Celebrate ‘The Blue, Gold and Black Experience’ in February


Pitt has revealed a slate of University-wide events ahead of its annual 2022 K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Celebration.

The celebration is named in honor of Irvis, a 1954 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the first Black speaker of the Pennsylvania House.

The month will be filled with a variety of virtual and in-person events and discussions before Pitt’s signature K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, which runs from Feb. 21-25.

The theme for the program is “The Blue, Gold and Black Experience,” which will “center on elevating the histories, contributions, and perspectives of the Black Pitt community,” according to the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Pitt departments can submit their Black History Month events via the University Calendar.


Robin Brooks presents “Class Interruptions”: 4 p.m. Feb. 1, virtual. Brooks, an assistant professor of Africana Studies at Pitt, will discuss her book, “Class Interruptions: Inequality and Division in African Diasporic Women’s Fiction” with Robert J. Patterson, a Georgetown professor of African American Studies. 

Celebrate CRSP 20th! Florence Gibbs Momeyer Endowed Lecture featuring Haben Girma: 4:45-6 p.m. Feb. 2, virtual. The Center for Race and Social Problems at the School of Social Work will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a lecture from Haben Girma, White House Champion of Change.

Black History Month Kick-Off Social: 7-11 p.m. Feb. 4. Pitt’s Pan-African Graduate & Professional Student Association (PANAF) and Carnegie Mellon University’s Black Graduate Student Organization will host a social at African Cuisine in Squirrel Hill.

Carmen Jones”: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Blaisdell Hall, Pitt–Bradford. The campus will have a movie screening of “Carmen Jones,” an adaptation of Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera, “Carmen,” starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. The movie is set in 1943 in the American South.

Black History Month ‘90s Skate Night: 5-7 p.m. Feb. 11. PANAF will host a ‘90s-inspired social at Neville Roller Drome.

Dating While Black: Discrimination & Healthy Boundaries within Black Relationships: 3 p.m. Feb. 15. PANAF will host a virtual panel discussion on Black love and how certain issues can prevent Black relationships from succeeding. Panelists include: Jennifer McPherson, founder of McPherson Clinical & Consulting Services; Kaz Lucas, sex educator and activist; Ev'Yan Whitney, an activist, author and sexuality doula; and Dashawna J. Fussell-Ware, a doctoral fellow in the Center for Race & Social Problems

Chasing the Silver Lining: 7:30-9 p.m. Feb. 16, Blaisdell Hall, Pitt–Bradford. Livingston Alexander, Pitt–Bradford’s first Black president, will read from his memoir about growing up in Louisiana during the Jim Crow era and his work in higher education.

Black Jeopardy Trivia Social: 7-10 p.m. Feb. 22. PANAF will host a Black Jeopardy game, based on the “Saturday Night Live” skit. Pitt students are invited to attend, and non-Pitt affiliated people may attend as long as a Pitt-affiliated person purchases the ticket.

Follow the Black History Month tab in the events calendar as the programs are updated, or visit the OEDI website for more information about the events.


Nominations are being accepted through Jan. 28 for the Black Excellence Service Award.

This honor celebrates Black community members affiliated with University of Pittsburgh who are making significant contributions to the community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. Nominees must either be current or former Black student, faculty or staff of the University, and self-nominations are welcomed.

The award will be presented at the Black Excellence Bash on Feb. 25.

All submissions should be made through this form. Questions or requests for more information should be sent to lajosho@pitt.edu.

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at dharrell@pitt.edu or 412-383-9905.


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