IMPERIAL 鈥 A kickoff event for Black History Month was held on Thursday, February 1 at Imperial Valley College鈥檚 Juanita Salazar Lowe Art Gallery, where IVC鈥檚 A2MEND Club hosted 鈥淎 Little Taste of Soul.鈥

A2MEND (African American Male Education Network & Development) Club adviser, Diana Thomas, said while A2MEND and IVC hold an annual Black History Month event towards the end of February, the club decided to hold a kickoff event for Black History Month on the first of the month to welcome the community into the month-long celebration.

Thomas said that although IVC students are not on campus yet as the college doesn't officially start its spring 2024 semester classes 鈥 which start on Monday, February 12 鈥, the A2MEND group wanted to still have a Black History Month kickoff event at the beginning of February to bolster the community.

鈥淲e're having an event on the 22nd, and we always do one, but they said 鈥極n the first we need to do something,'鈥 Thomas told IVP on Thursday.

Thomas said the 30-member club wanted to hold the event to welcome the entire Imperial Valley community to IVC, not just African-Americans.

鈥淢ost people think that (A2MEND) is a Black organization and it鈥檚 not; as you can see we're about diversity and unity, bringing everybody together,鈥 Thomas said, pointing out what other speakers during the event said about the event attendees being of multiple cultural backgrounds.

鈥淲e're the community (and) the community is always going to be there,鈥 she said. 鈥淪taff can come and be a part of it because everybody makes a difference.鈥

Thomas said that while 鈥渁 lot of people, especially in the Black community don鈥檛 feel like鈥 IVC is a second home, she and others associated with the school are trying to change that.

鈥淚 tell them 鈥楥ome on, be a part of us,鈥 Thomas said. 鈥淚 think by being so close to the border a lot of times they forget, especially when it comes to speaking, Spanish it's like hold up, slow down. If you speak slowly I'll get it.鈥

鈥淲e have to start somewhere, and being here in the Valley I learned that things move slow, but you just keep doing what you gotta do, especially if you want to bring a positive change,鈥 she said. 鈥淚t all comes back to treating people how you want to be treated 鈥 the Golden Rule 鈥 that鈥檚 the main thing.鈥

The event had welcoming remarks and introductions of certain speakers to by Marvin Neroes and Jimmy Salva, respectively, a short presentation by Antonio 鈥淭ony KC鈥 Romero, songs by Carmelia 鈥淭oot鈥 Bell, a keynote presentation by Imperial County District Attorney George Marquez, and a poem recited by El 无毛视频 City Councilmember Sonia Carter.

Antonio Romero shared some musings on music and reggae song lyrics, quotes which point toward the end of racist ideologies.

DA George Marquez spoke on the contributions of African-Americans to the United States. He covered topics such as slavery, the Civil Rights movement, and noted pillars in society in history in politics and entertainment such as Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and former President Barak Obama, among others.

Thomas said she hopes the event helped people 鈥渂ecame aware of IVC, see that we're here, and that A2MEND is about unity, diversity and change.鈥

鈥淚 would tell the public to tell their grandkids and children to come to IVC, to feel that IVC is their home,鈥 she said. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 why I like that little slogan: 鈥榃e are IVC,鈥欌 she said.

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