Pepperdine University celebrates Black History Month


At each of Pepperdine University’s five schools, the community will host a variety of events throughout February 2022 to celebrate Black History Month. The events aim to elevate black voices, celebrate black achievements, and engage conversation and reflection.

“As the Kinsey Collection shows, having a clear understanding of the multifaceted, multidisciplinary, and multi-epoch contributions of Black Americans translates to a deeper understanding of American history,” says J. Goosby Smith, vice president for the Community Membership and Director of Diversity. “While understanding our history should be a lifelong effort, not just a February effort, the greatest lesson is to grasp, appreciate and celebrate the fact that people in the African Diaspora have participated in excellence in a plethora of domains, since before the creation of the United States of America”.

Throughout the month, the exhibition The Cultivators: Highlights from Kinsey’s African American Art and History Collection will be on view at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum on the Malibu campus. The award-winning collection is an impressive survey of African American history and culture collected by Bernard Kinsey (MBA ’73) and his wife, Shirley (MA ’76), across the decades. An Exhibit Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, February 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., featuring live music, interactive art projects, museum tours, and a Kinsey family talk on “The myth of absence.

The President’s Lecture Series will return on Wednesday, February 16, with Will Ford III and Matt Lockett leading an exploration of their book The Dream King: How Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is realized to cure racism in America. The co-authors will discuss the history of the civil rights movement, the power of prayer, and offer insight into healing the racial divide across the country.

The School of Public Policy will host Robert L. Woodson, Sr., Founder and President of the Woodson Center, for a virtual discussion on “Black History: An Affirmation of American Values,” Wednesday, February 9 at noon.

On Wednesday, February 23, Seaver College will host Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson for a lunchtime talk with Seaver students about how writing can connect communities. Thompson has received the Perugia Press Prize and the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, among others, for his collections of poetry Don’t ask for forgiveness, Start with a small guitarand fretwork. Additionally, students from the Black Student Association will have the opportunity to share their poetry during the lunch event.

The Caruso School of Law will present the second annual Membership Award on Thursday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Light House Lounge. The awards honor students and faculty who promote diversity and belonging within the law school. Guests can attend happy hour, red carpet and dinner in person or tune in virtually.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Black Americans, their voices, their accomplishments and their contributions to society as a whole,” said April Harris Akinloye, assistant vice president for community belonging. “In our student programs, arts, and research, Pepperdine recognizes the significant impact of Black Americans on the advancement of this great country and across the world. Throughout the month, we recognize and appreciate the testimony of faith and perseverance, against all odds, given through the triumphant stories of Black Americans.

To learn more about the events and to register, visit the Black History Month Events webpage.


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