Student Union about health disparities impacting the Black community. IU Northwest will offer "The Black ABCs: Exhibiting Ephemera and Representation," an exhibition of historical alphabet flashcards that provided diverse learning materials to public schools as they began integrating classrooms 50 years ago. IU South Bend will hold a workshop focused on social workers and their efforts to achieve racial equity in their practice.

These are just a few of the opportunities in February to learn about our nation's shared history of progress and ongoing opportunities for advancement. However, our engagement in Black history and our commitment to diversity transcend a single month. 

We're inspired by our past to develop leaders who will shape a brighter future. Our students will pioneer new industries, advocate for civil rights in the coming decades, and serve our state and nation as elected leaders. Our goal for every student, no matter what path they pursue, is to encourage a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion modeled throughout the year by our actions every day.

Many in our IU community are already writing the next chapter of IU's history in this way, initiating positive change that makes our campuses more welcoming for everyone. They are recognized annually with our Building Bridges Award, and I hope you'll take a moment to draw inspiration from this year's winners. 


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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