Polk State College events celebrate Black History Month

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College is hosting a variety of events in honor of Black History Month, giving students, faculty, staff, and members of the community the opportunity to experience ethnic heritage, cuisine, music, art, and more.

The series of events kicked off Jan. 9 with the College’s 15th annual MLK Celebration Luncheon, where hundreds of guests heard from keynote speaker Keith J. Gibbs, Director of Safety and Security for John Wesley Community Health and a retired veteran of the U.S.  Marine Corps. They also enjoyed a dance performance by Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School students Santira Borders and Imani Fleming, and the Polk State College Foundation’s presentation of student scholarship awards for inspiring essays about the civil rights movement.

The College also hosted “The Music of Sam Cooke: A Change is Gonna’ Come” starring Brad Marquis on Jan. 18. Students, employees, and community members were transported back in time to experience the life of Cooke through music, allowing audience members to grasp the influential impact he had on all genres of music and the civil rights movement.

The College’s celebration of Black History Month will continue Feb. 6 with ethnic cuisine served for lunch at noon in the Winter Haven Student Center, WST 126. The month will also include events part of the popular Voices of the People chamber music series and learning opportunities led by the Louis Stokes Alliances for  Minority Participation Program (LSAMP).

Polk State’s Black History Month calendar is organized by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, with events that are also sponsored by the Student Government Associations for the Winter Haven Campus, Lakeland Campus, and Polk State JD Alexander Center, as well as the Honors Program and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Club.

The celebration will culminate with Polk State’s participation in the Black, Brown & College Bound Summit in Tampa on March 7, 8, and 9. To register, visit www.hccfl.edu/bbcb.

The events planned for the month are as follows. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Ethnic Cuisine

Feb. 6 | 12 p.m. | Winter Haven Student Center, WST 126

Feb. 13 | 12 p.m. | Lakeland Student Center, LAC 1133

Feb. 18 | 11:45 a.m. | Polk State JD Alexander Center

Voices of the People: Rochelle School of the Arts Celebratory Concert

Feb. 8 | 7 p.m. | Rochelle School of the Arts | $5 donation suggested

Black History Month Gallery Exhibit featuring Michael Banks

Feb. 11 – March 14 | Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Polk State Lakeland Art Gallery

STEM Week: Historical African American Figures in STEM Poster Session

Feb. 11 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. | Winter Haven TLCC Lobby

Who’s Who?

Feb. 13 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Winter Haven Student Center Walkway

Community Heritage Day Festival

Feb. 16 | 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Lake Maude Park

Technology and Engineering Day Presentations

Feb. 18 | 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Winter Haven Campus, WLR 106

Dr. Earl Brown presents Africa’s Contribution to Western Civilization and the “Afrikan Holocaust”

Feb. 19 | 12 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Winter Haven Student Center, WST 126

Celebrating African American History and Culture: Do It for the Culture

Feb. 21 | 10 a.m. | Polk State JD Alexander Center

Celebrating Sisters in History

Feb. 21 | 12 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Winter Haven Student Center, WST 126

Professor Derek Menchan presents Menchan, Baron Samedi, and the Wisdom of the Elders: A Talk for Students on Becoming

Feb. 28 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Lakeland Student Center, LAC 1133

Math Relay: Overcoming My “Math Phobia”

Feb. 28 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Lakeland LAC Courtyard

Black, Brown & College Bound Summit

March 7 – 9 | Tampa Marriot Waterside