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One of the things that make us who we are at Schiller International University is the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff. Inclusion is a choice, as we firmly believe that a society that incorporates individuals from a variety of backgrounds, genders, ethnic origin, beliefs, capacities, and skills is a more balanced and healthy society.

As the USA celebrates Black History this month, and the world joins them, we wanted to honor and celebrate our black students, staff, and faculty members. For that reason, we gave voice to the meaning of Black History throughout the month.

Read more below about what our staff, faculty, and students shared about what Black History Month means to them.

1. Submission by Jeanette Espinal, Dean of Students

"What does Black history month mean to me?

To express what Black History Month means to me personally let me first briefly explain its origin.

Black history month was born in 1915 as 'Negro History Week'. Several decades later, In the 1960’s, and thanks in part to the civil rights movement, it evolved into Black History Month. Still, even then, it was only celebrated on many college campuses. Black history still had a long way to go.

It wasn’t until 1976, after then President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, that he called upon the American public to 'seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout American history' ( Editors, 2022).

Black History Month brings a mix of emotions to me. I am of Latino decent which is my ethnicity, but Black is my race. There is a great deal of obliviousness to the difference between the usage of those two terms.

Being Black is my birth right. I feel sad that we must dedicate a particular month to something that we, who identify as Black, have continuously contributed to all our lives.

On the other hand, it brings me joy and a great deal of pride for the accomplishment of having helped raise awareness of the contribution given by Black people throughout history, which has often been dismissed or minimized.

Overall, to me, Black History Month means the celebration of and the acknowledgement of, the recognition and the continuing efforts to raise awareness of the true history of Black people in America.

I encourage each one of you to explore and learn more about the contributions and the legacy of Black Americans in all areas of humankind, such as politics, science, music, art, literature and so much more.

As Nelson Mandela said in a speech in South Africa on July 16, 2003 'education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world'. " Editors (2022, November 30). Black History Month. History. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from

2. Submission by Vilma Silva Butym, Global Librarian

“To me, Black History Month is another opportunity to celebrate The Human Race. It is a celebration of all qualities and inequalities that make all of us human beings. It is an opportunity to celebrate all colors, all races, nationalities, and ethnicities. A human being is a complex entity, and it is the inner most qualities, character, and morals that forms This Human Race. So, I would like to revisit some of the words Martin Luther King, Jr. once mentioned on his famous speech I Have A Dream (Peptalk India, 2020 p. 30-31)

‘And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today’.”

Reference: Pep Talk India. (2020). Master of Art of Public Speaking: Great lessons from the greatest speeches in history. India: Pep Talk. ” (retrieved from https://ttps://

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