UL Lafayette celebrates R1 status, far-reaching significance of designation
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s recognition of Black History Month will include the “Carrying on the Dream” traveling exhibit, which recognizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on the civil rights movement.
Other public Black History Month events at UL Lafayette include lectures and forums, an author’s talk, a film screening and a celebration featuring a candlelight vigil and student-led performances.
The “Carrying on the Dream” exhibit will be in place from Tuesday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 19, at Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston St. Hours for the free exhibit will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The hearse that carried the prominent civil rights leader after his assassination on April 4, 1968, will be featured. Screenings of the “I am MLK Jr.” documentary film, civil rights artifacts, and art will also be part of the exhibit.
Students participating in the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program are helping to coordinate a “Carrying on the Dream” tour, which includes stops at several University of Louisiana System institutions. The three-year scholars program was established to enhance exemplary Black male students’ educational experience. It focuses on academics, social advancement and community service. The inaugural cohort includes two students from each of ULS’ nine institutions.
“This exhibit provides our scholars the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than themselves,” said Dr. Jim Henderson, UL System president. “Honoring the legacy of Dr. King will inspire them to dream even bigger as individuals and for others.”
Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, said “Carrying on the Dream” serves as a powerful reminder of “Dr. King’s enormous contributions to civil rights and valiant fight for an equitable society.”
The exhibit, he added, is also a reminder that continual progress toward equity and away from discrimination is a responsibility that rests with all of us, including the University family.
“We have a responsibility to foster principles of inclusion, encourage thoughtful, respectful conversations about race, and engage in activities that promote understanding,” Savoie said.
In addition to the “Carrying on the Dream” exhibit, the University’s commemoration of Black History Month will include the “Design Praxis in Black” exhibit. The work of minority architecture students will be displayed during February in Fletcher Hall on campus. The exhibit is free.
On Wednesday, Feb. 9, the “Uncomfortable Truths” discussion will be held at 5 p.m. in the Helma B. Constantine Forum. It is located on the second floor of the UL Lafayette Student Union, 620 McKinley St. The forum is free.
A virtual talk with Nathan Harris, author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel “The Sweetness of Water” will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Ernest J. Gaines Center. The center is on the third floor of Edith Garland Dupré Library, 400 E. St. Mary Blvd. The event is free, but registration is required.
The "Knowledge Makes a Man Unfit to be a Slave" lecture will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Gaines Center. The focus will be on the value of Black education and academic institutions. Aaisha Haykal will lead the forum. Haykal is manager of Archival Services at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. The virtual event is free, but registration is required.
The Gaines Center will host a screening of the documentary film “Crime on the Bayou” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17. A discussion about the film, which centers on racial injustice during desegregation, will follow the screening. The event is free.
The Celebration of Black History Month event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Student Union Courtyard. It will feature a candlelight procession featuring drummers followed by music, dance and other performances by students. The event is free.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette’s recognition of Black History Month will include the “Carrying on the Dream” traveling exhibit, which honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on the civil rights movement. Lectures and forums, an author’s talk, a film screening and a celebration featuring a candlelight vigil and student-led performances are among other events open to the public. Submitted photo