UW Combined Fund Drive

January 20, 2023

Celebrate Black History Month with these engagement and learning opportunities

Black History Month celebrates the achievements, influences and legacies of Black Americans.

Also called African American History Month – and, more recently, Celebration of the African Diaspora – Black History Month began as Negro History Week in February 1926 through the efforts of scholar Carter G. Woodson.

Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 by President Ford as a month-long national observance each February. It is also celebrated in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The UWCFD stands in solidarity with our region’s Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. Read our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Black history is American history. Initially, the dialogue around Black History Month focused on youth education efforts in primary and secondary schools, as well as at the college level, about Black Americans’ contributions to American history and culture. Such stories have been and continue to be a neglected part of our historical narrative.

More recently, the recognition month is a celebration of Black accomplishments and activism, highlighting Black leaders from a wide variety of perspectives:

“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

The 2023 Black History Month theme, Black Resistance, explores the fight for justice against discrimination, bodily autonomy and and self-determination in American society, from employment to education to housing.

Learn and explore

The Story Behind Black History Month and why it’s celebrated in February (NPR)

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.

Celebrate Black History Month by Supporting Black-owned Businesses: Supporting Black-owned businesses – this month and all year long – is an easy and effective way to show solidarity with Black entrepreneurs whose products and services deserve patronage.

National Parks Named in Honor of African Americans: There are more than 400 national parks across the country of different shapes, sizes, naming designations, and reasons for being created. African American history is preserved and shared in many national parks with some being created as monuments to remember specific individuals in our nation’s history.

Books Beyond Black History Month: University Book Store highlights speculative fiction, fantasy, and poetry written by Black American authors. Through imagining the future, re-imagining the past, and trying to make sense of the present, these books ask questions about the connections between power and history, and what kind of future we can build from history.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a number of upcoming virtual events exploring Black history and culture. Its new digital initiative, the Searchable Museum, has multimedia narratives, collections and various educational resources.

Check out this TED Talk playlist in celebration of Black History Month to be inspired by thoughtful ruminations on Black identity and culture. Prefer to just listen? Here’s a Black History Month Playlist of podcasts.

Take a look at this Anti-Racist reading list curated by Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to be an Antiracist.”

Support Black owned local businesses such as those found on this list or in this database. Sweet bonus: Check out these six Black-owned bakeries in Seattle, or grab a cuppa at Black Coffee Northwest.


Black-Owned Business Excellence Symposium
Weds. Feb. 1, 9 am – 4 pm, UW Tacoma, William W. Phillip Hall or virtual

This will be a kick-off event for Black History Month and a host of other workshops and training scheduled for throughout February. This event builds on and extends many efforts to build connections with and between Black-focused business groups and entrepreneurs.

Interrupting Privilege in the Everyday
Tuesday, February 7, 12 – 1 p.m.
NAAM is partnering with the Holocaust Center for Humanity in their Black History Month talk featuring scholar-in-residence Dr. Ralina Joseph, UW professor of Communication. She will discuss the importance of combating inequity daily and provide some of the steps that can be taken to interrupt privilege in your everyday life.

Black History Month Research and Writing Workshops
February 15, 2023, 3 – 6 pm
The Northwest African American Museum is partnering with UW Libraries’ Special Collections to offer a Research and Writing Workshops in February for Black History Month. The Research and Writing Workshops will be held in person on February 15, 2023 at the UW Special Collections Classrooms.

Northwest African American Museum Keynote Program
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 6 – 7:30 pm
Join us as we celebrate Black History Month. NAAM will hold an in-person riveting conversation with Dr. Damion Thomas, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator of Sports. Be inspired, informed, and ignited for action.

A Proud Heritage: An African American Family History Event
February 25, 2023, 9 am – 2 pm, Tacoma Family History Center
For African Americans, finding your ancestors can be especially challenging. To celebrate Black History Month, the Tacoma Family History Center is hosting a FREE genealogy workshop designed specifically for individuals with African American ancestry.


Consider making a one-time gift or set up payroll deduction to a UWCFD nonprofit organization that supports enriching the Black experience and amplifying Black voices.

Related: To Support Black-led Nonprofits, Fund Us for Capacity Building & Infrastructure

University of Washington Black Opportunity Fund (charity code 1482916): The UW Black Opportunity Fund invests 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.

Sisters Network: A National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization (charity code 1478545) is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community.

The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund (charity code 0316271) uses litigation, advocacy, and public education to work towards racial justice and equality for all Americans. The organization is fighting to protect voting rights, reform the criminal justice system, and improve equal access to education, among other civil rights causes.

The Opportunity Agenda (charity code 1482906) is a social justice communication lab that works to advance the impact of the social justice community. We believe that opportunity should be full and equal and that greater opportunity for all benefits everyone.

Southern Poverty Law Center (charity code 0316284): From monitoring hate groups to seeking justice for vulnerable people and educating youth on the value of diversity, the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing the work to fight hate and systemic bigotry in this country.

National Black Child Development Institute (charity code 0315476) is at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and their families.

9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers Museum of Tacoma (charity code 1481644): The mission of the Buffalo Soldiers Museum is to educate, preserve and present the history and outstanding contributions of American’s Buffalo Soldiers from 1866 – 1945 including WWII 1941 – 1945.