January 31, 2024


Black History Month on the campus of The Catholic University of America will focus on the profound impact of the significant people and  Church, country, and the world. Various

engaging activities will be offered throughout February on campus. 

“History is one of the many disciplines in our university curriculum and also an essential part of our collective understanding of our world, nation, and who we are as a community,” said Columbus School of Law Professor Veryl Miles. “The celebration of Black History Month gives us the opportunity to enhance this understanding in a focused and dynamic way.”

The University’s D.C. location and nearby Metro station allow for off-campus trips to the Smithsonian museums to further engage in history as well.

“Black History Month is important for us to celebrate because not only does it celebrate Black Excellence but it also gives the opportunity to educate ourselves and others. It’s important to understand that Black History is American History,” said the Black Student Alliance Executive Board.

Learn more about some of the University’s Black History Month activities below.

Rachel L. Swarns Talk

Author and journalist Rachel L. Swarns will speak about her book at Heritage Hall on Feb. 1, addressing her critically acclaimed book, “The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church.”  

Swarns, an associate professor at New York University and Former New York Times Johannesburg Bureau Chief, Swarns will provide attendees with an exploration of the historical narrative surrounding the American Catholic Church’s origin and its enduring impact on the families involved.

Learn more about Swarns in a Q&A that appeared in the Catholic University newsroom.

Navigating PWIs

The Black Student Alliance (BSA) will host an open forum on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. inside the Happel Room at Caldwell Hall to talk about the Black student experience.

Black students will share their journey to thriving academically and beyond at the University.

Black Student Alliance T-Shirt Fundraiser

The BSA will be selling t-shirts bearing the words “Black History is American History” throughout the month inside the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The BSA will be tabling every Tuesday and Thursday of February from noon to 2 p.m. and the shirts will cost $12.

Celebrating St. Josephine Bakhita Lunch

The Office of Campus Ministry and the Center for Cultural Engagement will host a Round Table Discussion called, “What we can learn from St. Josephine Bakhita About Mission and Evangelization on College Campuses Today” on Feb. 8.

St. Josephine was an enslaved person who fought for and won her freedom, converted to Catholicism, and joined the Canossian Sisters in Venice. She is the patron saint of Sudan.

The discussion and lunch (RSVP here) will feature Father Urey Mark and the Lyke House Bowman Scholars from Georgia State University and be held in the Nest in the Pryzbyla Center. The event starts at 12:30 p.m.

All students, faculty, and staff are invited, but RSVP is required.

Later that day, there will be a Mass at St. Vincent Chapel celebrating the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, with Father Mark presiding.

The 5:10 p.m. Mass will also have music from the Lyke House Bowman Scholars and the Gospel Choir from Georgia State University.

Witnessing History at the Smithsonian

The BSA and the Cultural Engagement Center are hosting a trip on Feb. 11 to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. There are only 50 tickets available so reserve a spot early.