By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
In the spirit of celebrating African American culture in the month of February, the Center for Student Diversity is in the midst of choosing their favorite submissions from the 2015 Black History Month Poster Art Contest.
“We want to encourage students to take interest in black history. We want students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, major or class standing to participate and express themselves creatively,” Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Diversity Victor Collins said.
With this year’s contest, which is new to Towson this year, students are given the chance to convey their ideals through art while also contributing to the recognition of black heritage.
“We are always looking for ways to get people interested in the celebration of black history month and, not just black students,” Collins said. “This is something we plan on doing every year, and hopefully get more and more students to express themselves through creative outlets.”
The Black History Month Poster Art Contest received 10 submissions this year, ranging from multiple types of media.
“It varies from graphic art to paintings. The only stipulation is that it has to be able to be hung,” Collins said.
On Feb. 25, winning submissions will be judged by Collins and other members of the CSD Staff.
“There are first, second and third [place] prizes. $50 credit for the University bookstore for third place, $100 for second and $200 for third.” Collins said. “First prize will also be recognized as the CSD’s Black History Month Poster.”
The Black History Month Poster Art Contest submissions are located on the third floor of the University Union, in the Unity Lounge of the Center for Student Diversity office.
In addition to the contest, the CSD also invited best-selling author, intellectual and radio host Michael Eric Dyson to speak to Towson students, faculty and staff as the featured lecturer for the Diversity Speaker Series for Black History Month.
SAGE Program Mentor and member of the Black Student Union Jhustin Paschall said that he was looking forward to hearing what Dyson had to say to Towson students.
“Any advice that he would have for us as college students is helpful, I know for me especially as a junior, senior year is pretty much a wrap-up and getting ready to go out into the real world, find careers and things such as that,” Paschall said.
Paschall and other members of the Black Student Union were invited to the reception held in Millennium Hall preceding the lecture to welcome Dyson, however due to car troubles Dyson was unable to attend the reception.
“I know me personally I haven’t followed the career of Michael Eric Dyson,” Paschall said. “But it’s always good to meet new people and just learn from their experiences, their teaching and everything that they have to offer.”
The CSD will continue their recognition of Black History Month this week with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the West Village Ballrooms. The event will feature a multimedia performance that explores the life and music of civil rights activist and musician Nina Simone.