Star balloon setup at Black History Month event

Black History Month Learning Resources Guide for Faculty

Student Participation

Challenge students to participate in the BHM celebration in a variety of ways:

  • Attendance:  A sheet will be available for students to sign in when they attend any of the BHM events, and we will send it to you upon request.  There is also an attendance card that will be ‘stamped’ at the end of any of the posted events as ‘proof’ of attendance.
  • Journaling:  Students may be asked to keep a journal and reflect on their participation in BHM events. Students could demonstrate growth in diversity awareness through a reflection of their understanding of African American history, culture, and life.
  • Social Justice Education (Anti-bias domains): Students participate in events and reflect on their growth in social justice education by utilizing the following anti-bias domains as a guide: Identity, Diversity, Justice, Action (see Notes).
  • Discussion: Incorporate topics related to the BHM theme in your classroom discussions including:
    • History - African American history as American history. American history from the perspective of African American narratives and lived experiences. 
    • Psychology – African American “Identity” and the challenge it presents to both African Americans as well as to other ethnic/racial groups in the United States (Social-Psychology of “The Looking-Glass Self”).
    • Sociology -  African Americans, social stratification, inequality, and social movements including the Civil Rights Movement (Freedom Rides); Using transportation as a new tactic to test the integrity (or lack thereof) of social justice and civil rights in the United States.
    • Political Science:  African-American participation in U.S. politics. How have African American leaders and other political leaders tried to capture a ‘voice’ and ‘vision’ that truly articulate the needs of African Americans? How successful have they been? What are the challenges?
    • Music:  The role of Music as a cultural (religious) expression for hope, and as a form of protest in the fight against injustice as demonstrated throughout African-American struggle for freedom and civil/human rights.
    • Health – Health gaps between African Americans and the rest of society. What are the causes for the gaps, and what strategies could markedly improve the health of African Americans, from birth to end of life.
    • Education – Education as a valued commodity for upward mobility among African Americans. What challenges remain for the education of African American students in DuPage County, the State of Illinois, and in the United States?
    • S.T.E.M.  – African Americans have a history of inventors, creators, and innovators. What strategies could help close the achievement gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics? 
    • Please add your own topics based on the theme.


Understanding the Anti-bias Domains (Social Justice Education)

Identity: Students will understand the multiple facets of their identities, know where those traits come from, and feel comfortable being themselves in a diversity of settings.

Diversity: Students will recognize the diversity of people in the world, be able to identify differences and commonalities, express interest in the lived experiences of others and develop genuine connections with others.

Justice: Students will be aware of bias and injustice, both individual and systemic, will understand the short and long-term impact of injustice, and will know about those who have fought for more fairness and justice in our world.

Action: Students will feel confident that they can make a difference in society and will commit to taking action against bias and injustice even when it is not popular or easy. 

(Source: Anti-Bias Task Force, National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2010).


Selected References, History and Timelines

(Source: )


Blacks in Illinois


Contact Information

InterCultural Student Initiatives (ISI)
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 1500

David A. Swope Sr.
Manager, Student Diversity Equity and Inclusion
(630) 942-2565 
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, closed

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