By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) will celebrate Black History Month with events on both campuses. “Hidden Figures and Community Involvement” will be held Friday, Feb. 8 from 6-8 p.m. on the New Bern Campus, and “Unfolding History: Black History Reflections” will be held Thursday, Feb. 14 from 4:30-6 p.m. on the Havelock Campus.
“Hidden Figures and Community Involvement” will explore the achievements of African American organizations and individuals in the region. It will also celebrate the ways they have improved local communities and beyond. Throughout history and even today, the work of people in minorities goes unnoticed or unacknowledged. This event will highlight the importance of shining a light on those works.
Guest speaker Chris Suggs founded his own nonprofit called Kinston Teens, Inc. when he was just 14. He will discuss his work in Kinston and the positive impact young people can have on their own communities. Other organizations participating in the event include the Craven CC Foundation, Neuse River Bridge Run, Craven Arts Council, Tryon Palace and New Bern Civic Theatre. Emily Stewart, Craven CC campus life coordinator, worked closely with students and organizations to make this event possible.
“I love being able to coordinate events that bring our community, students, staff and faculty together in meaningful ways,” said Stewart. “A community college not only provides a place to further your educational goals, but it is a place to come together and connect and learn from each other. When a community can celebrate together, everyone thrives.”
This event will be held in the Student Center on the New Bern Campus. There will be refreshments, ticket giveaways to the New Bern Civic Theatre play Miss Evers’ Boys and community organizations on hand to help participants discover different ways they can get involved. Craven CC’s singing student ambassador group, Encore!, will also perform.
On the Havelock Campus, historian Nelson McDaniel will present “Unfolding History: Black History Reflections” in commemoration of Black History Month. McDaniel will explore African American achievements and contributions to Craven County’s history.
McDaniel was born in New Bern and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, George Washington and Georgetown Universities, New York University and the University of Lyon. For 30 years, he was a teacher at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. A dynamic community figure, McDaniel has served in various volunteer capacities with several organizations and events, including the New Bern 300th, New Bern Historical Society, Camps Sea Gull and Seafarer, Christ Church, Tryon Palace Foundation, Carolina East Foundation, Kellenberger Foundation, Craven Arts Council, Coastal Carolina Chamber Music Festival and Swiss Bear.
“It is important that as a nation we continue to share and unfold the contributions made by African Americans,” said Sylvia King, Craven CC director of student services on the Havelock Campus. “Black history laid the foundation for much of American history. The truth is there would be no America if not for the contributions of African Americans.”
The presentation will take place in the Institute of Aeronautical Technology Hangar at 305 Cunningham Blvd. Light refreshments will be served.
“This event is to empower us with knowledge so that we can continue to grow as Americans and to teach the generations to come that the United States is great,” said King. “Knowing the past opens the door to the future—this statement is true not just for the past but for the history that is in the making today.”
Both events are free and open to the public. For more information on the New Bern event, contact Stewart at 252-514-0562 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the Havelock event, contact King at 252-444-2120 or email@example.com.