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Union of African American Students Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month for the United States, and the Union of African American Students (UAAS) has begun celebrating the month with various events.

UAAS is an organization on USD’s campus that focuses on creating a comfortable and educational environment for all members of USD’s campus.

“We’re here to be a safe space and a space for people to surround themselves in a culture that they may not be familiar with,” said Bennett Clary, the president of UAAS.

Some upcoming events being held in honor of Black History Month include, Black History trivia night, Black History Month honorary basketball game, as well as African Night which is being hosted by USD’s African Association.

UAAS has been working diligently to plan events not only for Black History Month but also for the rest of the semester. With some events such as Beyond the Color already being underway for the month of March. “Which is a presentation by two speakers about being people of color in South Dakota where people can come in and listen as well as ask questions,” Clary said. 

Although UAAS has not determined who both speakers will be, Clary hopes to have Dr. Shirley Mays, who is a professor of law at USD, as she feels like her position and experiences make her an important figure on this topic.

“We wanted to get her perspective as a woman of power at the only law school in South Dakota,” Clary said.

Clary wants students to know that everyone is welcome at UAAS meetings and events, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background. 

“You don’t have to be black or African American to join us, you just have to be willing to celebrate and educate yourself on black excellence,” Clary said.

UAAS meets every Thursday from 6-7 p.m. in MUC 219. For more information about the Union of African American Students visit usdinvolved.com.