Black History Month has arrived and many Black and African American organizations have planned and offered many activities to celebrate, such as Black Jeopardy and the showing of the film, “I am Ali.”
On Wednesday students attended the African American Affairs’s Black History Month Rest, Restore, Replenish event, and participated in paint and sip, sound bowl therapy, a conversation pit: podcast, body scrubs and masks, candids and more relaxing activities that allowed them to destress.
“AAA’s Black History Month Rest, Restore, and Replenish began through conversations between me and Arianna Moore who is a sophomore,” said BalenciaSariah Crosby, director of African American and Multicultural Affairs and organizer of the event. “We speak often about restorative healing practices and during our conversation, I asked her if she would be interested in attending a retreat on campus that would center around Black wellness” Crosby said.
Multicultural programs at Minnesota State allow diverse students to celebrate their heritage and racial background proudly. Still, challenges and obstacles often prevent students and staff from fully expressing their culture.
For Black History Month — an annual celebration that takes place throughout the month of February and highlights the history and significance of the Black and African American community, — Crosby said it’s important to acknowledge such struggles and confront them.
“African American students are not afforded many opportunities to rest. This radical and necessary act is largely unsupported and, during Black History Month, our responsibilities often increase further,” she said. “Several higher education institutions make it especially challenging for the Black community, students and staff especially. We are made to do a great deal of work and criticized for how we do it. We are provided minimal resources and criticized for not doing more. We are measured and told how ‘Black’ we can be, and criticized for daring to exist freely. If not for the small but mighty group of anti-racist abolitionists who genuinely support, I wouldn’t be able to carry out this work.”
For Crosby and African American Affairs, it was important recognize mental health during Black History Month and allow the Black and African American community at MSU to relax, restore, and replenish, and overall celebrate wellness with all MSU students on campus
“Black students need regularly to rest, restore, and replenish themselves so that they are well, both physically and mentally. The most important relationship we individually hold is the one between our inner and outer selves. This is a radical and transformative action required to allow the nervous system a chance to relax from constant actions,” Crosby said.
For more information on African American Affairs, visit www.mnsu.edu/universitylife/diversityequityinclusion or stop the Multicultural Center CSU 269
Write to Anahi Zuniga at email@example.com
Header Photo: The African American Affairs hosted an event for students to rest, restore and replenish during Black History month in the CSU Ballroom Wednesday. (Dylan Long/The Reporter)