Africa American leaders marching

Black History Month 2023

2023 National Theme: Celebrating Black Resistance

As Adopted From the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

This year, College of DuPage examines how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing systemic oppression in various forms throughout American history up to the modern era. This time of teaching, learning, reflection and celebration will explore the struggles and triumphs of black people who have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty and justice for all as they continue to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just, democratic society (ASAALH, 2023).

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Awards

Scholarship applications have been closed.

Contact for more information. 


Events on this calender are subject to change or cancellation pending circumstances beyond the control of Center for Student Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

2023 Black History Month Opening Celebration Featuring Afrikan Dance & Music Institute

Wednesday, Feb. 1

College of DuPage opens with a rousing history inspired celebration to start a month of teaching and learning. We will hear from select student speakers, President Brian Caputo, and Dean Dr. Nathania Montes. Afrikan Dance & Music Institute returns to teach through artistic expression.

Black Resistance and the Classroom

Dr. Theo Darden
Professor Criminal and Justice Studies, College of DuPage

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Join College of DuPage’s award winning and relevant educator Professor Theo Darden as he provides insight on advocacy and justice from the lens of a former police officer and supervisor in three different agencies in Wisconsin, as well as a training officer, an education consultant for police training and curriculum development, and a special advisor to the Attorney General on school safety.

Diverse Donor Blood Drive

Wednesday, Feb. 8

Did you know that donor diversity improves patient outcomes, as rare and uncommon blood types are often found in similar ethnic populations? Our goal is to donate blood as diverse as the community we serve. Everyone who signs in to donate received a $10 gift card. Register for Diverse Donor Blood Drive. Walk-ins are welcome.

Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Illinois

Dr. Larry McClelland

Sponsored by the College of DuPage History Department

Wednesday, Feb. 8

Dr. McClelland is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Community Studies at Governors State University. He has several publications on the Underground Railroad in Illinois and is currently completing a manuscript on “Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Illinois.”

The Annual African-American Read-in

Thursday, Feb. 9

As introduced to the College of DuPage by the Africa and African Diaspora Committee, The National African American Read-In is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. A national literacy initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the event is sponsored on campus by the College of DuPage Library.  The COD event will feature student, faculty and staff volunteer readers presenting their favorite selections from African American books, essays, music and poetry collections, as well as brief biological sketches of the authors. COD’s Dr. Peter James will serve as facilitator.

An Activist for Peace

Ken Nwadike Jr. – Special Guest Speaker

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Ken E. Nwadike, Jr. is an American documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist popularly known as the Free Hugs Guy. Ken is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which gained popularity as he made major news headlines for his peacekeeping efforts and de-escalation of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. Ken was featured in Google’s 2016 Year in Search video as a highlight among some of the year’s most defining moments and he has made many appearances on news programs, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News.

Freedom Riders

Thomas Armstrong

Sponsored by Student Life

Thursday, Feb. 16

Born in Silver Creek, Mississippi, Thomas Armstrong as a student at Tougaloo College, got involved in civil rights work. He organized black Mississippians to register to vote, despite threats on his life. And in 1961 he and three other Tougaloo students took part in the Freedom Rides, a campaign to integrate interstate buses. Come and hear his courageous story.

Black Resistance and Fashion

Black Student Alliance (BSA) and Fashion Mob Clubs

Interactive Fashion Exhibit, Gallery, Music and Bake Sale

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Open to the entire COD community, BSA and FASH MOB student clubs will lead a lively interactive exhibit which explores the past, present and future of fashion and its role in social activism, protests and rally’s for liberty. There will be refreshments, music and BSA will host a separate club bake sale.

DuSable Museum Outing

Saturday, Feb. 25

Celebrating over 50 years of sharing history, DuSable Museum of African American History is the nation’s first independent museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent. Registration required. Contact for more information.

Closing Ceremony - A Taste of History

Featuring Zion Lion Reggae Band and Garafuna Flava Caribbean Cuisine

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Reception in the SRC Cafeteria with awards, great food, artifacts and documents that celebrate the rich and diverse culture of blacks in America. Special guest Zion Lion Reggae Band comes to COD and Garifuna Flava returns with a taste of Caribbean style cuisine.

2023 Black History Month Photo Exhibit: Black Resistance

Wednesday, Feb. 1 through March 17

Student Recourse Center (SRC), Lower Level Walkway

Explore and learn as you engage in images and captions from past to present day people, places and stories of African Americans who have advocated for liberty, equity and equal rights against a culture of systemic oppression.

2023 Black History Month Expressions Competition

Guided by a quote, song, book or art from an African American, students are invited to submit an essay, a story, a piece of art or music, a poem, or any other form of expression. Top three submittals will be awarded and their selections will be featured at the BHM closing ceremony.



Contact Information

Center for Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CSDEI)
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2225E

David A. Swope Sr.
Manager, Student Diversity Equity and Inclusion
(630) 942-2565 
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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