UW Combined Fund Drive

February 2, 2021

In Celebration of Black History Month

“Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history. It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans . . . and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.” – President Barack Obama, February 2016

Following 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, these words could not be more relevant. Black History Month, officially recognized in 1976 as a month-long national observance, celebrates the achievements, influences and legacies of Black Americans. Indeed, one such achievement – last month’s historic swearing-in of Vice President Kamala Harris – makes this Black History Month feels especially consequential.

The Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

In honor of Black History Month, here are suggested local and virtual opportunities and resources for your consideration:


“…there is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history, and no higher cause than honoring the struggle of our ancestors by remembering.” -Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

Historically Speaking: Four Hundred Souls – A Conversation with Ibram Kendi And Keisha N. Blain Tuesday, February 2 at 4:00 pm Renowned scholars Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire have assembled 90 extraordinary writers to document the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Entitled Four Hundred Souls, each contributor writes about a five-year period of 400 years of American history using essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. Hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Challenge of Allyship: Tuesdays, February 2,9,16 & 23, 2:00-4:00pm
Join Professional and Organizational Development for a four-part seminar with facilitated conversations on the challenge of allyship, creating a community of practice, and transforming our hopes, ideas, and good intentions into inclusive and equitable actions and policies.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Impacts of Systemic Racism, Tuesday, February 9 at 6:30 pm
Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, discusses the impact of the pandemic on BIPOC communities and what systemic changes need to be made now to avoid long-lasting impact.

Racial Justice at UW: Activism’s Past and Future on Wednesday, February 10 at 1:00pm
Emile Pitre, one of the UW’s Black Student Union founders and a longtime staff member in the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D), will talk about his experience as a student civil rights activist at UW in the 1960s and the activism work he has seen at UW since. Pitre will then be joined by Cynthia del Rosario and Daaniya Iyaz for a panel discussion touching on the current state of activism at UW and what they see for the future. The event will be followed by an opportunity for small group discussions until 3 p.m.

28 Days of Black History:  A virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S., offering an introduction to a moment in Black history exemplified by the art, literature or artifact featured for the day.


Support Black owned local businesses such as those found on this list or in this database.

Join the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a member during February and your membership contribution will be matched 100% by donors. The museum is a Smithsonian member institution.

Check out this TED Talk playlist to be inspired and celebrate Black History Month.

Make a one-time gift or set up payroll deduction to a UWCFD member organization that supports enriching the Black experience:

University of Washington Black Opportunity Fund (charity code 1482916): The University of Washington Black Opportunity Fund will invest in: Services and programs for health and academic success, including but not limited to Black student organizations, Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program GO-MAP, Brotherhood Initiative, and the Women’s Center.

Black Women’s Health Imperative (charity code 1482760): We target the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S. through investments in evidence-based strategies, bold programs and advocacy outreach on health policies.

University of Washington Costco Diversity Scholarship (charity code 1481296): General support for the UW Diversity Scholars Program–an intensive effort by the University of Washington to increase the number of highly qualified underrepresented minority students.

University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity EOP Fund for Excellence (charity code 0519565): The UW Educational Opportunity Program Fund provides support and resources for emergency scholarship support, EOP programming, orientation, and recognition events.