Story By: Rachel Gough
Photos By: Ashley Resler

February is Black History Month at Missouri Western State University, and that means ton of events throughout the month hosted by the Center for Multicultural Education.

President LaTonya Williams, who is a current student at MWSU, runs the CME.

Kenya Turner is the president of the Black Student Union.

“The best part of Black History Month is the Black Heritage Ball, because it sheds light on people that go unnoticed,” Turner said.

Throughout the month of February, the CME hosted the following events: Because We Can photo shoot, comfort food Wednesday, blood drive, Rudy Currence in concert, Time Wise at UMKC, Black Heritage Ball and Restorative Justice Speaker David Karp.

DeOndre Ross is a student at Missouri Western State University, and he was excited to participate all month long.

“I’m excited to attend the events this month,” Ross said. “Black History Month is a time where people can appreciate what the African American culture has to offer, and show people how far we have come.”

The Because We Can photo shoot gave students a chance to be a part of history by dressing up as influential African Americans from the past. The pictures taken during this event were unveiled at the Black Heritage Ball.

Comfort food Wednesday required students to come by the CME office to pick up their free ticket to dine in the cafeteria and eat some of the best comfort foods, while supplies lasted.

Another event held was the blood drive. This event was held because Charles Drew was an African American surgeon who pioneered methods of storing blood plasma for transfusions and organized the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S. The CME wanted to honor Drew’s accomplishments with an event.

A student at Missouri Western, Jennie Schwabe, believes that the blood drive was essential for community and student participation.

“It is important to hold frequent blood drives in order to increase student involvement and community give back,” Schwabe said.

Another event, Rudy Currence in Concert was sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement. This concert invited students to come hear an African American musician and singer played a variety of instruments.

Time Wise was an event held at UMKC where students could attend a half-day work, shop centered around diversity and inclusion with Time Wise as the key note speaker. He is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S.

The Black Heritage Ball was sponsored by the Black Student Union and the CME. During this event students got to dress up, eat a delicious dinner and watch different presentations relating to black history over the ages.

Overall, the students from Missouri Western State University attended several different events in order to help spread support for Black History Month.