PARSONS, Kan. — To commemorate Black History Month, the Labette Community College (LCC) Diversity Committee has a number of activities planned for February 2023, with the theme for this year of “Celebrate as One.”
“The Black community of Parsons, Kansas, is an integral and vital part of our community,” LCC Diversity Chair and Director of Library Services Scotty Zollars said in a press release. “Their history is interwoven into not only some of our good times, but also some of our darkest moments. The matriarchs and patriarchs of our local Black community have produced amazing people in all fields of life that have enriched the world, even beyond Parsons. Labette Community College is honored to celebrate this thriving community.”
The “Chalk Walk” to kick off the month’s celebration began on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and will continue through Feb. 8 on campus. The LCC Art Club, under the direction of Professor Heidi Schaff, has created a chalk mural based on the work of artist Jacob Lawrence, an American painter known for his portrayal of African American historical subjects and contemporary life. This mural is being presented on the main campus, near the breezeway between the Student Success Center and Student Union.
LCC students, faculty, staff, and local community members are encouraged to reflect on the importance of Black History Month and add to the walk of art with chalk. This may be portrayed in the form of an image, a word, a quote, etc. Chalk can be picked up in the Student Life office located in the Student Union Building.
Another event for Black History Month will also take place on the final day of the Chalk Walk. “Celebrate As One” will start at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Zetmeir Family Athletic Complex. The LCC Women and Men’s Basketball teams, and the LCC Spirit Squad will wear special warm up shirts in honor of Black History month. These shirts will be worn during warmups and on the bench by both LCC and the visiting Allen County teams. The front of this shirt reads “Celebrate Black History.” Additional shirts will be handed out to the first 100 in attendance at the game. Local Black owned business owners will be highlighted at halftime of each game.
The Diversity Co-op will celebrate and recognize the invaluable contributions generations of Black Americans have made to the Parsons community, economy, and world by highlighting local Black-owned businesses, LCC said in its release. The week of Feb. 13 to 17, LCC social media channels will feature pictures of these community leaders, highlight their businesses, and share how they can be contacted. The community is encouraged to support these local establishments by sharing social media posts and shopping at their business, LCC said.
Tana Johnson will be the guest host for the “Elevate Black Voices” open mic night, to be held at the Cardinal Event Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. LCC students, faculty, staff and the Parsons community, and all performance-based genres are welcome: original music or covers, poetry, storytelling, and spoken word, skits or monologues. This event will specifically center Black experiences, joy, and resistance, LCC said, and performances should be relevant to these themes.
Follow the Labette Community College and Diversity Co.op social media channels to keep up on the latest college news and events.
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