News Briefs: Black History Month and Diversity Inclusion Events


Kim Watkins

Members of BSU serve up delicious soul food.

Kim Watkins, News Editor

Marc Elliot Presentation, “What Makes You Tic?” – This event was held Tuesday, Feb. 9 in the lower level Conference Center. Elliot shared his experience in living with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder which causes involuntary motor and vocal tics. Elliot has spent the past few years as a motivational speaker, speaking to thousands of individuals by sharing his story and aiming for a way to help people be tolerant of themselves and others. This presentation was followed by a discussion on disabilities and tolerance.

Black Student Union Hosts Annual Soul Food Festival – Held in the upper Student Center (SC) from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. President Elizabeth Brown and other members of the Black Student Union were on hand to serve food and celebrate Black History Month. The Soul Food Festival is a highly popular event held every year at Southwest Minnesota State University. The event is open to the public and costs $6 per plate. The menu included some popular Southern foods including fried chicken, cornbread, gumbo, cheesecake and more.

Bettie Mae Fikes Presentation, “The Freedom Riders Story” – Bettie Mae Fikes was on hand Monday, Feb. 25 to share her experience with the 1960’s civil rights movement, with the SNCC Freedom Singers and B.M.F through song and discussion. It was held in the lower CC at 6 p.m. and was free and open to the public. It was part of the Black History Month and Inclusion events held at Southwest Minnesota State University. This event was sponsored by Residence Life, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Disability Services, Black Student Union, U.G.L.Y’s, SAC and AOS.

Dr. Dwight D. Watson Presentation, “Murder on the Bayou” – This presentation will be held Thursday, Feb. 28 in conclusion of Black History Month. It will be held in the lower CC at noon. Dr. Watson is an associate professor of history at Texas State University-San Marcos. His specialty is in African American history and the civil rights movement. Dr. Watson has earned a BA from Henderson State University in Arkansas, an MA from Texas Southern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Residence Life, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Disability Services, Black Student Union, U.G.L.Y’s, SAC and AOS.

4th Annual Culture Shock – This event will be hosted by the U.G.L.Y’s on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 3-6 p.m. in the upper SC. Food will cost $3 for this event and the  entertainment is free and open to the public, which will feature the Native Pride Dancers. In past years, this event has featured a talent show, fashion show and has also included a variety of traditional foods from around the world. This event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Wheelchair Basketball Course – This event will conclude the inclusion events held throughout Feb. For those interested in learning more about the “how-to” of wheelchair basketball, head to the P.E. gym at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. The course will be followed by a scrimmage from 6-8 p.m., where you’ll have the chance to face off against members of the SMSU wheelchair basketball team.