UMaine announces Black History Month events

The University of Maine will observe Black History Month with a series of virtual events hosted by the Black Student Union in partnership with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Fogler Library, among others. 

Raising of the Black Lives Matter flag will be livestreamed at noon Feb. 1 on the Mall in front of Fogler Library, or in the Memorial Union Bangor Room in inclement weather. Black Lives Matter flags will also be flown at the New Balance Student Recreation Center and the Maine Bound Adventure Center. 

Monthlong events include an Indoor Sprint Triathlon for Social Change, hosted by the New Balance Student Recreation Center, and an online Racial Justice Challenge sponsored by Fogler Library. 

At the recreation center, triathletes can complete a 2-mile run, a 500-meter swim, and a 6-mile bike ride over the course of the month. The first 20 people to successfully complete all three events will receive an event T-shirt. Scores will be announced online and updated weekly throughout the month of February. More information is available by contacting Adrianna Del Amo,

Fogler Library’s online Racial Justice Challenge is designed to help the community learn, listen, and take action regarding race, racism, and anti-racism. The self-paced challenge modules, which will remain available after Black History Month concludes, culminate in development of a personalized racial justice plan. For information, contact Jen Bonnet,

The McGillicuddy Humanities Center (MHC) is hosting three special events in recognition of Black History Month. On Feb. 24, MHC fellow Leela Stockley will discuss her research on racial bias in the media in relation to recent Black Lives Matter protests in “The Double Standard: Protest Coverage and Racial Bias.” Karen Sieber, MHC humanities specialist, will present “Using Technology to Document Racial Violence: On Finding History We Don’t Want to Remember,” on Feb. 25 to conclude the Waldo Reads Together discussion of the February book selection, “The Nickel Boys.”  Also on Feb. 25, the Atlantic Black Box, a public history project that empowers New England communities to reckon with the region’s complicity in the slave economy, will host “Reckoning with New England’s Complicity in the Slave Trade.” Black Box founders will discuss their work on grassroots historical recovery, which has been guided by a broad coalition of scholars, archivists, museum professionals, activists and artists. The public can participate in MHC events via Zoom; registration is required. 

Other celebration highlights include a Feb. 9 discussion of Black Excellence and a Feb. 22 conversation with current UMaine students. 

Kimberly Whitehead, vice president and chief of staff to UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy; Edneisha Curry, lecturer and assistant men’s basketball coach; Pious Ali, a Portland city councilor; and alumni David Patrick are the panelists for the Feb. 9 event, which is set for 3 p.m. Patrick is the co-founder of Racial Equity and Justice of Bangor. 

UMaine students Lauren Babb, Jacquel Eley, Amber Kennedy and Elisabeth Redwood will facilitate a conversation about Black identity, “Speaking LIFE.” Participants can join the Feb. 9 discussion of Black Excellence on Zoom and message for a link to the Feb. 22 event.

The Black Student Union also is sponsoring a presentation, “Reducing Stigma Around Mental Health and Mental Health Care,” 1 p.m. Feb. 16; a Black History Month Trivia Night, and Culture Night, a celebration of diversity expressed through performance art. The Husson University African Student Association will co-host Culture Night. 

For information about the mental health panel, contact Anila Karunakar, director of Diversity and Inclusion, For information about other Black History Month events, including registration links, contact BSU president Faye Smith,