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COCC celebrates Black History Month, hosts social justice events

Bestselling novelist Kim Johnson, a social justice leader and University of Oregon vice provost, will discuss her young adult novel ,“This Is My America,” in a COCC livestream event on Saturday, Feb. 21
COCC
Bestselling novelist Kim Johnson, a social justice leader and University of Oregon vice provost, will discuss her young adult novel ,“This Is My America,” in a COCC livestream event on Saturday, Feb. 21

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In commemoration of Black History Month and its ongoing Season of Nonviolence programming, Central Oregon Community College is hosting a diverse and engaging lineup of free public events this winter for exploration and discussion.

As part of an ongoing series of discussions on equity, racism and social justice, COCC is hosting a virtual community forum titled “Equity in the Outdoors” from 4-5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, to include a panel of local outdoor educators. Register for the Zoom webinar at cocc.edu/multicultural.

Black History Month programming includes a film screening of the critically acclaimed “The Hate U Give” (Feb. 3), a Black Excellence Art Showcase featuring both an exhibition (Jan. 18 to Feb. 24) and a live spoken-word performance (Feb. 11), and a livestream book event with the bestselling author of “This Is My America” Kim Johnson (Feb. 21). All events are free and open to the public. Learn more by visiting cocc.edu/multicultural.

“In addition to reinforcing some crucial conversations and perspectives in the community, this year’s programming around Black History Month celebrates Black culture through arts and literature,” said Marcus LeGrand, coordinator of COCC’s Afrocentric program. “We’re excited for Central Oregon to join in and be an active part of these important events.”

The film screening of “The Hate U Give” is from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, in the Hitchcock Auditorium on the Bend campus, followed by a short discussion. The 2018 film portrays how a witness to the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black youth by a white police officer navigates pressures from all sides of the community.

The Black Excellence Art Showcase, open to students and community members, with Bend’s first Creative Laureate Mosley Wotta to perform, takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Pinckney Center in Pence Hall on the Bend campus. Set amongst the art exhibition of the same name (Jan. 18 to Feb. 24, in the adjoining Pinckney Gallery), performance artists are invited to share monologues, poetry, songs, dance and other works. Interested individuals can sign up at cocc.edu/multicultural.

Bestselling novelist Kim Johnson, a social justice leader and University of Oregon vice provost, will discuss her young adult novel “This Is My America” in a Tuesday, Feb. 21 livestream event from 5-6 p.m. The book explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced and the families left behind to pick up the pieces. Recipient of the Pacific Northwest Book Award and the Malka Penn Human Rights Award, the book is being developed as a series for the HBO Max streaming service. Register at cocc.edu/multicultural.

For more information on these events, contact Marcus LeGrand at mlegrand2@cocc.edu or 541-330-4376. In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. For accommodation because of other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact disability services at 541-383-7583.

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