NewsLocal News


Black History Month events held via Zoom have allowed local universities to 'reach the world'

Posted at 6:59 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 19:59:15-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC26) -- Calls for racial justice were heard far and wide this past year.

Now, during this Black History Month, many of those calls are heard through Zoom.

"Covid has allowed us the opportunity to reach the world," UW-Oshkosh (UWO) African American Studies Director Dr. Alphonso Simpson said.

The Northeast Wisconsin community is celebrating Black History Month with a twist this year. Nearly all of the events held at places like UW-Green Bay and UWO are on the computer.

"We stop to think about those contributions that have made our pathway better, and those contributions that have opened the door for us to have continued dialogue," Vice Chancellor for UWGB Inclusivity Dr. Corey King said.

But that dialogue is a lot different online.

"The greatest opportunity for impact was when we gathered as a people, right?" King said. "[It was] through the marches [and] through the meaningful gatherings."

But local festivity coordinators say their messages actually reach more people through video chat.

"In light of Black History Month, it's really allowed many of my colleagues -- as well as myself and many institutions -- to share our knowledge base with the world," Simpson said.

And those at UWGB say more people are willing to share that knowledge in a Black History Month challenged by the pandemic.

"[With] Students and faculty and staff, I'm finding conversations in this virtual environment are more robust," King said. "They're more open. People are feeling more comfortable because they're sharing their thoughts and beliefs in their own space."

So though they might not be marching through the streets, some believe this month will still be an important part of history.

"The theme of UWO's Black History Month is 'be what matters,'" Simpson said. "And so if that [Black History Month] doesn't matter to you, something does. Be that."

Visit UWO and UWGB's website to find a list of scheduled events this month.