Messages of Inclusion Archive

Read past messages from the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. You can find messages for the current year on the Messages of Inclusion page.

Black History Month 2022

February 2, 2022

I’m so pleased to join Iowa State University as your new vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. From my arrival on campus just three weeks ago, I have felt a wonderful sense of community and opportunity.

I feel encouraged that diversity, equity and inclusion aren’t just priorities for one person or one office – they are important to all of us. We have a dedicated team in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we are deeply committed to fostering collaborative partnerships across campus and working together with you.  

Over the coming months, I look forward to meeting with many members of the Iowa State and greater Ames communities to listen and learn. Rooted in the strength of ISU’s land-grant mission and Principles of Community, I feel excitement and optimism about advancing our collective goal to make Iowa State a national leader for having a welcoming and inclusive campus where all students, faculty and staff can succeed and thrive.

One of my priorities is to communicate with campus about topics, issues and events that help us advance our knowledge and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion. I want to begin today by asking you to please join us in honoring Black History Month.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans held in February. It is also known as African American History Month, which cultivated out of “Negro History Week,” the innovation of historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.
Aligning with our mission to create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place, we challenge you to learn more about Black History Month and share your findings with others (trivia night, brown bag lunch, over coffee, etc.). To help you get started here are some questions to consider:

  • What is the origin of Black History Month?
  • Why was February selected as the month for the celebration?
  • Who was the first U.S. President to designate February as Black History Month? What year did this originate?
  • What is the theme for 2022?

Feel free to use the following to guide in your quest for knowledge:

History Channel -

The White House (briefing room) -

We also encourage you to attend one of the many Black History Month events held on campus throughout February.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion seeks to be a resource and a partner. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or ideas: We look forward to continuing the conversation with you.