The University of Maine will observe Black History Month with a series of virtual events hosted by the Black Student Union in partnership with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Fogler Library, among others.

Raising of the Black Lives Matter flag was livestreamed on Feb. 1 on the Mall in front of Fogler Library, or in the Memorial Union Bangor Room in inclement weather. Black Lives Matter flags also will be flown at the New Balance Student Recreation Center and the Maine Bound Adventure Center, according to a news release from UMaine News, based in Orono.

Monthlong events include an Indoor Sprint Triathlon for Social Change, hosted by the New Balance Student Recreation Center, and an online Racial Justice Challenge sponsored by Fogler Library.

At the recreation center, triathletes can complete a 2-mile run, a 500-meter swim, and a 6-mile bike ride over the course of the month. The first 20 people to successfully complete all three events will receive an event T-shirt. Scores will be announced online and updated weekly throughout the month of February. More information is available by emailing Adrianna Del Amo at [email protected].

Fogler Library’s online Racial Justice Challenge is designed to help the community learn, listen, and take action regarding race, racism, and anti-racism. The self-paced challenge modules, which will remain available after Black History Month concludes, culminate in development of a personalized racial justice plan. For information, email Jen Bonnet at  [email protected].

Other celebration highlights include a Feb. 9 discussion of Black Excellence and a Feb. 22 conversation with current UMaine students.


Kimberly Whitehead, vice president and chief of staff to UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy; Edneisha Curry, lecturer and assistant men’s basketball coach; Pious Ali, a Portland city councilor; and alumni David Patrick are the panelists for the Feb. 9 event, which is set for 3 p.m. Patrick is the co-founder of Racial Equity and Justice of Bangor.

UMaine students Lauren Babb, Jacquel Eley, Amber Kennedy and Elisabeth Redwood will facilitate a conversation about Black identity, “Speaking LIFE.” Participants can join the Feb. 9 discussion of Black Excellence on Zoom and message [email protected] for a link to the Feb. 22 event.

The Black Student Union also is sponsoring a presentation, “Reducing Stigma Around Mental Health and Mental Health Care,” 1 p.m. Feb. 16; a Black History Month Trivia Night, and Culture Night, a celebration of diversity expressed through performance art. The Husson University African Student Association will co-host Culture Night.

For information about the mental health panel, email Anila Karunakar, director of Diversity and Inclusion, at [email protected]. For information about other Black History Month events, including registration links, email BSU president Faye Smith at [email protected].