AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —West Texas A&M University will commemorate Black History Month by celebrating heroes and pointing the way forward for diverse students.
WT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion will host four events in coming weeks to celebrate the richness of the culture and to learn from its struggles.
“Black history is more than a month,” said Angela Allen, WT’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “Black history happens every of the year and it is an integral part of American history. We have the opportunity as educators and educational institutions to make sure our students understand about the state of our country from the past and present, with hope that it will prepare them for the possibilities of the future.”
Julian Reese, head coach of the Amarillo Venom indoor football team, will read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on WT’s Canyon campus.
For the past several years, Reese has recited King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for WT. Reese, the quarterback of the 2004 championship Amarillo Dusters team, is co-founder of The Urban Project, a mentoring program for young men ages 12 to 18. He serves on the board for the Northside Toy Drive in Amarillo.
Following his reading, a panel of experts will discuss the Birmingham letter and its call to action for nonviolent protests against unjust laws. Panelists will include Tia Hunt, donor relations coordinator for the WT Office of Philanthropy and External Relations; Dr. Marty Kuhlman, WT’s Jenny Lind Porter Professor of History; and Dr. Dave Rausch, WT’s Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 7, also in Legacy Hall, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion will host Cultural Trivia Night, a celebration of Black history and culture.
Commemorations will conclude with two events focused on navigating success for diverse student populations on March 2.
Dr. Curtis Hill, a professional counselor at Dallas College and proprietor of counseling and life-coaching business Relationships Refocused, will lead a professional development workshop for WT faculty and staff at 2:30 p.m. March 2 in the JBK Senate Chamber.
Then, Hill and WT alumni will talk about their experiences as students and how they achieved college success in a discussion at 6 p.m. March 2 in Legacy Hall. WT alumni scheduled to take part include Eric Collins, Paticus Henderson, Khashari Wilson, Jennifer Tuttor and Aurora Garcia-Comer.
All events are free and open to the public. For information, call 806-651-8482 or visit wtamu.edu/diversity.
Being reflective of and responsive to a diverse student body, faculty and staff is a key principle of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $115 million.
About West Texas A&M University
WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.