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Black History Month Resource Guide

Drexel's Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture Celebrates Black History Month

Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture (EIC) logo: Mario the Dragon sculpture on Market St. with blue sky in background.Drexel's Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture Celebrates Black History Month

The Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture (EIC) has organized a great list of resources to honor Black History Month 2023. The list includes local events, exhibits and museum tours, reading and watch lists, and much more – be sure to check it out!  

Black Employees at Drexel (BEAD)

Black Employees at Drexel: BEAD (formerly the Black Faculty and Professional Staff Association)

The Black Experience in Music at WKDU

WDKU communicators from the ’70s. Courtesy Russell Jones.Remembering ‘The Black Experience’

The formative first years of Drexel’s student radio station WKDU were shaped by a group of communicators — don’t call them disc jockeys! — whose dedication to Black art, news, culture and community left an indelible mark on a generation of alumni. 

“The Black Experience in Music” was created by five members of the University’s Black Student Union — four students and one senior-level Drexel administrator — to showcase content for and by members of the Black community. A story in the 1974 Lexerd said of the show: “Along with the best in today’s, yesterday’s and the future’s music, messages of community interests are an integral part of the format. The listening audience is, for the most part, people of the community who are not satisfied with the day in and day out exploitation of their culture.” Photo courtesy Russell Jones, 

For more, check out "WKDU Exhibit Reception Features the DJ's (Past & Present) Behind the Station". Recapping a Drexel Libraries event that took place in October 2021, this exhibit and reception honored WKDU's 50th anniversary and featured commentary from many of these Communicators.

Celebrations of Black History at Drexel

1892 to 2022: A Selection of Moments from Drexel’s History 

These photos show Drexel students performing in the Black History Month fashion show and group stage performances in the 1990s. Dancers on stage at an event celebrating Black History Month through dance and fashion circa the 1990's. Dancers on stage at an event celebrating Black History Month through dance and fashion circa the 1990's.

Drexel Libraries and Archives staff discovered these images while doing research for the exhibit "1892 to 2022: A Selection of Moments from Drexel's History" (courtesy Drexel University Archives). 

William Sydney Pittman

Drexel's 1900 class of architectural students, including William Sidney Pittman, second from right in the back row. President James MacAlister stands in the center. Photo courtesy of University Archives.Meet Drexel’s First Black Male Graduate: William Sidney Pittman

The first Black man to graduate from what was then the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry left behind a legacy not just on campus, but for the entire nation. William Sidney Pittman rose to national prominence as a high-profile Black architect and the first to obtain a federal commission. Ultimately, he designed over 50 buildings across the country, many of which were created for Black communities and presented as examples for other Black architects to aspire to. Several buildings — including his family home and community buildings — are state or National Historical Landmarks. Photo courtesy of Drexel University Archives.

Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant

Arms of various hue embrace and hold one another. Text reads 2024 Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant

Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant

Civic Engagement is “making a difference in community life through collective, public problem solving." The Lindy Center for Civic Engagement’s Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant provides financial support to members of the Drexel community who are doing collective, public problem-solving work around issues of institutional and systemic racism in the campus community and/or the communities immediately surrounding the University (namely, the neighborhoods of Mantua and Powelton Village). The mini-grant aligns with Drexel University’s larger strategic goal of preparing students to address society’s most pressing challenges, and the goals of Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force, which include “positioning Drexel to confront and eradicate structural racism and inequality—on our campus and throughout society.”

SPOTLIGHT ON: Drexel Alum Dr. Monique Bell

Book cover to "Terroir Noir: 2020 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneur" - featuring a green field and yellow sun in a purple sky.Terroir Noir: 2020 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs

Terroir Noir: 2020 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs is the result of more than one year of work to discover who Black winemakers are, what motivates them, and how they persist through challenges, including the unforeseen COVID19 pandemic and social justice uprisings. 

Researched and written by marketing professor and Drexel alum Dr. Monique Bell, the study is the first of its kind. This report identifies the results of a comprehensive survey distributed nationwide and with responses from wine entrepreneurs in Europe, Africa and Oceania. A report based upon in-depth interviews with more than 40 entrepreneurs. 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Drexel Meditation Group

Drexel Meditation Group

Join Black Employees at Drexel (BEAD) President and Senior Director of Education Abroad in Drexel’s Office of Global Engagement, Ahaji Schreffler, for Live Guided Meditation. Those interested should email to be added to the Drexel Meditation Group email list. Eligible participants for Drexel’s Wellness Incentive Program earn $5 wellness points and the group is open to students, faculty and professional staff!

SPOTLIGHT ON: Kaisha Blackstone, Assistant Teaching Professor, Music Industry

Headshot of Kaisha Blackstone in yellow blazer with purple and white patterned background.Kaisha Blackstone, Assistant Teaching Professor in Music Industry, is the embodiment of the phrase “well rounded musician.” She has been a touring background singer for Billboard topping artists and is an accomplished businesswomen specializing in music and media publishing, branding, and finance in the music business.In 2009 Blackstone partnered with her husband, to start BASSic Black Entertainment, LLC (BBE). BBE is a full music service company that provides live music production, connecting artists and musicians, and studio production -- they've done the 2018 Justin Timberlake halftime show, the 2020 Jennifer Lopez/Shakira halftime show, the 2022 halftime show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar, and will be back at the Super Bowl this year in support of the Rihanna halftime show! (Go Eagles!)

Counseling Center and Center for Black Culture: BIPOC Support

Flier with details about "BIPOC Drop-Ins" hosted virtually and in-person with Robia Smith-HermanDrexel Therapy Focused on Diverse Dragons

One recommendation from the Black Undergraduate Student Life Sub-Committee of the Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) called for increased staff representation through Drexel’s Counseling Center, and as the University continues to work to meet the needs of its many diverse Dragons, the Counseling Center and the Center for Black Culture (CBC) now boast the support of a new staff therapist focused on the minority student population. 

Shining a Black Light

Shining a Black light graphic with photo of Blair Chase, LPC, ATR-BC, Adjunct ProfessorThe Shining a Black Light campaign elevates Black History Month and recognizes our colleagues' contributions and achievements. This project, conceived by Dr. Veronica Carey. the assistant dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and chair of CNHP's board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, spotlights individuals who add richness to our culture and contribute to the success of our efforts in education, research and scholarship, health equity and social justice. Shining a Black Light draws attention to the gifts, support, competencies and contributions members of our community are making and demonstrate that Black history is made through hard work, perseverance, and so much more.

Also see: Did You Know Corner — Black History Month, in which Dr. Carey shares a bit about the history of Black History Month!

Resources from Drexel Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship

A Glance at the Black-owned Entrepreneurship Hub of Philadelphia [via the Drexel Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship]

Graphic showing diverse community embarking on diversity of activities such as reading, drinking coffee, and working on cars.

Black Entrepreneurs Firsts Who Paved the Way [via the Drexel Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship]