Black Student Union members Angele Bell, Samfee Doe, Melissa Lewis, Rosine Bogoto and Alexia Lockett sing in university chapel. Photo by Tyler Coblentz

EMU Celebrating Black History Month

The multicultural services office and the Black Student Union join in planning and celebrating “Black History Month” at Eastern Mennonite University.

Activities opened Friday, Feb. 4, with a university chapel presentation by Mark Metzler Sawin, associate professor of history at EMU and a former Fulbright scholar. Dr. Sawin shared powerful stories of local African-American groups and their faith, hope and struggles here the Valley of Virginia and at EMU.

Upcoming Black History Month events include:

  • A historical presentation of the African American community in Harrisonburg led by Ruth Tolliver, followed by a tour to historical sites around the city, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., Feb. 12, including a display in the Simms Building of African American inventions. Transportation and light snacks will be provided. Persons should meet in the University Commons rooms 211-212 before 10 a.m.
  • Philadelphia pastor and EMU alumnus Leonard Dow will speak on “what does it mean to be alive in your faith? How can you LIVE fully in Jesus?” at 8 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 17 in the Common Grounds Coffeehouse in the University Commons.  The EMU Gospel Choir opens this event, and refreshments are free compliments of campus ministries. Dow is leading spring spiritual life week, Feb. 16-19, at EMU.
  • Local musician Jessica Crawford and the EMU Gospel Choir will be in concert 9 p.m. Fri., Feb. 18 in the Common Grounds Coffeehouse. Admission is free.
  • A community worship service with the EMU Gospel Choir will take place 2 p.m. Sun., Feb. 20, in Martin Chapel of the seminary building.  Join EMU students and staff in a worshipful experience led by the Black Student Union.
  • The annual Soul Food Café is back, 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27. Come and enjoy a traditional African American dish while listening (and participating) in a surprise program. This annual event will be held in the Black Box Theater of the University Commons. General admission is $10 and $5 for students.

“The Soul Food Café is a favorite, usually the last event in our month-long celebration,” said Marvin Lorenzana, director of multicultural services at EMU. “Come join us for any of these activities for worship, music, food and meaningful conversation.”

For more information, contact Lorenzana at 540-432-4458.