Founded during the height of the national Civil Rights movement in 1969, CBS has long advocated for cultural awareness on Wittenberg's campus through university-funded programming. CBS addresses concerns and issues of African Americans, while serving as an educational resource for the campus regarding the enormous contributions of African American culture. CBS members also assist Wittenberg's Office of Admission with the recruitment and retention of African American students, and they organize cultural, political, social and educational programs intended to break down the barriers of racism and racial stereotyping.
Leading an organization with such history, as well as such importance to a campus community, could be seen as a burden, but 2008-09 CBS president Brittani Sterling, class of 2009 from Deridder, La., doesn't see it that way.
"Knowing the impact that CBS has had on me, this is a milestone, and I feel like I'm leaving my mark on the organization for others to benefit from," Sterling said. "I feel good about the organization's direction."
She isn't alone. Starting with an event called "Dancing with the Devil: Black Holocaust" at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, in Room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning, CBS members are doing their part to make Black History Month 2009 as substantial as possible. And working with the theme "Bringing Old and New Together," current members are also working hard to engage CBS alumni in new and innovative ways.
"Some people don't understand the significance of CBS," said Lauren Welch, class of 2010 from North Olmsted, Ohio. "Forty years later, it's good we're having this celebration and all of these activities.
"This isn't just a black group on campus. It's an organization that is for everyone."
"Dancing with the Devil: Black Holocaust" features Naima Johnston, a Columbus, Ohio-based musician who describes her style as "Urb-spirational Worship." The event is sponsored by CBS and Wittenberg's Office of Multicultural Programs.
The second Black History Month event is "A Night With Cupid," a fund-raiser for Up Til Dawn, a student-led, student-run philanthropic program hosted by colleges and universities nationwide to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday, Feb. 6. Various organizations are contributing items for auction, like the sailing club, which is offering a "champagne cruise."
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in Room 201 of the Shouvlin Center, CBS and the Office of Multicultural Student Programs are sponsoring "Black Men in Academia," featuring Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University and author of The Warrior Method: A Parents' Guide to Rearing Healthy Black Boys. Also that day and also on Thursday, Feb. 26, Black History Month Book Talks covering such titles as Cornel West's Hope on a Tight Rope and Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream have been coordinated by the Black History Month Calendar Committee and sponsored by Africana Studies, CBS and the Office of Multicultural Student Programs. Both book talks will take place in the Earl F. Morris Lounge in the Benham-Pence Student Center.
Finally, an event called "Testament of Hope" will be presented by the members of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in Ness Family Auditorium of Hollenbeck Hall.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erik Larkin '09
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