UNM Health Sciences Black History Month graphic
By Elizabeth Dwyer

Lessons From the Past

UNM Health & Health Sciences Celebrates Black History Month

The University of New Mexico Health & Health Sciences is proud to celebrate Black History Month 2023 with a lineup of events that honor the contributions, achievements, art, lives and livelihood of Black Americans.

The festivities kicked off with a brunch held last Saturday, Jan. 28, where attendees gathered in community to hear from keynote speaker Adolf L. Reed, Jr., professor emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, who shared numerous insights gleaned from his long and illustrious career.

On Feb. 3rd, the UNM Health System invites you to Popejoy Hall for The Langston Hughes Project, a free multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz. This unique performance explores the intersection of poetry and music and is sure to be a highlight.


Later in the month, on Feb. 16, UNM Health Sciences Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) will host distinguished speaker Sylvia Drew Ivie, JD, daughter of blood storage pioneer Dr. Charles Drew. She will discuss the role of the newly developed HBCU Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in diversifying the health care workforce.

In the realm of educational programming, HSC Studio videographer Allan Stone interviewed Jamal Martin, PhD, MPH, a faculty member in the Department of Africana Studies, about learning and understanding the culture of African Descent through Adinkra Symbols.

“As we look at these days and times when people are trying to eliminate Africana studies in high schools and other places, Sankofa is even more relevant in terms of going back into the past,” Martin says. “It’s an excellent way to overcome ignorance, to deal with the fear, the doubt, the apathy and superstition that exists all around us. And the only way to defeat that really is to establish truth, justice, mercy and compassion.”

These highlights are just a few events UNM Health & Health Sciences has in store for Black History Month. Stay tuned to the Black History Month webpage for updates on more events and activities, as well as information on how you can get involved and support the Black community throughout UNM and beyond.

UNM Health & Health Sciences is proud to celebrate the crucial role of past and present Black Americans in enriching culture and shaping communities. Join us as we honor the past while working toward a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

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