February 12th, 2023

In Celebration of Black History Month

Black History Month isn’t a time where you just throw on a Netflix documentary or read an article and consider yourself ‘woke’. It’s a time to reflect and celebrate the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and tragedies that are ingrained in U.S. history and helped shape the nation. It’s an opportunity to recognize and honor Black history and embrace its truths…over 400 years of it. It’s certainly not a time a time to place blame or guilt, but a time to receive and engage.

Community Foundation staff and board are committed to incorporating the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our governance and daily operations and this includes celebrating cultures, ethnicities, and identities. We joyfully celebrate Black History Month. We honor history. We believe it is also important to connect to the present.

There is no United States History without Black History. Don’t be afraid to say ‘Black’ or engage in conversations about race. Learn, share, and do. Don’t’ miss the opportunity to educate and inform yourself even if it’s not laid out for you by design. Be encouraged to go and explore all things Black history. Learn about the unsung heroes, the champions, the warriors, and those not studied in books.

The Black experience is an important part of Tompkins County’s story. We want to provide you with an experience that will leave you wanting to learn more.

On Friday, February 17 at 12PM, join us for a special Let’s Talk program, His(story) Lesson with Dr. Nia Nunn. REGISTER HERE

She will take us on a journey through time and the Underground Railroad told in a way that only she knows how. Her work is transformative.  We will take this opportunity to acknowledge and honor her. Dr. Nia is celebrated worldwide, and we are thankful for all she has done right here at home.

About our speaker:

Wearing multiple head wraps as a leader in Ithaca, New York (where she was born and raised), Dr. Nia serves as an Associate Professor of education and psychology at Ithaca College and Board of Directors President of Southside Community Center. She’s a mother, artist, activist, and consultant within her community and across the country.

A champion and protector of this historically Black agency, the Southside Community Center (started in 1934), works to affirm, empower, and foster the development of self-pride among the African American citizens of the greater Ithaca area in upstate NY. Dr. Nia is the creator of programs designed to empower and uplift the voices of youth, particularly young Black women, and girls. A mother to 3 boys, an artist, and yogi, Dr. Nia embodies radiance, empowerment, and permission.

Dr. Nia’s work is rooted in the Black oral tradition––the movement, story-sharing, poetics, self-expression, and soulfulness––to create spaces that allow participants to get in touch with their own stories, heal from childhood traumas, and experience firsthand the power of collectivism. Her spaces are inclusive and exclusive, expansive, and concise.  They are spaces that contain the right kind of alchemy of intensity and grace that challenges and invites people to become even more anti-racist, even more pro-Black, even more rooted in empathy and compassion, even freer in self-expression, and even more connected to others, especially across realities.”


PBS’s, Black History Month, What to Watch

NPR’s, Black History Month Playlist

Time’s, 6 Films to Watch for Black History Month

Deadline’s, What’s on TV and Streaming in February

– Attend a Black History Month celebration or ceremony

– Visit an art gallery or museum displaying pieces inspired by Black culture

– Teach someone something you already know

– Attend a forum or lecture

– Read a book. Here are a few suggestions:

Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs