Students Celebrate Black History Month, Register to Vote at First Friday Event

Students, faculty and staff eat lunch Feb. 7 during the Black History Month First Friday event at the Multicultural Center.

Students could register to vote and learn more about resources for black students on campus as well as enjoy lunch, music and informative booths at the Black History Month First Friday event last Friday at the Multicultural Center.

The event, which garnered more than 134 attendees this year, was organized by members of the Multicultural Center in 2018 to raise awareness about the black community’s influence and encourage black students to register to vote, said Angelique Price, the Multicultural Center event coordinator.

Price said she hopes the event will encourage young members of the black community to exercise their right to vote.

Although the black community makes up a small part of the UA community, they deserve just as much influence, Price said.

Out of the 27,559 students at the UofA, 4.4% of the fall 2019 student population was African-American, according to the 2019 UA enrollment report.

The event featured different booths, including National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and fraternities, Pat Walker Counseling and Psychological Services and the African American Studies program.

Members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and fraternities put on dance and rap performances for the attendees.

Zachary Johnson, a senior and president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first African-American, intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity, attended the event to recruit new members for the fraternity.

Johnson said he wants to raise awareness about black influence on campus and ensure an accurate representation of the black community. He said he was proud to be a member of the same fraternity that both Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, were involved in.

A representative from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) spoke to event attendees about getting involved with the organization.

MC officials gave a prize to attendees who visited five booths. Prizes included Black History Month T-shirts, an Amazon Firestick and books.

Alessandro Brogi, director of undergraduate history studies, sat at the history booth and spoke with students about black history. Brogi said he thinks every group needs representation and voting should become more accessible.

The event was sponsored by The Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, Charles and Cappy Whiteside Greek Life Leadership Center and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The Multicultural Center will host events celebrating Black History Month throughout February.

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