On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the UW Tacoma Center for Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with Tacoma’s PBS station KBTC, will present “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise.” The program, a celebration of Black History Month, will feature a viewing of clips from Henry Louis Gates, Jr’s documentary of the same name. Following the screening, the event will feature a group discussion, performances by local artists, and a resource fair. KBTC’s Alyssa Torrez shared the details in the following Q&A.
What is the significance of this event?
KBTC: This event is part of our year-round Heritage Month Celebration series. Through these events, working with the Center for Equity & Inclusion, we want to bring community members together to celebrate and learn about the lives, stories, and challenges of people from different cultural backgrounds and celebrate the diversity in our community.
What do you want attendees to come away with?
KBTC: I hope that attendees come away with an increased awareness of the diverse community that we live in and the challenges that different people face. I think that’s the first step to building bridges and supporting one another. Hopefully, people will leave thinking about ways that we can work together to continue to grow.
What makes this event pertinent today?
KBTC: It’s becoming more and more important that we build understanding in our communities and that we come together to support each other. If we can understand the challenges, if we understand the fears and the experiences people in our community have, we can work towards community solutions and ensure that every member of our community can thrive and live their best life.
How did this collaboration come about?
KBTC: Dr. Ricardo Ortega (the director of the Center for Equity and Inclusion) and I met at a Latino community event and made plans to meet to discuss our organizations and the work that we were doing. From that discussion, we explored the ways we could work together to further both of our organizations’ missions to engage diverse audiences in our community. We started with a Black Panthers screening event in February of 2016 which was a huge success and built a monthly Heritage Month series from there, focusing on 6 months of cultural celebration events.
Why collaborate with UW Tacoma?
KBTC: Working with UW Tacoma has been great. The connection to their students is a great advantage and it’s a great way to turn those students into engaged community members. All of the staff and faculty have been so eager to help and have been a pleasure to work with. It really shows a commitment to the community and growing their footprint here.
More information about the Heritage Month Celebration Series is available on the KBTC web site.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org