West Windsor/Trenton, N.J. – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) will celebrate Black History Month in February with a full slate of events at its West Windsor and James Kerney (Trenton) campuses. Students, faculty and staff will join together for films, lectures and theatrical performances in a month-long observance. Many events are open to the public; most are presented free.
With the theme “Change Your Thoughts; Change Your Life," the festivities kick off with Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, Feb. 2 from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the West Windsor Campus (WWC) cafeteria. Guests will enjoy Caribbean cuisine. (Note: This event is open to students, staff and faculty.)
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the James Kerney Campus (JKC) in Trenton will host two showings of the film "The Great Debaters," based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas who inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship in 1935. The first showing is at noon in Kerney Hall (KC229) for students only; a second showing for the community will be held at 6 p.m.
Two events for students will test and add to their knowledge. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, students are invited to participate in a "Black History Trivia Game" at noon in the West Windsor Campus cafeteria. On
Wednesday, Feb. 17, "Know Your Civil Rights" is the topic of a discussion from 10 a.m. to noon in Kerney Hall.
A community conversation on Thursday, Feb. 18 will focus on the power of positive thinking and ways to put those thoughts into action. A panel discussion, "Change Your Thoughts; Change Your Life," will feature MCCC faculty members and staff including Professor of Communication Alvyn Haywood, Associate Professor of Sociology Denise Ingram, Assistant Professor of English Nicole Homer, Assistant Professor of Communication Dylan Wolfe, adjunct faculty member Denise Grey, and WWFM General Manager Peter Fretwell. The discussion takes place from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the WWC Communication Building, CM 109.
Next up are two events that celebrate African Americans in the performing arts. On Friday, Feb. 19, JKC invites the community to a Jazz Café as it pays tribute to saxophonist Tommy Gryce with a performance by the Trenton-based Bob Smith Quartet. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Light refreshments will be served; menu items prepared by JKC's Center City Cafe staff will be available for purchase.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, students ages 12 to 18 who participate in MCCC’s Youth College will be featured in a “Say It Loud; I’m Black and I’m Proud” variety show at Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor Campus. The first show is at noon; a repeat performance takes place at 3 p.m. The show is co-hosted by the Trenton Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Tickets are $7 and are available for purchase online. Proceeds will be donated to the sorority’s scholarship program for deserving MCCC students.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24 , MCCC turns its attention to health and wellness as the James Kerney Campus partners with New Horizon Treatment Services, which will have an information table staffed by a Horizon representative in the JKC Student Commons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.
The celebration concludes with a busy few days at the end of the month. Closing Ceremonies will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 at JKC's Kerney Hall from noon to 1:15 p.m. Special guest is Skip Bailey, a certified life, leadership and recovery coach. Bailey is the founder and President of the Trenton-based Bailey Success Group and author of "You Are Outstanding And Unstoppable." (This event is for students only.)
Free for the community on Saturday, Feb. 27, the college will host “Gospel Fest 2016” at Kelsey Theatre from 3 to 6 p.m. Local churches and youth groups will join for an intergenerational celebration of gospel music. Among the participating groups are Mount Olivet Baptist Church of Hightstown, First Antioch Church of Trenton, First Baptist Church of Eggerts Crossing, Mt. Bethel Church of God in Trenton, Abundant Life Ministries, and First Baptist Church of Yardley, Pa., plus performances by the Diamond and Pearls step dance troupe, Elect of God singing group, and the PUSH praise dancers.
The month closes out on Monday, Feb. 29 with Heart to Heart," a discussion group for students at the James Kerney Campus. Facilitated by Career Counselor Linda Ertingu, the group is invited to share ways to reduce stress and explore healthy approaches to living a rich and fulfilling life. The group will meet from noon to 1 p.m. in JKC's Kerney Hall.
For more information and directions to MCCC’s campuses, visit www.mccc.edu.